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Brunel Anthropology is home to a community of internationally recognised and world-leading scholars who have pioneered new research fields whilst making significant contributions to mainstream theory. Ranked 2nd in the UK in the Guardian League Tables, our groundbreaking research agendas include medical anthropology, psychological and psychiatric anthropology, the anthropology of childhood, youth and education, and international development. A prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant on ‘Reconfiguring conservation in/for the Anthropocene: the global lives of the orangutan’, recently awarded to Dr Liana Chua, has extended our cutting-edge research agenda into the politics of global conservation. With ethnographic expertise covering south Asia, Melanesia, south-east Asia, central and South America, and southern Africa, Brunel anthropologists have also carried out influential ethnographic research in Mexico, Britain and Europe. 

Our research interests address four key areas: international development; global conservation and governance and conservation; history and concepts of anthropological knowledge; and politics, power and violence.

Our research is highly regarded and offers talented researchers the opportunity to: 

  • Join an expert and research-active community of scholars that publishes world-leading research addressing emerging challenges in social anthropology
  • Engage actively and critically with a dynamic group of research renowned for cutting-edge work in new scholarly fields.
  • Enjoy being part of a collegial research environment: all our research students play a full part in activities of the Division, including weekly research seminars, writing groups and methods training.
  • Investigate a topic in depth, making innovative ethnographic and theoretical contributions to anthropological knowledge. 

We welcome anthropological research in the following areas:  

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Psychological and Psychiatric Anthropology
  • Anthropology of Education and Schooling
  • Anthropology of Childhood and Youth
  • International Development and Humanitarian Assistance
  • Global Conservation
  • Human/Animal Relations and Multi-Species Ethnography
  • Anthropology of Food
  • Anthropology of Emotion
  • Collective Memory
  • Suicide
  • Biography and Life History
  • Performance and Embodiment
  • Landscape, Time and Temporality
  • Religion and Ritual
  • Anthropocenic Discourses and Ontologies
  • Political Violence, the State, Nationalism
  • Visual Anthropology, Materiality, Museology

Research groups: 

Centre for Research in International Medical Anthropology (CRIMA)
The Centre for Anthropological Research on Childhood, Youth and Education (CARCYE)
Histories and Concepts of Anthropological Knowledge (HCAK)
Performance, Politics and Violence (PPV)


Research degrees