Medical Education Research & Scholarship Requests

The Faculty of Medicine of UBC is committed to advancing research and scholarship as part of its Mission. At the same time, the Faculty is committed to ensuring that its learners are not overly burdened by requests to provide data and that a clear delineation is made between data being collected for the immediate purpose of quality improvement or program accountability (i.e. program evaluation), and data being collected for the purpose of more fundamental advances in understanding (i.e. research).

Learners in the Faculty of Medicine are routinely asked to complete studies and participate in other forms of program evaluation to ensure continuous improvement of the program and to meet accreditation standards. This is the priority of the Faculty of Medicine. Educational research involving these trainees is considered important for the long-term viability of the educational processes, but it is recognized that learners can become confused about whether a study is part of planned program evaluation conducted by the Faculty, an independent survey designed by a department or course leader, or a free-standing research project, and may, as a result, be uncertain of their obligations and freedoms.

Learner Access Advisory Council

The purpose of the Learner Access Advisory Council (LAAC) is to advise the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) on access to UBC MD undergraduate students for the purposes of recruitment into research and non-programmatic quality improvement studies. For committee composition please see the Terms of Reference.

Note that the LAAC is the only Faculty of Medicine sanctioned mechanism for accessing MD students for non-programmatic study recruitment purposes. All non-programmatic quality improvement, evaluation/feedback, and research participation requests must follow the LAAC submission and approval process (see details below); no requests are to be sent using other channels (e.g. One-45, course email lists, class listservs, etc.).

Exceptions: Formal programmatic evaluation activities overseen by the UGME Program and/or Evaluation Studies Unit are currently exempt from this requirement, and will continue to be distributed via programmatic channels. It is expected that evaluation activities for UGME courses/activities will be approved by the appropriate course director prior to distribution (course directors are responsible for managing the student workload related to their course).

Submission and Approval Process

Submission Process

Please provide a completed submission form, including all requested supporting documentation, to

Please review the submission form for further guidance.

Confirmation of ethics approval from the home institution of the Principal Investigator is required for all submissions.

Approval Process

Submissions will be discussed and approved by the LAAC at monthly Council meetings. The monthly deadline for review is the second Monday of the month. Any applications received after this day will be held for review the following month.

Recruitment information and links for approved research opportunities are issued to students on the first Thursday of the month following approval, unless otherwise agreed. Each approved application will be distributed twice, in consecutive months unless otherwise requested by the applicant. Additional distributions will be considered by the Council on a case by case basis and must be accompanied by a solid rationale.

Considerations and privacy

Studies that may yield benefits to the current and/or future medical students will be given priority. Students will be made aware of the difference between the professional obligation to participate in the Faculty of Medicine’s own evaluations of its educational program and their right to choose to participate in independent educational research request studies.

For approved studies that involve e-mail contact with students, the information will be disseminated directly to the students from the relevant university office. Under no circumstances will educational researchers be given direct access to university databases or e-mail addresses.

Contact Information

For further information regarding the LAAC please refer to the Terms of Reference or contact the UGME Office at


  • Operational Approval (select ‘Operational Approval’ tab)
  • Further information regarding Institutional Ethics Approval
  • For Curriculum Pilot and Quality Improvement Submissions: Please contact Dr. Adrian Yee, UGME Director Curriculum ( and Dr. Richard Lazenby, FLEX Site Director, NMP ( for all Curriculum Pilot and Quality Improvement applications before submitting your research application.