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Reducing morbidity and mortality and enhancing quality of life

Informing Policy

Transforming health care at the local, national and international levels

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With more than 80 scientists, research at Advancing Health encompasses a wide breadth of areas


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Research Resources

From design to execution, Advancing Health provides a broad range of support services

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Research Services

In addition to leading our own studies, the Centre’s other primary function is to support clinical investigators and researchers in conducting high-quality health research.

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Our Research Support Services

From design to execution, Advancing Health provides a broad range of support services including project management, methodology, and regulatory affairs. Advancing Health staff actively manage projects that ultimately contribute to the betterment of health systems at the local, national, and international levels.

Services Type

See available services below.

Data Management

Our dedicated team of data management experts provide a diverse range of data services, including case report form generation, database management, randomization and drug management systems creation, and data entry.

Grant Facilitation

We offer a number of services in this area, including budget and methodological consults to help you with preparing your grant submissions.

Health Economics

Our team of economists brings a broad range of expertise to support health research including work in the areas of personalized medicine, health technology assessment, pharmacoeconomics, cost-effectiveness analyses, decision analysis, patient preferences, and determining the impact of lost productivity.


We understand the importance of engaging with stakeholders at all levels to enable, promote, and disseminate evidence-based treatment, practice, and policy. Our program evaluation experts will facilitate the uptake of new knowledge and help to ensure the most efficient pathways to your goals and outcomes.

Project Management

Our seasoned research coordinators and project managers can provide study management, monitoring, and recruitment services to ensure the seamless operation of your clinical trial.

Qualitative Research

Advancing Health provides qualitative support at any or all stages of research. Specifically, we provide support services related to study design, confidentiality and privacy, development of data collection tools, data collection & analysis, and manuscript preparation. Our staff can also provide support on mixed-methods research that involves techniques to interpret qualitative and quantitative data together, or in succession.

Regulatory Affairs

Advancing Health houses regulatory and QA/QC specialists that can assist with your research start-up and application process. Our experts can deliver guidance on your ethics application, support you with understanding and applying the various regulations from governing authorities, and work to ensure that your research process meets industry standards.

Study Methodology & Statistics

Advancing Health methodologists and statisticians can work with you to support study design and methodological planning, randomization schemes, and data analysis (including developing and carrying out a statistical analysis plan).

Trial Monitoring & Auditing

We have certified monitoring personnel on staff who can provide monitoring and auditing services, including the development of monitoring plans, monitoring sites for data quality, and GCP and protocol compliance. We can provide support in the event of a regulatory or sponsor inspection of your clinical trial.

Communications & Knowledge Mobilization

Our communications and knowledge mobilization experts provide support for the design, planning, and implementation of integrated and end-of-grant knowledge mobilization, strategic communications, multi-media projects. Further, our team helps guide the evaluation and reporting of impact by asking the important questions and making sure we measure what matters.

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From design to execution, Advancing Health staff provide a broad range of support services. Request a consult today.

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Navigating the Clinical Research Process

It is important to plan all aspects of your clinical research study as early as possible, and prior to beginning your project, to prevent challenges in data collection, human resources, budgets, regulatory compliance, or timelines. Dedicate significant time to designing your study: clearly articulate your objectives, hypothesis, and how you will meet these objectives. If necessary, be sure to obtain professional advice on protocol design, data collection, and analyses. Advancing Health provides a wide range of support services for clinical researchers.

Advancing Health also provides a one-hour free consultation. We recommend that you conduct a literature review and prepare specific questions prior to your consultation to ensure that you get the most out  of your consultation. To help you prepare, our staff have prepared questions that they routinely ask during the consultation process. View this document here.

Project Development

How to go from an idea to a proposal to a research protocol.

A proper literature search is integral to defining your research question and designing your study.

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If your research question is too broad, you will have difficulty designing a focused study and collecting data to answer your hypothesis. If it’s too narrow, you will have difficulty finding the appropriate participants.

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If you need to create a proposal to apply for funding, and the funding agency does not have its own template, you can use the Advancing Health template.

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CIHR is the primary source of federal funds for health research in Canada; other suggestions for funding include disease-related foundations, industry partners, and local research organizations.

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While you can use your proposal as a template for your protocol, a proposal is written to only obtain support for your study. A study protocol contains detailed instructions on how the study will be conducted and includes information to meet regulatory requirements.

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Project Set-Up

Depending on the complexity of your study and assuming reasonable turnaround times, an estimated timeline for project set-up is from 4 to 9 months.

There can be a significant overlap between Quality Improvement (QI) and research. Generally, QI is conducted to improve or measure the effectiveness of a program or service; research is a more structured investigation designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge.

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Health Canada Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs), ethics submission, contract review, and administrative approvals can often be undertaken simultaneously. Check with your local institution’s research administration for more information.

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Approvals required for a clinical research project can include Health Canada, ethics, and organizational approvals, as well as trial registration.

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Any contract or agreement necessary to start your research study should be run through your contracts office. This includes confidentiality agreements, sub-site agreements, or industry clinical trial agreements, among others.

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All Health Canada-regulated clinical trials require maintenance of essential documents. It’s strongly recommended that all non-regulated research studies maintain these documents to comply with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines.

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Most Research Ethics Boards require that study team members complete basic training in research ethics, as well as specific training related to the study protocol, like the transportation of dangerous goods.

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You may wish to conduct a needs assessment in advance to determine your human resource requirements to perform the study. For example, how much work will this study entail and what sort of training is required? For Health Canada regulated clinical trials, you are required to conduct this needs assessment prior to hiring staff.

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For Health Canada regulated clinical trials, you are required to provide oversight on the study to ensure it is conducted in accordance with the protocol, SOPs, GCP, and local requirements.

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Project Execution

How to carry out your project, including managing recruitment, monitoring, analysis, publications, and archiving.

Recruitment and participant retention can be the most challenging aspect of any clinical research study. A potential study participant may meet all the inclusion/exclusion criteria, but find the time commitment too onerous, the study too complicated, or be worried about how participation may affect their disease. You should have a realistic recruitment plan in place: site databases, social media, and print advertising are just some suggested recruitment strategies. Note that any recruitment materials must be approved by the REB.

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Once the study is complete, you will need to contact a biostatistician (preferably the one who created the statistical section in the protocol, or the statistical analysis plan in regulated studies) to analyze the data. Advancing Health provides one hour of free consultation as well as statistical analysis services at a reasonable cost.

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If you decide to publish a manuscript, each journal has its own format and guidelines for manuscript preparation. For general rules, the EQUAtor website has a searchable database for reporting guidelines.

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If your study is a clinical trial regulated by Health Canada, you are required by Health Canada to retain study documents for 25 years after trial completion. UBC now offers records management/storage services at a reasonable cost.

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There are many other sources of information on designing and executing a research project.

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