New Funding Opportunity to Protect and Nurture Early Child Development!

Saving Brains has just announced a $250,000 funding opportunity that aims to address the risk factors children living in adversity face by providing innovative solutions to promote health and nutrition, and protect against maltreatment.

This funding opportunity is open to applicants in low and middle income countries, as well as Canada, with the ultimate goal of tackling existing inequities.

We encourage all eligible applicants to apply! Please note all applications are due by October 11th at 3:00 pm ET.

Click here for more information.

Dr. Saraswathi Vedam Creates New Tool to Rate the Quality of Research in Place of Birth Outcomes!

Place of birth is known to affect health outcomes, specifically when comparing women who give birth at home with women who give birth in a hospital or centre. While there are many studies that examine this difference, different conclusions are often drawn regarding the safety of home, birth centre, or hospital. To address this inconsistency, Dr. Vedam and colleagues aimed to develop a reliable instrument, Birth Place Research Quality Index (ResQu Index), to rate the quality of primary research on maternal and newborn outcomes by place of birth. Higher-scoring studies have greater potential to inform evidence-based selection of birth place. The Index can also guide the design of future research on place of birth.

The instrument development process involved five phases:
1) generation of items and a weighted scoring system
2) content validation via a quantitative survey and a modified Delphi process with an international, multi-disciplinary panel of experts
3) inter-rater consistency
4) alignment with established research appraisal tools
5) pilot-testing of instrument usability

After 5 phases were completed the Birth Place Research Quality Index (ResQu Index) was fully developed. The tool is a reliable instrument to evaluate the quality of design, methods and interpretation of reported outcomes from research about place of birth. Higher-scoring studies have greater potential to inform evidence-based selection of birth place by clinicians, policy makers, and women and their families. The Index can also guide the design of future research on place of birth.

To access the full article in PLoS ONE, please click here.

BC SUPPORT Unit Calls for Abstracts!

Abstract Deadline: September 15th, 2017
Adjudication Completed:  September 29th, 2017
Notification of Acceptance:
October 6th, 2017

Do you have any patient-oriented research project, completed in whole or in part? The BC Support Unit want to help you get your patient-oriented research project out to your colleagues! Send in any patient-oriented research to the BC SUPPORT Unit at for the chance to:

  • Have your poster promoted on the BC SUPPORT Unit’s Posters webpage and on social media channels
  • Present your poster at our inaugural conference on November 9, 2017
  • Be acknowledged in the Unit’s newsletter, The Bulletin
  • Have an electronic copy of their poster archived on our website, available online
  • If interested, be invited to present a unit webinar on the project described in their poster

Click here for more information. Download the printable poster here.

BC Womens Hospital Research Rounds, in celebration of World Sexual Health Day 2017

This year’s theme for world sexual health day is Love, Bonding, and Intimacy.  This theme goes beyond the current definition of “intimacy” which almost always implies being sexual with another person. It aims to break the idea that sexuality is just having sex, integrating the emotional aspects of it, and the human need for bonding. The joyful part of it is the sharing of our own sexual health and sexuality with someone we love or people we choose.

In this extended rounds presentation, we will first hear from Jessica Ferreira who will present the results of her analysis of anonymous calls to the Options for Sexual Health “Sex Sense” line, from 2000-2016. Then we will hear three data blitz presentations (10 minutes each) on various sexual health research projects. Then we will have an open forum for questions and answers and networking for 30 minutes.

Michelle Fortin, new Executive Director for Options for Sexual Health, will be attending this special event and we will have an opportunity to hear from Michelle her vision for how Opt can continue is strong collaborations with BC Women’s Hospital and the WHRI.

WHRI Themes Have Been Updated!

The Mission of the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) is to: Create new knowledge and evidence-based solutions that inform and transform the health and health care of women and their families. Guided by this mission, for the past several years, the WHRI has organized its research around seven research themes, representing the scope of research led by its members. These have included: Women-specific cancers; Chronic disease; Sexual & Reproductive health; Maternal, Fetal, & Newborn health; Global Health; Genomics & Personalized health; and Reproductive Infectious Disease. Over the past several months, the WHRI, together with its Scientific Advisory group, a cross-pillar and multidisciplinary team of scientists, have critically examined our themes with the goal of better reflecting the work of its membership, and also identifying areas of women’s health research where there may be opportunities. The result of this process led to the creation of four themes, as follows:

  1. Acute and Chronic Diseases
  2. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  3. Health Services & Systems
  4. Population & Public Health

In addition, we have identified Cross-Cutting Principles, intended to be embedded across each of the four themes, and to help define some of the methods and approaches applicable throughout the research of WHRI members. The Cross-Cutting principles include:

  • Sex/Gender Methods
  • Equity in Health Research
  • Indigenous health and Indigenous research approaches
  • Cultural Competence
  • Health and social equity
  • Precision Health
  • Genomics and Microbiome
  • Lifespan/trajectories
  • Patient and Public Oriented Research

Please share these themes broadly within your various networks. We encourage our members to proudly display their affiliation with the WHRI in various academic and public presentations. If you would like a high-resolution JPEG of our themes or our WHRI logo, please contact us at

Save-The-Date: Aging Well for Women

On Thursday September 28th the Women’s Health Research Institute will be hosting a public forum entitled Aging Well for Women: How to Optimize Your Health Through Perimenopause, Menopause & Beyond. Dr. Nicole Todd, Joanie Sims-Gould, Liisa Galea, and WHRI Executive Director, Dr. Lori Brotto, will speak at the forum to discus topics such as hormones, exercise, memory and intimacy. This is a free event and we encourage everyone to attend! Please RSVP via email at


WHRI Announcing New Salary Award!

The Women’s Health Research Institute is proud to announce the establishment of a new salary award for a clinician-scientist in the UBC Department of Medical Genetics, funded by the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation. The award will allow the clinician to devote 30 hours/week to research, and will serve as a major catalyst for the incumbent’s research success. Applications will be accepted until September 30/17 and should be sent to

For more information please click here.

Save-The-Date: Ready, Set, Go! Moving Evidence into Practice and Policy

Workshop Date: Friday October 13th, 2017 (full day)
Application Deadline:  August 28th at 5:00pm PST
Successful Application Decision : Early September

Do you have evidence that is ready for implementation?  If so, the WHRI is pleased to announce that on Friday October 13, 2017 we are co-hosting “Ready, Set, Go! Moving Evidence into Practice and Policy”, a FREE full-day workshop with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

What is this about? This workshop will focus on how to mobilize an established body of evidence into action. Participants will learn about evidence-informed practical tools and strategies for putting knowledge into action in a practice or policy setting.

Who should participate? The workshop is designed for project teams who have a knowledge translation plan that is ready for implementation.

Workshop overview: The workshop includes lecture, practical application activities and group discussion. At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to do the following:
– Adapt knowledge translation and implementation principles to their programs and projects.
– Prioritize knowledge translation and implementation goals.
– Develop an implementation plan for their projects.

Workshop Highlights: This workshop provides a hands-on learning environment designed to help participants identify their implementation goals and develop an action plan to achieve them. With interactive activities and discussions to help build competencies in knowledge translation with an emphasis on implementation, participants will connect with others who are involved in implementing projects and learn from each other’s experiences, challenges and successes.

Facilitator: The workshop will be led by Dr. Donna Lockett, a Knowledge Translation specialist and co-founder of the Scientist Knowledge Translation Training (SKTT).

How do I participate?
– Complete the WHRI MSFHR Implementation Workshop Intake Form
– Complete the Knowledge Translation Planning Template:
– Send completed Intake Form and Knowledge Translation Template to by August 28th at 5 pm PST

Due to the specific nature of the content being delivered we will be asking project teams to submit descriptions of their evidence and knowledge translation plans.  The call for applications will be released in August 2017 and decisions will be finalized in early September 2017.

Please note this workshop only facilitate 30 participants. We hope to see you all there! If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Nicole Prestley, Research Manager at or 604-875-2424 ext 4956.

WHRI Researchers Recipients of MSFHR Scholar Awards!

The WHRI is proud to announce two of our highly respected researchers, Dr. Sarka Lisonkova and Dr. Elizabeth Rideout, were 2017 Scholar Award recipients through the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)!

Each year, MSFHR invests in British Columbia’s top researchers to continue to nurture their talent, advance new treatments and respond to health system priorities, therefore helping support the development and retention of BC’s research talent. The MSFHR Program focuses on “researchers who are building cutting-edge health research programs, training junior scientists and expanding their potential to make significant contributions to their field.”

Dr. Sarka Lisonkova is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine and an Associate Faculty member in the School of Population and Public Health. She obtained her medical degree from Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic before studying epidemiology in the US and Canada. She obtained an MSc in Epidemiology from the State University of New York, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the School of Population and Public Health, UBC. Dr. Lisonkova’s Scholar Award will support her research in improving maternal and perinatal health outcomes in high risk mothers.

After completing her BSc (Hons) at the University of Toronto, Dr. Elizabeth Rideout is currently combining her PhD and postdoctoral research to investigate how male-female difference in cellular metabolism lead to sex differences in body size, stress responses and aging. Dr. rideout’s scholar award will support her research in Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying sex differences in fat storage using Drosophila as a model.

For more information on the MSFHR Scholar Awards, please click here.

WHRI Member, Nichole Fairbrother, Featured on CBC News for Upcoming Childbirth Study

WHRI Member, Nichole Fairbrother, has been featured on CBC news for her upcoming study which investigates why some pregnant women experience a fear of childbirth, so severe it has a debilitating effect on their lives. The study is hoping to develop a screening tool that will allow researchers to distinguish between women who are suffering from a more normal level of fear of childbirth versus women who are suffering from more severe, clinically-meaningful fear.

The study is currently seeking participants who are pregnant, over 19 and reside in British Columbia.

To read the full article, click here.