Claire Somerville

Areas of expertise

  • Global Health and Development
  • Risk and Non-Communicable Disease
  • Ethnography in Health Systems Research
  • Health, Ageing, Technology and Design Ethnography


PhD, University of Cambridge
Dr Claire Somerville is Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies and also currently the executive director of the Gender Centre at the Graduate of Institute of International and Development Studies. An applied medical anthropologist with specialization in gender, Claire combines scholarly research in gender and health with practice-oriented knowledge that she contributes as expert to stakeholders in International Organizations, Human Rights, Non-Government Organizations and other international fora. At the Graduate Institute Claire heads the Environment, Resources and Sustainability Capstone track and has taught compulsory qualitative methods courses, provided classes in gender and health as well regularly engages with dialogues on gender internally and externally.

Claire’s research is defined by interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral collaboration and previous research projects have sought to bridge academic research with industry partnerships (Intel Corporation) and clinical health sciences; NGOs and IOs with the intention of bringing academic insight and expertise to current global challenges and, vice versa, bring knowledge and data from global actors into the academic frame.

Current research include: LGBTI health in Great lakes; NCDs and NTDs in Mozambique, Nepal and Peru; gender language in international texts and negotiations; gender, data and technology; sex, gender and masculinities.

Dr Somerville obtained her PhD in 2002 from St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and previously studied Medical Anthropology as an MA at the School of Oriental and African studies, University of London, and attained 1stclass BA in  Social Anthropology and Development at the University of Sussex.


  • Mixed methods and cross-disciplinary methodological frameworks- design and implementation
  • Applied anthropology in global business, health and technology
  • Industry-NGO-Academic partnerships

Personal Information




Gesundheit – Medizin
Entwicklungszusammenarbeit – Development


Gender Studies