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Research and You

You can make a difference.
If you are a patient at BC Women's, you and your baby may have a chance to participate in a research study.  When you participate in a research study, you are making an important contribution to the health of women and their families.

You can learn more about research studies that are looking for participants by clicking on the tabs below. 
Research Opportunities

The Early Development Research Group (EDRG) is comprised of seven research centres in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. We study the development of language, cognition, and social understanding in infants and children.

Have you ever wondered how your baby learned something as complex as language or social cues? Here at the EDRG, we want to understand the amazing ways infants and children learn to understand the world around them and how these skills develop in early childhood. The we explore topics such as cognitive, social, moral, language, and numeracy development, among many other aspects of childhood. We need baby and child scientists to help us answer these important research questions!

We're looking for:

  • All healthy, typically-developing children aged 0-12 are eligible for our studies (with a parent/guardian). Some online studies require access to a computer. The majority of our studies require the child and/or parent to understand and complete tasks in English.

Upon signing up, your family will be added to our confidential database. Each time your child(ren) becomes eligible for a study, we will reach out to you with detailed information and you can choose to participate if interested. Our studies are typically 1-time commitments. Our fun online and in-person studies typically involve puppet shows, interesting videos, and/or questionnaires, and range from 15 minutes to 1 hour. If you were to participate in an online studies, we would send you instructions and a link to participate. For in-person studies, we would find a time that works for you to visit one of our Centres here at UBC and provide directions and instructions. We aim for our studies to be convenient and fun for both your little one and you; we have free reserved parking spaces for your convenience, or would provide transit passes if you choose to come by bus. After participating in the study, your little one will receive a fun gift (such as a t-shirt, book or toy) and an honourary UBC Degree as a token of our appreciation!

To sign-up and learn more, fill out this form and we will be in touch: 

You can learn more about the EDRG by visiting our website ( or finding us on Facebook or Instagram (@ubcedrg).

Antenatal corticosteroids are a medication given to pregnant people who are at risk of an early delivery to help reduce the chance of breathing problems for their baby after birth. 

Navigating the Grey Zone is a project that aims to improve clinical practice guidelines of antenatal corticosteroid use during late preterm births.

The goal of the study is to find out if including a decision support tool in clinical guidelines will improve how doctors discuss antenatal corticosteroids with patients who might deliver at 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. 

By helping doctors and patients communicate about the harms and benefits of antenatal corticosteroids, this project could promote fully informed and optimal use of a drug that can reduce breathing problems in newborns. 

We're looking for people who are:

  • 18 years old or older
  • Delivered a live neonate at 34+0 to 36+6 weeks of gestation at one of the participating hospitals (Surrey Memorial Hospital or BC Women's Hospital)
  • Speak English
  • Agrees to participate in the questionnaire during their first post-partum week (i.e. within 1 week post-delivery, including during their postpartum hospital stay)
Tell us about your experience in a 10-20 minute in-person, phone, or video interview. You will receive a gift card in appreciation of your time.

Please contact Dr. Madeleine Ennis at for more information or to participate.

Researchers at UBC And BC Women’s Hospital are using a new technology to look for signs of placental infection (AFII) in mother’s blood during pregnancy.  We are inviting people who are at risk of premature delivery to participate in this research study. 

Amniotic fluid infection/inflammation (AFII) is a strong risk factor for preterm birth. Antibiotics might prevent infection-related preterm birth but there is currently no way to detect these infections before birth. 

This project will measure inflammation in placental tissue and blood from mothers who have preterm deliveries. Samples from moms affected by AFII will be compared to those without placental inflammation using a very sensitive technique. We hope to identify markers of AFII in mothers’ blood. The study findings will then be used to develop a blood test that can identify AFII during pregancy and allow for early treatment. 

We are looking for people who are:

  • Pregnant with one baby
  • At risk for pre-term birth

The only requirement for participating is donation of a teaspoon of blood when blood is drawn as part of your care and a small portion of your placenta following delivery.  No additional specimens or tests are needed.  Women who are donating cord blood to CBS are eligible to participate.  

Interested patients may contact the study team by email at

One in five pregnant and postpartum people suffers from an anxiety disorder. However, these difficulties are not screened for, and little is known about the impact of screening on mental health. 

We want to learn more about the impact of screening for perinatal anxiety disorders on mental health outcomes. 

Perinatal anxiety disorders (AD) are associated with chronic negative health outcomes. There are evidence-based treatments available, but screening for perinatal AD is rare, leaving these individuals without treatment. Research indicates that screening plus individualized follow-up and referral allows the majority of perinatal individuals to access treatment. This study examines the effect of personalized perinatal AD screening, feedback, and referrals on mental health outcomes, treatment seeking behaviours, and use of mental health services.

We are looking for people who:

  • Are pregnant (28 weeks and beyond) or have given birth up to or including 12 weeks ago
  • Live in BC
  • Are fluent in English 
  • Are 18 years of age or older at the time of the study
Participation takes 45-75 minutes. You will be asked to complete one online survey at 6-12 weeks postpartum, and another 20 weeks later. Surveys ask about your background, mental health and reproductive history, feelings of anxiety, and other mental health symptoms. Some participants will participate in a brief conversation with a study team member.

  1. The online screening eligibility and intake form will require approximately 10 minutes of the participant’s time.
  2. The online baseline questionnaire (6-12 weeks postpartum) will require approximately 30 minutes of the participant’s time.
  3. The online follow-up questionnaire (20 weeks later) will require approximately 20 minutes of the participant’s time. 
  4. Participants in arm 3: Referral phone calls will vary in length depending on the level of symptoms of anxiety reported by the participant. They will likely last 10-30 minutes. 
Total: For participants in arms 1 and 2, approximately 1 hour of their time will be required. For participants in arm 3, approximately 1.5  hours of their time will be required.

Participants who complete the full study will receive $25 via e-Transfer. Those who complete a portion of the study will receive $15. 
Did you know that uterine cancer affects women and all individuals with a uterus, and when detected early, it can be cured by surgical removal of the uterus? 

Unfortunately, when women are diagnosed later, their chances of survival are decreased. Many risk factors of uterine cancer are reversable, but few are aware of them. Delayed diagnosis can be due to lack of recognition of symptoms. Delays in diagnosis are also associated with cultural, racial and socioeconomic factors.

We want to know how well women can differentiate between normal changes of reproductive aging and menopause from changes that may be early signs of uterine cancer. To do this, we are looking to recruit members of the community to share their lived experiences as they transitioned to menopause in a confidential, virtual interview. 

Identifying gaps in knowledge to raise awareness and help women identify early signs and risk factors for uterine cancer can reduce delays in diagnosis and lead to improved health outcomes.

To participate, you:

  • Must be over the age of 40
  • Must be able to read and verbally communicate in English
  • Must have access to the internet to partake in virtual interview and workshop process
You will first participate in a virtual interview, where you will be asked about your experience with menopause and reproductive aging, your experiences with the healthcare system, and your willingness to use digital health tools. The interview will be 30 minutes to 1 hour long. You will then be invited to an optional virtual workshop, where you can discuss common themes that came up during the interviews and provide feedback on a digital app and discuss barriers to using digital health tools. The workshop will be about 5 to 6 hours, including a complementary lunch. If you participate in the workshop, you will receive 50$, as well as a copy of Dr. Jerilynn Prior’s award-winning novel, “Estrogen’s Storm Season: stories of perimenopause.”  

Pregnant and lactating people are at higher risk of hospitalization and ICU admission. Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccination safety, effectiveness, and attitudes are particularly important for this group of people. 

Currently, there is a major knowledge gap with regard to the use of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as their co-administration with other vaccines, in this population. To address this knowledge gap, we are conducting this research and creating this vaccine registry.

We are looking for people who:

  • Are 19 years of age or older
  • Became pregnant in 2023
Participants will complete surveys regarding COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, health experiences and pregnancy outcomes.  The expected time commitment is 5-20 minutes per survey, the number of which varies based on the participants responses, across different points in time until March 2024. Although there are no known benefits of participating in this study. The information gained could potentially benefit pregnant people in the future. 

Learn more:

Participate: COVERED e-Consent ( 
Formal vaccine trials typically do not include people that are pregnant. This research will help develop guidelines for the best delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy for both the birthing parent and the baby.

We know that birthing parents and newborns require special care due to increased risk of respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Due to this increased risk, it is now being recommended that all pregnant women and pregnant individuals receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The purpose of this study is to better understand the immune response after receiving a vaccine during pregnancy.

We're looking for people who are:

  • Currently pregnant and scheduled to or intending to be vaccinated
  • Registered to deliver at BC Women's Hospital
  • 19 years of age or older
  • Able to communicate in English
As part of this study, you will have a maximum of 5 study visits at BC Women's Hospital scheduled around your delivery and your COVID-19 vaccine dose. Each study visit requires about 10-15 minutes of your time. Depending on the study visit, we intend to collect some or all of the following samples: birthing parent blood, cord blood, infant blood and breast milk.  You will receive a $20 honorarium at each study visit for your time. 

The knowledge gained from this study may benefit pregnant women and individuals in the future by helping to determine the optimal use of COVID-19 vaccinations during pregnancy. 

Contact us: 
Although over 10% of new parents experience postpartum depression and anxiety in British Columbia, many don’t get the treatment they need because of social and economic barriers. In response, online treatments can help to treat postpartum mental illness effectively and accessibly. 

Several web-based interventions have been effective for treating postpartum mental illnesses, but very few have been developed based on the input of people with previous experience with postpartum depression and anxiety. For this reason, the SUPPORT study aims to evaluate a new website for postpartum mental health, created based on the thoughts, opinions, and needs of birthing parents in British Columbia affected by postpartum depression and/or anxiety.

We are looking for people who: 

  • have given birth within the past 12 months
  • reside in British Columbia
  • be at least 19 years of age
  • have the ability to communicate in English
  • have a suspected diagnosis or symptoms of postpartum depression and/or anxiety, as measured by part of an initial eligibility questionnaire
  • have access to study materials online, that is, have internet access and a device to access the internet, such as a computer or smartphone
Participants will be asked to fill out an initial eligibility questionnaire (~15-20 minutes), if found eligible they will be randomized to one of two groups, either an intervention or waitlist group. If assigned to the intervention group, participants will receive immediate access to use the website, which they will continue to use for a period of 4 weeks. Participants can use the website in whatever ways they choose and for as long as they choose. Participants will also be asked to fill out three questionnaires to determine changes in depression/anxiety symptoms and to gauge website satisfaction and usability (~20 minutes each). This will be done before they begin to use the website, after the 4-week period, and again 2 weeks later. Participants in the waitlist group will gain access to the website after a 6-week waiting period, and they will be asked to complete three questionnaires to determine changes in depression/anxiety symptoms (~20 minutes each). This will be done at the beginning of the 6-week period, after 4 weeks, and after 6 weeks. 

To learn more about the study or to participate, please visit, email, or call 604-875-2424 ext. 5865
The BioBank would like to collect samples and clinical data from women and sometimes their families to create a bank (or library) of samples for use in research to better understand the causes of diseases of women and families, with the ultimate goal of improving treatment and preventing diseases.

BioBanking is the collection, storage, and use of human body samples and personal health information for research across Canada and the world. Creating a ‘bank’ of preterm and fullterm pregnancy samples can be an important contribution to researchers aiming to improve maternal care and disease prevention.

We are looking for: 

  • Anyone expecting to deliver at BC Women’s Hospital, whether they are having a healthy or complicated pregnancy.
Participation in the BioBank does not require any time on your part except if you agree to donate extra blood (at times when you are not already having blood collected). This may require 5 to 15 minutes extra.

If you would like to participate, please email with the subject ‘BCWH Research Website’ to learn more. From there, we can set up a phone call to discuss and email you an electronic consent form.

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure. If it happens, preeclampsia is dangerous for the mother and baby. Currently, there is no accurate way to predict who will get it – it can only be diagnosed once symptoms appear, generally in the second half of the pregnancy.

Recent research suggests that measuring the stiffness of a pregnant person’s arteries (arterial stiffness) may be a promising non-invasive test for predicting the development of pre-eclampsia later in pregnancy. 

We want to know if arterial stiffness measurements can better predict the development of pre-eclampsia when combined with standard clinical tests such as blood draws and ultrasound measurements. The ability to accurately predict who will develop preeclampsia would allow doctors to intervene sooner, providing more detailed monitoring and personalized treatments to those at greatest risk. It would also allow doctors to test preventative treatments, rather than only managing symptoms after they appear.

We are looking for people who: 

  • are at least 19 years of age
  • are at or before the 14th week of pregnancy
  • have 1 high-risk OR 2 moderate-risk factors for pre-eclampsia (listed below)
High-risk factors include:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Type 1 or 2 diabetes
  • Chronic hypertension
  • A hypertensive disorder in a previous pregnancy
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Complications in a previous pregnancy related to the placenta
Moderate-risk factors include:

  • Having never given birth to a live baby
  • Age greater than 35 years old
  • BMI greater than 30 kg/m²
  • Family history of preeclampsia (mother or sister)
  • Assisted reproduction (including in vitro fertilization)
  • African-American race
  • Sleep apnea
  • Connective tissue disease
Participation in this research study will last approximately 8 months and will include 2 visits to the hospital. The first visit will occur in your first trimester and take approximately 90 minutes, while the second visit will occur in your second trimester and will take around 60 minutes. 

At both visits, you will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires, have some blood drawn, and have your arterial stiffness measured. There will also be an Uterine Artery Doppler (UAD) ultrasound done at the second visit which will be performed as a part of your standard care when possible. 

After you give birth, we will review your medical chart to obtain information on your birth and post-birth treatment. We will also collect basic information about the birth of your baby to better understand the outcome of your pregnancy. 

We will reimburse you for any parking expenses during the study visits up to $8.75 per study visit.

To learn more about the study or to participate, please email our Research Assistant/Research Coordinator at, or call 604-612-9716.

Research and You

About consent

Your written consent is always required before you take part in a research study. Before you make your decision:

  • it is important to be informed
  • ask questions to understand the research study
  • take the time you need to think about it
  • and talk it over with a family member or your doctor if you need to.
  • each study is different and a study team member will explain the purpose of the research, the benefits of the study, possible risks, and what is supposed to be learned. 

Thinking about taking part

If you are taking part in a study remember:

  • it is always your choice
  • you can change your mind at any time
  • you will always receive the best possible care whether or not you are in a study
  • information about you is only shared with your consent
  • information collected about you is used only for the research study you consented to participate in
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