How You Can Make a Difference
There are many ways you can shape the future of health in BC—whether it’s joining a clinical trial to test a new medical device or a drug. You might volunteer to help researchers design questionnaires that are relevant to patients, collect data or even help develop grant proposals.
Sign up to look for research opportunities that matter to you and your family, with the possibility of becoming a research participant in a study, or collaborating with researchers as a patient partner.
How It Works
Start by answering some questions about who you are, your health research interests, any conditions you may have, and how we can contact you. We’ll keep your information confidential and secure. It’s free to sign up and join REACH BC.
From time to time you’ll receive notifications about potential research opportunities that may be a good fit for you. You can respond and let the research team know if you’re interested. They’ll be in touch if it’s a match.
When you become a REACH BC volunteer, you’ll gain access to more detailed information about the research opportunities in REACH BC—including contact information for the research team of specific studies.
Before choosing to participate, you can get in touch with the people running the study to ask any questions you might have.
Want to learn more about research happening in BC? You can search the REACH BC directory without making any commitment. This is a great way to learn about the important health research in BC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I join REACH BC?
Health research is vital for expanding medical knowledge, and making new scientific discoveries to treat diseases and improve health care. But researchers are unable to do their work without the help of volunteers to participate in their studies.
This is where you come in. Regardless of your age, whether you are healthy or sick, you can help by becoming a REACH BC volunteer and participating in research in BC.
Who can join REACH BC?
Any resident of British Columbia, over the age of 16.
What is a research study?
A research study is science-based approach to advancing health care. Typically they examine the effects of certain interventions—like a new treatment, drug, device or behaviour. The goal is to answer specific questions related to preventing, diagnosing, or treating a disease or disorder.
A clinical trial is a type of research study that typically involves an intervention that examines testing the way patients are treated for their condition. This could involve testing a new drug, procedure or other intervention—like making a change to someone’s lifestyle through exercise or diet.
To learn more about what clinical trials are about, visit It Starts With Me.
What is a patient partner research opportunity?
Patient partners are a bit like volunteer research assistants. They may help researchers identify and prioritize research topics or questions, design studies, develop grant proposals, prepare for the execution of a study, collect data, analyze and interpret data, or to translate or disseminate knowledge.
Questions about being a patient partner in research?
Contact the BC SUPPORT Unit, a multi-partner organization created to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout British Columbia. There are regional contacts across the province who are happy to help! Find your regional contact here.
Where are the research opportunities located?
All research opportunities are posted from researchers located in British Columbia and can take place anywhere in the province. You’ll let us know whether you want to hear about research opportunities only within your own region, or if you’re willing to travel and want to hear about research opportunities from across all regions.
Please use this map as a reference of the regions of BC.
How does REACH BC use my personal information?
The information you provide will be used for the following purposes:
How is my personal information kept confidential and secure?
REACH BC is firmly committed to maintaining your confidentiality, respecting your privacy and protecting personal information as outlined in the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
How often will I receive emails from REACH BC?
REACH BC will send you your matched research opportunities on a weekly basis. But we will only email you when you’ve been matched with a potential study. This means that you might receive emails from us less frequently if there are no research opportunities available.
If you do not receive any emails, it means there are no current research opportunities available. You can update your profile to include more health areas of interest, and search the REACH BC Directory.
What happens after I am matched to a research opportunity?
You can login to your REACH BC account to learn more about the opportunity. You can then chose to click “I’m interested, contact me” or delete it if you’re not interested.
By clicking “I’m interested, contact me”, researchers are provided with your contact details and will contact you.
If you have not been contacted, it may be because one of the following reasons:
- The research team has a number of interested volunteers to follow up with and have not been able to contact you yet.
- The research team was unable to get a hold of you. Remember to keep your contact information up to date.
- The research team has found all the volunteers they needed before they were able to contact you.
You can always reach out to the research team directly through the contact information provided in the research opportunity details page. REACH BC encourages researchers to follow up with all interested volunteers.
Can I sign up without an email account?
At this time all REACH BC volunteers must have an email to sign up.