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Dr Anja Timm BSc, PhD

Senior Research Fellow in Education

Dr Anja Timm's photo
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Dr Anja Timm is Senior Research Fellow in Education within Medicine at the University of Southampton.


BSc Social Anthropology, London School of Economics (1994)
PhD Anthropology, London School of Economics (2003), ESRC-funded

Prior to arriving at Southampton

From 1999-2001 Anja co-coordinated the EU-funded Dynamics of Rural Areas (DORA) project at the University of Aberdeen with partners in Germany, Greece and Sweden.  The findings from this rural development research project were published in a book edited by John Bryden and Keith Hart entitled, New Approach to Rural Development in Europe: Germany, Greece, Scotland and Sweden (2004).

In 2001-02 she worked at the University of Bristol, in the Department of Social Medicine, initially as a Research Associate for NHS Avon and then as Lecturer in Medical Anthropology. Her work on this project was published in a paper entitled: “Factors affecting feasibility and acceptability of a practice-based learning package to support evidence based prescribing: a qualitative study” in the Journal Family Practice (2004).

Funded by a grant from the Swedish Institute, Anja was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Stockholm, Department of Social Anthropology in 2002-03, funded by the Swedish Institute.  She then returned to Latvia, where she had previously conducted doctoral research, whilst affiliated with the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (2003-04), before returning to the UK. This research had various outputs, most notably:

 In 2005-08, Anja coordinated a three-year study on international students and plagiarism at Lancaster University Management School, the HEFCE-funded Student Diversity and Academic Writing Project. For this project she conducted research at universities in China, India and Greece in an effort to understand the kinds of transitions students make as they join British higher education. The research had a series of outputs, including:

Research interests

Research interests
  • Medical education research - especially in clinical settings
  • The student experience of medical school admissions and selection
  • Higher education research
  • Anthropology of Organisations and HE policy
Recent activities

Since coming to Southampton in early 2008, Anja designed and managed several education research projects. These are routinely disseminated through presentations at the main medical education conferences such as the Annual Conference of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE 2008 / 2010 / 2014) and the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME 2009 / 2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013) as well as other national and international events.

In June 2010, Anja was awarded an education research and development grant (£200k) by the Higher Education Funding Council for England together with Faith Hill (Southampton) and Trudie Roberts (Leeds). The project, entitled "Beyond Competence" ran until July 2012. Anja was responsible for managing the research team and collaborating with key partners in audiology, nursing and medicine across the two sites, Leeds and Southampton. The project resulted in a range of outputs, reports and papers (available from the publications tab) as well as online resources for staff and students, a national workshop in London in 2012 and a final conference in Southampton in March 2014.

Methodological expertise
  • Ethnography and participant observation
  • Interviews and focus groups
  • Survey design
  • Mixed methods and synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research


Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education

Anja's responsibilities are split between conducting and managing education research (her own and/ or collaborative projects) and contributing to the development of medical education research at Southampton more broadly by facilitating the work of others. She is also involved in the management of the Medical Education Development Unit, contributes to staff development activities and undertakes committee work within the Faculty.

Faculty of Medicine

Research Management Committee – representative (2010 onwards)
Research Ethics Committee – member (2015 onwards)
Medical Education Research Forum - chair (since 2008)

University of Southampton

Work Futures Research Group (Member)
Centre for Anthropology (member)

Wessex Deanery

Education Research Group (member)

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Book Chapters


Personal Tutor

Research project supervision in Medicine (BMedSci)

Research student co-supervision with Education and Modern Languages

Dr Anja Timm
Faculty of Medicine, Room AB215, Mailpoint 801, South Academic Block, University Hospital Southampton, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD

Room Number: 85/4001

Telephone:(023) 8059 9659

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