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Participant recruitment is a major challenge in many research studies involving human subjects. Recruitment involves a number of activities, including identifying eligible participants, adequately explaining the study to the potential participants, recruiting an adequate sample based on study goals and design, obtaining informed consent and maintaining ethical standards, and retaining participants until study completion.

Below is a list of current studies requiring volunteers:

Advanced Care Planning for End of Life Care (University of British Columbia)

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are interested in talking to patients with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, their caregivers, and healthcare providers, about their views on advanced care planning (ACP) for end-of-life health care decisions. This might include important future decisions related to: medications, treatment, artificial nutrition and hydration, mobility and/or cognition at end of life.

For more information, please view the PDF handout on this study.

Questions about this research study can be forwarded to:
Kim Jameson, PhD Candidate
kim.jameson@ubc.ca or 604.822.5392

Biomedical Technical Research (Simon Fraser University)

This proposed study is designed to investigate the effect of Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) on the gait (i.e. manner of walking) of individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). GVS is a non-invasive technique that has been used in healthy individuals and individuals with stroke and PD.

The testing protocol will be performed at the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey or Burnaby campus, or City Centre 1 (CC1, Surrey) or during a home visit. [view study flyer]

For full details on this study: [download summary]

Bindu Mohan | bmohan@sfu.ca | (778) 782-5188

Tremor is an unintentional and rhythmic shaking movement that is repeated over and over in one or more parts of the body, especially in the hands and head. In this study, the focus is on suppressing elbow tremor via a Wearable Biomechanical Device (WBD). The WBD is a prototype, low risk device, developed in the lab. The WBD consists of an orthosis (brace), covering the upper arm and forearm, which can absorb tremor motions when activated.

For full details on this study and participant requirements: [download summary]

Gil Herrnstadt | Phone: 778-889-6277 | Email: gherrnst@sfu.ca
MASc Candidate at MENRVA Research Laboratory 
Simon Fraser University

Brain Research (Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre)

The Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine is currently recruiting research participants for a number of different studies. For more information or to register for any of the studies listed below, please contact Christy Jones at 604-822-9722. 

Effect of Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) on balance and walking in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 55-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls. 

Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) as a prospective treatment for apathy in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 18-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (with or without apathy) or healthy controls.

Download the recruitment poster for GVS studies here

Sweat as a biomarker in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 40-70, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls.

EEG biofeedback in Parkinson's disease 
Eligibility: Individuals aged 40-70, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.   

Effect of transcranial alternating current stimulation on tremor in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 55-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and with resting tremor. 

Electrical brain stimulation as a prospective treatment for Parkinson's disease 
Eligibility: Individuals aged 18-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls. 

Using smartphone games to assess cognitive changes in Parkinson's disease 
Eligibility: Individuals aged 18-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls. 

Caffeine Study in PD (Halifax Dalhousie University)

Parkinson's disease (PD) is diagnosed clinically based on the onset of motor symptoms like bradykinesia, akinesia, tremors and postural instability. Unfortunately, these motor symptoms become apparent when the underlying pathological process is already well underway.

This project is designed towards exploring ways to diagnose PD sooner in people at increased risk for developing it, such as people who have first-degree relatives (i.e., parents or siblings) with PD. Specifically, we are investigating the association between olfaction and caffeine intake, and the risk for developing PD in first-degree relatives of PD patients. Caffeine intake is one of the various environmental and lifestyle risk factors that has been found to be associated with PD.

Participants will be required to fill-out demographic information, and caffeine-intake questionnaires, as well as perform a self-administered smell test. This will be conducted entirely over regular mail (and through initial Email correspondence). Postage will be paid for, and a $10 honorarium is offered to participants who participate in this study.


  • 40-65 years of age
  • In good physical health
  • Have a Canadian postal address
  • Have an Email account

For full details [view pdf]

Interested participants are encouraged to contact Dalhousie University by email [pdadstudy@gmail.com] or telephone 902.473.3147 by August, 2017.

Caregiver Resilience and Coping Resources (York University, Toronto)

Study Name:
Caregiver Resilience and Coping Resources

Purpose of the Research
There is an increase in informal caregivers and a concern for their overall well-being. Informal caregivers are at increased risk of conditions that may negatively contribute to their overall health leading to caregiver burden. Therefore, the first aim of this study is to add to the knowledge of caregiver social support use by examining the relationship between caregivers' confidence, ability, and resilience when managing caregiving responsibilities and their attitude towards social supports.

The second aim is to better understand the concept of resilience in caregivers and to gain insight on how self-efficacy and language as a resource influences coping mechanism and resilience. Ultimately, the result of this research may help service providers improve supports and interventions to increase caregiver support resources such as personal skills and abilities and support networks.

To participate in this study

The approximate time it may take to complete the questionnaires is 30 minutes. *Note: Participants may have another person help them complete the questionnaires by reading questions or filling in participants' responses.

Participants have a chance to win one of five $10 Tim Hortons gift cards.

For more information, please contact
Joanna Cheung Kwan Leung: joanche8@my.yorku.ca
Tonino Iafrate: tonino8@my.yorku.ca

Caregiver Burden (University of British Columbia)

Researchers from the University of British Columbia are looking for volunteers to participate in a study examining caregiver burden and caregiver technologies.

Health Technology Assessment: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Parkinson's disease

The Health Technology Review (HTR) is a joint Ministry of Health and Health Authority process used to provide evidence-informed recommendations about which new non-drug health technologies (tools, devices, diagnostics and procedures) should be publicly provided in the province of BC. Recently, a decision was made by the BC Ministry of Health to look at Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and Duodopa gel for patients with advanced stage Parkinson's disease.

Read PSBC's Four Point Advocacy Plan for more information about how expanding DBS could improve care for Parkinson's patients in British Columbia. 

The purpose for engaging patients is for the research team to gain an understanding of the outcomes that are important to patients, alongside their perceptions and experiences of the treatments available for advanced stage Parkinson's disease, to guide evaluation of the clinical literature and health policy. The research team will be conducting phone interviews and focus group sessions that will last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours maximum, and will be arranged via phone conference OR at the Vancouver General Hospital Research Pavilion, respectively. Expenses related to local travel costs for focus groups will be reimbursed by cash payment, immediately after the focus group meeting, to a maximum amount of $20.00. Volunteers will be asked to sign a receipt to confirm the reimbursed amount. 

If you have experience with advanced Parkinson's disease and would like to share your experiences, please fill out the recruitment flyer.

Download this Patient Voice Network form for additional information.  


  • Must be a resident of BC
  • Must be proficient in speaking English
  • Must be older than 19 years of age
  • Comfortable with sharing experienced with advanced stage of Parkinson's disease
  • Able to receive incoming calls within BC without any additional fees

If you have any questions about this study, please contact Selva Bayat at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation [selva.bayat@ubc.ca] or 604-875-4111 ext. 61732. 

Low Hand Dexterity (Kwantlen Polytechnic University)

Does your furniture limit you?

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is conducting an academic under-graduate research design project that aims to increase the quality of life for people who have low hand dexterity.

Interviews will be conducted over the phone, by email or in person, with participants who are willing to share their experiences*.

If you are interested in helping with the project, please contact:
Toby Doan | 604.369.5296 | Email: Project.ws2017@gmail.com

Research Ethics Board – Certificate of Approval [download]


The protocol for this project has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Board of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects.

*All information from participants and interviews will not be disclosed unless consent is given.

Patient and Family Partners in Research (Providence Health Care)

Providence Health Care is looking for Patient Family Partners (PFP) who have been involved as advisors or team members determining research priorities, to share their experiences. This study will take the shape of a focus group or interview in Vancouver, or a phone or webinar from anywhere in Canada.

The information you provide will be reviewed and a report will be written with recommendations for health care leaders and researchers. This report will hopefully increase inclusion of PFPs on research teams. If you are interested, email Research Assistant, Wilma Chang: wchang@providencehealth.bc.ca or phone 604 806 9313 by May 31, 2016.

For more information, please download the informational flyer.

PD and Research of the Gut and Nose (University of British Columbia)

Parkinson's disease and the microbiome of the gut and nose

A new research interest of Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre (PPRC)

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are recruiting patients with typical PD and healthy controls, between the ages of 40-80, who are interested in participating in research in Parkinson's disease and the microbiome

Recent evidence suggests that a connection exists between the gut and the brain, and that certain conditions in the gut might be associated with neurological functioning and disease. Research suggests that people with Parkinson's differ from healthy controls with respect to the bacteria present in their gut (the gut microbiome), but further research is required to better understand the associations between the microbiome and Parkinson's disease.

Participation involves one study visit (2 hours) at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at University of British Columbia.

If you would like more information or you would like to participate in this study, please contact Ella Golz (Research Coordinator) at 604-827-1905.

Visual and Ocular Motor Dysfunction in PD (University of British Columbia)

This study aims at testing visual abilities and eye movements in patients with Parkinson's disease. In order to determine effects of healthy aging on these functions, healthy volunteers are needed to serve as a control group.


  • You must be between 60 and 85 years of age.
  • You must have normal or corrected-to-normal visual acuity.
  • You must have no history of neurological, psychiatric or eye disease.

You will be asked to participate in one testing session lasting approximately 2 hours. During this session, you will first complete a number of short assessments to test your vision and cognitive abilities. You will then view visual stimuli on a computer monitor while your eye movements are being recorded using a video-based eye-tracker. In this study, your ability to look at or track simple visual objects on a computer monitor with your eyes will be tested. In some tasks, you will be asked to make simple choices about these objects. Your participation may help us better understand sensory, perceptual and cognitive impairments in PD, and potentially help in the diagnosis and prognosis of symptom progression in this disease. Parking will be reimbursed upon request.

Between June 1 and November 30, 2017.

2366 Main Mall – UBC Campus
Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS)
Room X725

Dr. Miriam Spering | Assistant Professor
Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Neuroscience of Vision and Action (NOVA) Lab
VCH Research Institute Affiliated Investigator

Christina Jones | 604.822.9722 | Email:  christina.jones@ubc.ca
Kiran Mann | Email: gurkiran.mann@alumni.ubc.ca

To learn more about this study, visit: vchri.ca/participate

Walking Aid Focus Group (BCIT)

Researchers at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are conducting a study to get feedback on a novel walking aid. The information gathered in the focus group will be used to investigate the feasibility of the device and inform future revisions of the design.

To be eligible for this study, you must:

  • have a limitation that affects your ability to walk or stand.
  • have pain, fatigue, discomfort, OR a medical condition such as Fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Scleroderma, back or joint problems or other medical condition that affects your ability to walk or stand for a period of time.
  • currently use a cane, crutches, or a walker or have considered using assistive technology to help with your mobility or standing.
  • be able to walk 15 metres without the assistance of another person.
  • live independently in the community or in an Independent Living facility.
  • be able to effectively communicate in English.

If you are eligible and choose to participate, you will be required to attend a 90-minute session in which you will be asked to contribute to a focus group discussion related to mobility devices. You will be shown a demonstration of an existing device and invited to try it. The session will be held at the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation at the BCIT Burnaby Campus, located at 4355 Mathissi Place in Burnaby.

All enrolled persons will be paid $75 for their participation.

To learn more about this research or to sign up for the focus group, please contact:
Angie Wong
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Tel: 604.451.6934 | Email: angie_wong@bcit.ca

Understanding Patient/Client Partnerships (University of Toronto)

Have you ever been a patient?

Students from more than 11 health professions at the University of Toronto are seeking volunteers to:

  • Share experiences with healthcare students
  • Challenge students' thinking of teamwork and the patient experience
  • Be involved in an innovative, collaborative learning opportunity

Applicants living in BC must have a working internet connection and be able to communicate via Skype.

Date: January 22, 2018 | 3:30pm – 6:00pm
Contact: sabrina.bartlett@uhn.ca | 1.416.603.5800 (Ex: 3814)

For detailed information: [download pdf]