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Dr Yuliya Hilevych

Dr Yuliya Hilevych

British Academy Newton International Fellow

College Research Associate at Wolfson College

Affiliated scholar at Reproductive Sociology Research Group (ReproSoc)

Yuliya Hilevych is available for consultancy.

West Rd
Cambridge CB3 9EF


Yuliya Hilevych is a BA Newton International Fellow at the University of Cambridge working on the study of reproduction, social relations and population policies.

Yuliya holds a BA and MA in History and Theory of Sociology from the University of Lviv in Ukraine, and a PhD in Sociology from Wageningen University, a joint degree with Radboud University in the Netherlands. Previously, she held research positions in a United Nations project at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and in the Radboud Group for Historical Demography and Family History, where she is now an affiliated scholar. Her research has been funded by the British Academy, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.

Subject groups/Research projects

Economic, Social and Cultural History:

Research Interests

My PhD dissertation was an ethnographic study of the post-war fertility decline in Soviet Ukraine and it focused on the role of family and social relations in women's and men's reproductive decision-making. My subsequent collaborative projects have examined reproductive politics and practices in Western and Eastern Europe.

My current two-year project studies the emergence of alternatives to (biological) parenting before the invention of IVF (1978) in Britain. Specifically, I am interested in how individual experiences of infertility have challenged the provision of infertility advice and treatments, with the primary focus being on the emergence of infertility counselling and grassroots activism.

Research Supervision

I welcome inquiries from students interested in social and demographic history, history of reproduction, history of population, history of gender and sexuality, history of the family and kinship in Europe, and comparative European history.


Other Professional Activities

Member of the steering committee of Reproduction SRI at the University of Cambridge 

Founder and co-convener of CRASSH Network "Health, Medicine and Agency"


  • Economic, Social History

Key Publications

Hilevych, Y., & Rusterholz, C. (2018). ‘Two children to make ends meet’: the ideal family size, parental responsibilities and costs of children on two sides of the Iron Curtain during the post-war fertility decline. The History of the Family, 1-18.

Hilevych, Y. and Sato, C., (2018) ‘Popular medical discourses on birth control in the Soviet Union during the Cold War: Shifting responsibilities and relational values.’ in Gembries, A.K., Theuke, T., and Heinemann, I. (eds.), ‘Children by Choice? Changing Values, Reproduction and Family Planning in the 20th Century’, (De Gruyter), 99-122.

Hilevych, Y. (2016) Strong Families and Declining Fertility, Wageningen University Dissertations, 191 p. ISBN 978-94-6257-938-5

Hilevych Y. (2016) Later, if ever: Family influences on transition from first to second birth in Soviet Ukraine, Continuity and Change 31(2), 275-300

Hilevych, Y., & MacNamara, T. (Eds.). (2015). Qualitative approaches to demographic questions. Special issue in: The History of the Family Vol. 20 (1). Including the Introduction: MacNamara, T., & Hilevych, Y. (2015). Living in the demos, The History of the Family, 20 (1), 1-8

Hilevych, Y. (2015). Abortion and gender relationships in Ukraine, 1955–1970, The History of the Family, 20 (1), 86-105


Other Publications

First public cases of surrogacy in 1978 Britain: can they help us to better understand surrogacy today? ReproSoc blog post (November 19, 2019)

Commentary on BBC Woman’s Hour about the history of artificial insemination in Britain (February 26, 2019; just after 32 minutes)

Policy report: Boomen van den N., Dane J., Hilevych Y., Hoedemaeckers J., Walhout E., Kok, J. (2017) ‘Beklemd in de Scharnieren van de tijd: Beleid, praktijk en ervaringen van afstand ter adoptie door niet-gehuwde moeders in Nederland tussen 1956 en 1984’ (Hostages of time. Policy, practice and experiences of relinquishment for adoption by unmarried mothers in the Netherlands between 1956 and 1984). Scientific report for the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, WODC. INSB: 978-94-92380-40-1