Helle Samuelsen

Helle Samuelsen


Date and place of birth
22 November 1959, Denmark

Educational background

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


  • Jan 1. 2020 - Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
  • Jan, 1. 2007 - 31. Dec., 2019 Head of Department, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen .
  • 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) 2014-2018
  • Member of "Det Udviklingspolitiske Råd"/Danida's council for Devleopment Policy 2013-16
  • Member of the Study Board for MS.c in Global Health 2013-2016
  • 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

2024 - 2029 PI on research project Promting Climate Change Adaptation in a Context of Multiple Crises in Burkina Faso: The role of civil servants, funded by DANIDA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Total amount: DKK 10,3 mio.

2018- 2023 PI on Research Project "EMERGING EPIDEMICS: Improving Preparedness in Burkina Faso", funded by FFU, (Danida's research Council) Total amount DKK 10 mio.

2012 - 2017 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.

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

2010 Research project “Revisiting the Field: Changes of health care seeking patterns in Burkina Faso over the last decade” fundd 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 for
Social Science & Medicine (since 1999 - a total of 21 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)

GeoJournal (2020)

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 (main supervisor)

Issa Sombié “Participation Communautaire et gouvernance du system de Santé: dynamique, logique d’acteurs, conflits et relations.” Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2015.

Leticia Ackun “An Ethnographic Study of Sanitation and Defecatory Practices in a Peri-Urban Community: the case of Prampram in the greater Accra Region of Ghana”, University of Legon, Ghana, 2015.

John Boulard Forkuor “Regulation of Street Foods in Kumasi: Stakeholder Practices and Perceptions, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, 2015.

Lise Rosendal Østergaard ”Fragile encounters: exploring public healthcare in Boulgou Province, Burkina Faso”, UCPH, 2016.

Pia Juul Bjertrup affliated to "Emerging Epidemics: Improving Preparedness in Burkina Faso", 2019-2022


Engelsk og Fransk

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