Suzanne Grant

+44 (0)1382 388657
Lecturer in Medical Anthropology



Suzanne 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 individual and social wellbeing. She subsequently held research positions at the Universities of Dundee and Glasgow examining the impact of financial incentives on UK general practice organisation and culture before being awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) Population Health Scientist Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2009-13. She has been a Lecturer in Medical Anthropology at the University of Dundee since 2013.


Suzanne is a medical anthropologist and her research is located at the interface between anthropology, medicine and healthcare safety and quality. The overarching aim of her work is to improve understandings of safety, risk, wellbeing and dignity within and across healthcare organisational contexts through research that is both methodologically innovative and theoretically engaged. Drawing on insights from social and medical anthropology and sociology, her research adopts a novel approach to understanding and improving healthcare safety and quality through the application of innovative ethnographic and video reflexive ethnographic (VRE) methods. Her research focusses on the co-creation of safety, wellbeing and dignity by professionals, patients and their families across different healthcare organisational contexts, and the development of ethnography and VRE as research and improvement methodologies.

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).


Current funded research:

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, Guthrie B, Mesman J, Tenovus Scotland Major Research Grant, £57K

Improving medicines management across organisational boundaries using video reflexive ethnography, Grant S, Guthrie B., The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute PhD Fellowship in Healthcare Improvement Studies, October 2018-September 2021, £89K

Understanding and improving antimicrobial prescribing in care homes: a multidisciplinary approach, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Marwick CA, Guthrie B, Grant S, Donnan P, Francis J, Lorencatto F, Hughes C, Sept 2017-Aug 2021, £948K

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 March 2014 – present, £56K


Suzanne has completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education (PGCAPHE) and has the following teaching commitments:

  • Module Leader, Ethnographic Methods in Healthcare Research and Improvement, BMSc in Healthcare Improvement, University of Dundee.
  • Module Leader, Behavioural and Social Sciences, Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Dundee
  • Supervising the following BMSc in Healthcare Improvement ethnographic dissertation projects:
  • 2015-16: “An ethnographic study of communication of medicines reconciliation from secondary care to primary care at discharge”. Student: Danielle Cunningham (Distinction)
  • 2014-15: “An ethnographic study of multidisciplinary team meetings within the community mental health setting”. Student: Marianne Inglis (Distinction)


Care bundles for Acute Kidney Injury
11/2018, BMJ Open Quality
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Safety and wellbeing as spatial capacities
8/2018, Health & Place
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Dynamics of dignity and safety
7/2017, BMJ Quality & Safety
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Comment/debate

A meta-ethnography of the facilitators and barriers to successful implementation of patient complaints processes in health-care settings
10/2017, Health Expectations
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Between demarcation and discretion
1/2017, Social Science and Medicine
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Efficiency and thoroughness trade-offs in high-volume organisational routines
5/2017, BMJ Quality & Safety
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

The role of informal dimensions of safety in high-volume organisational routines
1/2017, Implementation Science
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Spatio-temporal elements of articulation work in the achievement of repeat prescribing safety in UK general practice
8/2015, Sociology of Health & Illness
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Beyond monitors
11/2015, Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Soft governance, restratification and the 2004 general medical services contract
1/2015, Sociology of Health & Illness
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

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