About Us

We are a small, highly experienced team of anthropological (PhD) researchers

Ethnography originated in anthropology and remains its core methodology. As PhDs in anthropology, we are experts in ethnography and other qualitative methods.

We are a small firm, and as our clients often comment, our project budgets come in substantially less than the larger firms with which we compete.

Clients get the same high-level researchers throughout all study phases. Our researchers conduct the fieldwork, are intimately familiar with the study data, and write and present the reports.  Our researchers even stay closely involved recruiting (clients notice how we excel at challenging recruits).

Our methodological expertise and social and psychological theoretical training enable us to identify patterns that other researchers would routinely miss.

Combined with our extensive corporate experience, this distinction in insights leads to our identification of innovative – but practical – solutions for our clients’ business needs.

Unique Expertise

Cost Efficient

Continuity in People & Process

Distinction in Insights

Nicholas Kottak, PhD
Ethnographic Solutions President

Nick is the President of Ethnographic Solutions. He has a PhD in psychological anthropology. His doctoral ethnographic fieldwork occurred among the Makua in Northern Mozambique under Fulbright and National Science Foundation funding.

Since receiving his PhD over 15 years ago, Nick has been working at the forefront of the intersection of the business world and anthropology.

He began his market research consulting career with GfK where he conducted a broad variety of qualitative projects – many global in orientation – for leading pharmaceutical companies.

Nick has a special interest in and fantastic insight on social interactions.

At Ethnographic Solutions, Nick pioneered a unique ethnographic approach to physician-patient dialogue studies, as well as sales representative ethnographies, which he has conducted for various pharmaceutical brand teams.

He has also developed an expertise, through usability and human factors testing, observing and analyzing at how humans interpret and interact with devices.

Having conducting thousands of physician interviews, as well as having several physician family members, Nick has excellent medical literacy across most therapeutic areas.

Nick has had a longtime interest in playwriting and comedy dialogue. Once a competitive swimmer, swimming is still his preferred exercise, but tennis has been closing the gap. He speaks Portuguese fluently and considers himself an adept global traveler.

At Ethnographic Solutions, Nick plays the central, and sometimes exclusive role, on all studies.

Conrad Kottak photo for Ethnographic Solutions
Conrad Kottak, PhD
Leading authority on anthropological and ethnographic research

Conrad Kottak, PhD is a retired professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Michigan where he was Department Chair for 15 years.

Conrad has published 14 anthropological books and a variety of articles. His textbook, Anthropology: The Exploration of Human Diversity, remains the best-selling anthropological textbook in the world today.

His Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity is ranked second among the Most Recommended Anthropology Books.

He is known for his expertise, and has published books, on the culture and societies of Latin America, North America, and Africa.

At the University of Michigan, he often taught classes on television and society, anthropological theory, and ethnographic methods.

Conrad is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.

He has mentored generations of PhDs in anthropology, including a few who collaborate with Ethnographic Solutions on market research studies.

Conrad began as a Principal at Ethnographic Solutions and continues to provide methodological and analytic consultation on E-S projects.

Conrad is an avid Jeopardy viewer; some believe he is one of the best Jeopardy players never to have been on the show.