Clinical Research Methodology Program

Members of this program collaborate with health care practitioners on investigator-driven clinical research.

The team is dedicated to the promotion and facilitation of excellence in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical research within VCHA.

In 2010 the team was involved in over 50 new consultations and over 20 ongoing projects producing five publications and numerous conference presentations and grant submissions.   Projects originated with investigators from a variety of clinical departments and sites including Vancouver General Hospital, G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, UBC Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital. 

The team was also involved in educational activities with graduate students, interns, residents and fellows, presentation at departmental rounds, and a series of workshops, ‘Understanding Statistics in Medicine’.

There are three main streams of activity within this program: collaboration with clinical research teams in the design and conduct of clinical research studies, consultation and education.

Data Management Services

Our Data Manager can provide expertise on how best to capture, store, and manage data.  Services provided include:

  • Assistance with the design of case report forms
  • Implementation of data capture methods including scan-enabled forms and web-based forms
  • Design and maintenance of databases
  • Design and execution of database queries 

Statistical Consulting

Two PhD trained statisticians provide methodological advice including:

  • Choice of study design
  • Study sample size and power calculations
  • Development of analytical plans
  • Analysis of data 
  • Interpretation and presentation of results 


In collaboration with VCHRI members of the program deliver workshops about research design and introductory statistics.   

Specific training programs can be developed upon request.

Program Lead

Penny Brasher, Director

Penny is a Senior Research Scientist at C2E2 and an associate member of the Department of Statistics at UBC. She is the Statistical Editor for the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia and has served on several grant review committees and ethics boards. Dr. Brasher’s research interests include clinical research methodology, secondary use of administrative data and statistical education.