Associate Professor Anna Olsen PhD

BSc/BA (Hons), PhD
Associate Professor
ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: 02 6125 7864

Areas of expertise

  • Sociological Methodology And Research Methods 160807
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104
  • Social Program Evaluation 160703
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Health 111701
  • Infectious Diseases 110309
  • Gender Specific Studies 169901


Dr Olsen is Associate Professor of Social Foundations of Medicine at the ANU School of Medicine and Psychology. Her interdisciplinary program of research combines practical and critical approaches to public health, with a particular interest in marginalised populations and qualitative methodologies. Current research includes: pill testing; opioid overdose prevention; drug use and motherhood; domestic and family violence; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health; and ethical practice in social research. She values collaborative approaches to research and has extensive experience working with government and community on evaluation and research projects. Dr Olsen teaches and supervises post-graduate students across anthropology, medicine, public health and psychology.


Researcher's projects

- Evaluation of Australia's first Pill Testing trial

- Overdose prevention and take-home naloxone

- Methamphetamine use among long term opioid users

- Governing parental drug use

- Ethical practice and legal requirements in social research

- Responses to family and domestic violence

- Wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

- Policy responses to parents who use drugs

- Medical school student attitudes to people who use drugs

Current student projects

Potenial PhD Projects

  • Opioid overdose and naloxone
  • Older people's opioid use
  • Women, motherhood and drug use
  • Australian researchers' understanding of ethical practice as it relates to criminal activity and the law
  • Hepatitis C treatment experience and access for people who inject drugs
  • Family violence and Indigenous communitites
  • Family violence, alcohol and drug use

Potenial MPH and Honours Projects

  • Pharmacists provision of harm reduction service to people who use illicit drugs. A thematic analysis (qualitative) of interviews with pharmacists about their supply of opioid overdose prevention drugs.
  • Australian researchers' understanding of ethical practice as it relates to criminal activity and the law. A (qualitative) review of the literature and/or analysis of interviews with researchers. 
  • Stigma, motherhood and drug use. A (qualitative) framing analysis of media representations of women who use drugs and who are mothers. 


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  15 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers