Helle Samuelsen

Helle Samuelsen

Head of Department

Date and place of birth
22 November 1959, Denmark

Educational background
Ph.D. Institute of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen 1999. Mag.scient. in Anthropology (medical anthropology), University of Copenhagen, 1987.  A-levels mathematics and social science, Næstved Gymnasium, 1978


  • Jan, 1. 2007 - Head of Department, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (reappointed Jan, 1. 2015).
  • April, 1. 2004 - Associate Professor, Dept. of International Health, University of Copenhagen.
  • 2000 - 2004 Assistant Professor Dept. of International Health, University of Copenhagen.
  • 1999 - 2000 Assistant Research Professor, Dept. of International Health, University of Copenhagen
  • 1994 - 99: Research fellow at Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory (6 months maternity leave 1995-96)
  • 1991-94: Course Coordinator at Danida's Training Centre, Hornbaek
  • 1990: Consultant for the Danish Nursing Association, Copenhagen
  • 1990: Research Fellow at Institute of Anthropology, Copenhagen
  • (6 months maternity leave 89-90)
  • 1987-89: Assistant Programme Officer, UNICEF, Pakistan
  • 1984-86: Research Fellow for the Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen

Organizational and administrative functions

  • Board member of Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) 2014-2017
  • Member of "Det Udviklingspolitiske Råd"/Danida's council for Devleopment Policy 2013-16
  • Member of Admission Board for Ms.C in Global Health 2013-2015
  • Editor "Tidsskriftet Antropologi" 2009-2015
  • Study-director, Master of International Health, 2004-2007
  • Vice study-director, Master of International Health, 2002-2003
  • Guest editor of "Anthropology & Medicine", (Vol 11(1) April 2004)
  • Guest editor of Tidsskriftet Antropologi, nr. 29, 1994
  • Course coordinator for Orientation courses and Country Briefings at Danida's Training Centre, 1991-94

Carlsberg Senior Research Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge University, 2003

Research Activities (selected projects)
2012 PI on Research project "Fragile Futures: Rural Lives in Times of Conflict" funded by FFU (Danida's Research Council). Total amount DKK 6.3 mio. (project period 2012-2017)

2011 Research Project: "Sustainal Sanitation Solutions - Ghana" (SUSA). WP2 responsible. Funded by FFU (Danida's Research Council) PI. Prof. Flemming Konradsen (Project period 2011-2015)

2010 Research project (PI) “Revisiting the Field: Changes of health care seeking patterns in Burkina Faso over the last decade” financed by Carlsbergfondet.

2009 Research Consultant for the Danish Embassy in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, Recherce action PAMAC et partenaires communautaires”

2006-2007 Responsible for qualitative component of “Assessment of child mortality in selected districts in Tanzania”. Funded by the Danish embassy and the Health Sector Support Program.

2004-2006 Project leader (PI), Research project: “The impact of waste water irrigation on human health and food safety among urban communities in the VoltaBasin – opportunities and risks” in collaboration with IWMI, KVL and Kwame Nkrumah University, Ghana

2004-2005 Project responsible (PI) “Viden og Forandring: En kvalitativ undersøgelse af indvandrere og flygtninges viden, holdninger og erfaringer med prævention og reproduktiv sundhed og brug af sundhedstilbud. Finansieret af Sundhedsstyrelsen

2002 Research project: “HIV/AIDS Communication and Prevention: A Health Communication Research Project 2001-2004” (funded by the Council for Development Research, Denmark 2001), in collaboration with Thomas Tufte, University of Copenhagen

2001 PI on project “The medical field: Why are local healers so popular and why are the public health services underutilized in rural Burkina Faso” (funded by the Council for Development Research, Denmark),

Fieldwork conducted in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Denmark and Tanzania. Fieldvisit in Vietnam.

Reviewer activities:
Social Science & Medicine (since 1999 - a total of 17 reviews)

Health, Policy & Planning (2000 & 2005)

Medical Anthropology (2004 & 2005)

Tropical Medicine & International Health (2005, 2006)

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (MAN) (2008, 2010)

Culture, Health and Sexuality (2009, 2011)

Water International (2011)

American Journal of Public Health (2013)

Anthropological Theory (2014)

Ethnos (2015)

Africa Education Review (2015)

Ph.D supervision:
Frank Ringsted - Faint Appearance. Kulegea. Early Homebased recognition of aneamia (co-supervisor)

Thilde Rheinländer: The Social Reality of hygiene and sanitation (co-supervisor)

Sine Plambech: Points of Departure. Migration control and Anti-Trafficking in the ILves of Nigerian Sex Worker Migrants after Deportation from Europe

Issa Sombié: Participation communautaire et gouvernance du système de santé   : dynamique, logique d’acteurs, conflits et relations de pouvoir (co-supervisor)

Leticia Ackun

Lise Rosendal Østergaard

John Kwaku Forkuor

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