Grant, Suzanne


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Personal profile


Suzanne Grant is Senior Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at the University of Dundee. She studied Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews (MA First Class Honours (1999) and PhD (2006)) and an MSc in Public Health Research at the University of Edinburgh in 2010. Her doctorate was funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship and an Emslie Horniman/Sutasoma Trust Award from the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Based on 30 months of ethnographic fieldwork amongst the Nivaclé indigenous people of the Paraguayan Chaco from 2001-3, her PhD examined the impact of Mennonite settler colonisation on Nivaclé wellbeing. She has held research positions at the Universities of Dundee and Glasgow examining the impact of financial incentives on UK general practice organisation and culture. In 2009 she was awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) Population Health Scientist Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) at the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews (2009-13). She was appointed as a Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at the University of Dundee in 2013 and Senior Lecturer in 2019.


Suzanne is a medical anthropologist and her research is located at the interface between anthropology and healthcare quality and safety improvement. Her work focuses on understanding and improving the quality and safety of health, care and wellbeing contexts through research that is both methodologically innovative and theoretically engaged. Drawing on insights from anthropology, improvement science and design, her research adopts a novel approach to understanding and improving health, care and wellbeing through the application of ethnographic and video reflexive ethnographic (VRE) methods. Her research actively involves professionals, patients, carers and NHS stakeholders in the co-design of improvements across a range of health, care and wellbeing settings. 

Suzanne co-convenes the British Sociological Association (BSA) Medical Sociology Scottish Regional Group and is a member of the Video Reflexive Ethnography International Association (VREIA).

Research Grants, PhD Studentships and Consultancy Work:

  • Politics and practices of frailty. Goodwin D, Shelton C, Weiner K, Grant S. Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness.
  • NHS Scotland polypharmacy reviews: a qualitative evaluation, Grant S (PI), Guthrie B. The Scottish Government.
  • Improving medicines management across organisational boundaries using video reflexive ethnography (VRE), Grant S (PI), Morales D. The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute PhD Fellowship in Healthcare Improvement Studies.
  • Improving the safety of inter-professional collaboration in an Acute Medical Unit: an examination of the feasibility and implementation of video reflexive ethnography (VRE) in UK healthcare, Grant S (PI), Guthrie B, Mesman J. Tenovus Scotland Major Research Grant.
  • Understanding and improving antimicrobial prescribing in care homes: a multidisciplinary approach, Marwick CA, Guthrie B, Grant S, Donnan P, Francis J, Lorencatto F, Hughes C. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
    NHS Scotland polypharmacy reviews: a qualitative evaluation, Grant S (PI), Guthrie B. The Scottish Government.
  • From origins to output: an ethnographic study of routinely collected social care data creation, processes and management. Witham M, Grant S, Kroll T, Atherton I. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Scottish Government Co-funded Postgraduate Studentship.
  • Ethnographic evaluation of laboratory test results handling in primary care: development of international guidelines on best practice. Grant S. (PI). NHS Education for Scotland (NES).


My teaching profile includes programme and module leadership as well as research project supervision at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels. I co-lead the BMSc Healthcare Improvement degree programme for undergraduate medical students within the School of Medicine at the University of Dundee. I also lead the following undergraduate and postgraduate modules that focus on the application of ethnography, design anthropology and improvement science to understand and improve health, care and wellbeing contexts:

Module Lead, Ethnographic Methods in Healthcare Research and Improvement, BMSc Healthcare Improvement, School of Medicine.
Module Lead, Health, Care and Wellbeing Contexts, MSc Design for Healthcare, interdisciplinary collaboration with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design).
Module Lead, Ethnography in Healthcare Research and Improvement, Master of Public Health, School of Medicine.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


  • GN Anthropology
  • medical anthropology
  • patient safety
  • quality of care
  • wellbeing
  • dignity
  • socio-technical systems
  • ethnography
  • video reflexive ethnography
  • meta-ethnography


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