Researcher Advisory Committee

The Researcher Advisory Committee represents and communicates the diverse needs and viewpoints of the research community in relation to data-driven research supported by PopData. Input from researchers informs strategic decisions about acquisition of new data sources; provision of new technical, training, or other supports; and design of other engagement activities.

The Committee includes 9-15 researchers at any one time. All members are people who are eligible to apply for access to data through PopData, i.e. will have a university appointment. Preference is given to researchers based in British Columbia. The membership reflects a mix of disciplinary interests and expertise as it relates to health, development and well-being. Considerations of equity according to geography, gender, and career stage complement these competencies. Members of the Committee are appointed for four years with a possibility of renewal. This is a volunteer Committee and each member serves without remuneration.

Role and key activities

The main role of the Committee is to provide researcher perspectives and input on:

  • Aspirations for research innovation and current barriers to those aspirations, including but not limited to:
    • Ability to work with a variety of funding partners.
    • National and international collaborations.
  • Priorities for new data development and/or acquisition.
  • Infrastructure and other technical support needs, including but not limited to:
    • Supports such as high-capacity servers or graphics processing units (GPUs) for machine learning.
    • Supports for distributed analysis, multi-provincial analysis, and /or international collaborations.
    • Software and other tools for data analysis.
  • Services and training materials that support data-finding and requests for data access (e.g. metadata, feasibility questions).
  • Training courses and materials to support data analysis.
  • Materials that support both researcher rights and researcher responsibilities.
  • Guidance on researcher-acquired or researcher-collected data, where the intent is to link to other existing data.

Member responsibilities

Members are expected to:

  • Reflect the needs of researchers at all stages of career, from all relevant disciplines, and from all parts of British Columbia.
  • Foster and contribute to open, collaborative and respectful discussions.
  • Read and review all meeting materials and actively participate in meetings, drawing on knowledge, expertise and experience to provide constructive advice to PopData.

Meeting frequency and agenda

Meetings are scheduled for three times per year, roughly in October, February and June. Extraordinary meetings may be requested as needed by any member of the Committee; a final decision on that request will be made by the Chair.

The application period for applying to become a member of the RAC is closed.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Helmer-Smith at


Recently approved projects

Studying the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Palliative Home Care and Virtual Palliative Care

Evaluating Microdosing in Emergency Departments: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing the Effectiveness of Buprenorphine/Naloxone Microdosing vs. Standard Dosing

The changing landscape of maternity care in British Columbia and associated birth outcomes