Janet has over 30 years of experience working in development in Africa and Asia including long-term postings as technical cooperation officer/social development adviser for DFID in Uganda, Nepal and India. She has undertaken research and done short-term consultancies in a number of different countries. 

Academic Background

Janet holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge (1985).  In 1987, after postdoctoral research in Zambia on poverty and HIV and AIDS, she joined DFID (then ODA) and spent 13 years in long-term postings as a technical cooperation officer/researcher/social development adviser for DFID in Uganda, Nepal and India.  She joined the School of International Development in 2000, and has subsequently been engaged in teaching, research and consultancies.

She has undertaken long-term research in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh and Nepal and short-term consultancies and research in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh and India.  She has expertise and experience in project management and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, social development, gender analysis and livelihoods approaches.  Her main continuing research experience and interests are in the social aspects of health, with a particular focus on HIV and AIDS (she has a number of on-going research projects in this area), migration, the understanding of chronic poverty and social protection.   Janet is currently head of the social science programme for the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute Research Unit on AIDS.
Janet’s teaching in recent years has focused on Master’s level courses in health and development, social policy and qualitative research methods.    
Janet is an associate editor for the Journal of South Asian Development and is on the editorial boards of other journals.

Janet Seeley moved to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in April 2014 to take up the post of Professor of Anthropology and Health. She retains an honorary position at the School of International Development where she continues to supervise four PhD students.


Key Research Interests

Health and development, particularly social aspects of chronic diseases, focusing on HIV and non-communicable diseases; Ageing; Chronic poverty, resilience and deprivation; Migration and mobility; Livelihoods.

Research Groups: Ageing and DevelopmentGender and DevelopmentHealth Policy and Practice; HIV and Development Group;
Social Protection and Mobile Livelihoods

Research Activities 

My research is currently mainly focused on social aspects of chronic health conditions, particularly HIV.  I continue to be interested in migration and mobility and livelihoods and enjoy looking at these themes in conjunction with health and development.  Gender analysis remains an important part of all my work.
I am currently head of the social science programme for the Medical Research Council’s HIV Unit. 

I have a number of on-going and recently completed research projects (listed on my CV). Some information on the work of the Social Science Programme of the MRC Unit is available here.


Teaching Interests


  • Gender Concepts and Development  2000, 2001, 2002 (convener 2000)
  • Gender and Social Policy   2001, 2002, 2003 (convener)
  • Gender, Difference and Social Policy   2005, 2006 (convener 2006)
  • Research Skills for Social Analysis 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 (convener 2005&2006)
  • Health and Development   2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011


  • Gender Divisions in Development 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 (convener 2001&2003)
  • Human Rights 2001

Co-supervisor of five research students (in accordance with UEA practice all research students have two supervisors):

  1. 'Collaborative research initiatives and partnerships: investigating a model for the conduct of trans-disciplinary HIV/AIDS research in Uganda’, Stevens Bechange, commenced October 2008
  2. 'Informed consent? Ethics in medical research’, Agnes Ssali, commenced October 2010
  3. 'Men, masculinity and development in South Africa’, Toni Pyke, commenced October 2010
  4. 'Fishing and vulnerability in Western Kenya’, Nozomi Kawarazuka, commenced October 2010
  5. 'Intimate Space across the life course in rural Uganda' Ailie Tam , commenced October 2013  

Co-supervisor of one research student at each of two other universities:

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
'Anaemia and older people in Uganda', Joseph Mugisha, commenced October 2010

Makerere University, Uganda
'Health Related Quality of Life of HIV patients attending an urban clinic in Uganda', Doris Mwesigire, commenced April 2011

Key Responsibilities

 Chair of the international Development Research Ethics Committee of UEA.