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Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities

Sex Work Research Hub

Sex Work Research Hub

The Sex Work Research Hub connects researchers and academics across a range of Universities and disciplines working on sex work, sex working and sexual exploitation. 

We also connect with sex work support projects, sex workers and other stakeholders, such as lawyers, police, policy makers, educationalists, youth and community workers to support and develop research that produces new knowledge, critiques dominant discourses on sex work, as well as delivering tangible public benefit and impact.

The sex work research hub provides a space for researchers, students , external partners and stakeholders concerned with sex work and the sex industry in its broadest sense, as well as sexual exploitation, to share information and web links, to advertise and run seminars, lectures and affiliated events and to support and provide research and consultancy.


  • To provide a hub for sharing research and scholarship on sex work, social justice and sexual exploitation between academics, practitioners, policy makers, advocates and the general public
  • To promote ethical and robust research on sex work
  • To identify opportunities for collaborative research across partner institutions and partner agencies
  • To provide a centre for expertise on sex work research and evaluation
  • To enable cross university networking amongst postgraduate and academic researchers
  • To impact on policy and practice.


An annual series of seminars bringing together academics, practitioners, policy makers and sex worker networks.

  • A series of workshops for new researchers: sharing skills between new and experienced researchers
  • Support the bi-annual postgraduate research conference on sex work –hosted by Dr Teela Sanders, University of Leeds
  • An e-newsletter twice a year focusing on sex work and research issues.
  • Carrying out research projects & evaluations
  • Responding to government policy, legislation proposals and consultations.
  • Provision of an advisory/consultancy service
  • Support and complement the UK Network of Sex Work Projects Specialist Collection on Sex work (based at the University of the West of Scotland)
  • Provide training on issues of research and evaluation for practitioners/researchers/UKNSWP projects.


The Sex Work Research Hub is underpinned by the principles of:

  • Collaboration
  • Participatory Action Research – collaborating with sex workers, practitioners and grass roots organisations
  • Evidence based policy
  • High ethical standards in sex work research
  • Research & evaluation that informs policy and praxis
  • Advances in research methodology including visual, performative and filmic methods

Partners: Researchers and academics at the following Universities

  • Aston University
  • Birmingham University
  • Durham University
  • Lancaster University
  • Northumbria University
  • Queens University Belfast
  • Strathclyde University
  • Swansea University 
  • University of Kent
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Western Australia

Sex Work Research Hub: JISC Mail Research Discussion Group Membership

The Sex Work Research Hub JISC mail group has been set up as a resource to enable networking, discussion and sharing amongst sex work researchers. Membership of this group is for the following;

  • Academics or researchers based in a university, or equivalent research institution, actively researching sex work or with a background researching sex work.
  • Sex work support organisations involved in research
  • Sex worker rights organisations involved in research
  • Registered PhD students

When you apply to join this group you will be asked to submit a statement of 200 words about your previous or current research activity.

By signing up for the sex work research hub discussion group you are accepting and signing up to the following terms:

  • Commitment to ethical research and recognition that the experiences of all sex workers are diverse in terms of gender and sexualities, reasons for working, working conditions ,agency and control.
  • Commitment to respectful discussion and debate.
  • Recognition of the human rights of sex workers including the right to work safely, without discrimination, violence, coercion, intimidation or exploitation. The hub recognises the rights of sex workers to self determination, this includes the right to remain in, or to leave sex work.
  • Membership of the group will be renewed biannually.

If you do not meet these criteria but want to be involved in Sex Work Research Hub events and activities, sign up to our bi-annual e-newsletter [coming soon] and alerts about hub events and activities.

Please note that as the sex work research hub develops, it will produce a range of resources that will be made available to researchers, sex worker organisations and projects, practitioners and others; it will also offer multiple routes for interested groups and individuals to get involved.

To join the Sex Work Research Hub JISCMAIL networking list by sending an email to Subject: BLANK Message: SUBSCRIBE SEXWORKRESEARCH-HUB