UBC Flexible and Enhanced Learning (FLEX)

Overview and Eligibility

The CGSHE is a UBC and SFU affiliated academic centre that hosts a number of community-based and clinical research projects to reduce inequities in sexual health among marginalized and stigmatized populations, including street-involved populations, sex workers, sexual and gender minority populations (LGBTQ2S+), Indigenous, racialized and im/migrant populations and cis/trans women living with HIV. Our projects are grounded in community-based principles and locally operate out of a community/ clinical research office in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The CGSHE FLEX projects are open to current medical students enrolled at the University of British Columbia as a part of their Flexible and Enhanced Learning (FLEX) curriculum. They have been designed for highly motivated students who are interested in potentially pursuing a career in sexual health research centred on gender equity.

The FLEX Project is open to students at any site but must be completed onsite at either CGSHE St Paul’s Hospital offices /or CGSHE community office in Vancouver.

FLEX Project Opportunities

Students will gain research experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. FLEX activities include:

Introduction to Ethical Research with Marginalized Communities

Sexual Health Research Education

Research Projects

Students can select one of the following FLEX projects:

For this FLEX project, students will be involved in one of the many innovative clinical and community-based sexual health research projects at CGSHE. Outputs will include academic writing in the form of case reports, policy briefs, commentaries, systematic reviews or original research papers on sexual health and gender equity.

Project Deliverables

Students interested in a FLEX project will meet with a research supervisor at the CGSHE to discuss a potential research project of interest. To enhance the learning experience for the student, the student will be supported to independently develop a project of interest, carry out a research study and produce a deliverable (eg. a case report, systematic review, manuscript suitable for publication, presentation at a scientific meeting, or other project to be determined together with a research supervisor). The project(s) can be expected to take approx. 100 hours, depending on scope of the project selected.

The majority of the time (75%) will be dedicated to the research activities. The remainder of the time (25%) may also incorporate exposure to relevant sexual health community and clinical research ‘encounters’ that will allow for the medical student to gain first-hand experience in the field and support their research project. Supported community-based research and clinical activities will include visits to and working from CGSHE community office and ethnographic fieldwork with community research staff including site visits to local sexual health and gender-centred services, meeting with sexual health clinical staff, and participation and presentation at CGSHE research training events (e.g. monthly trainee meetings; CGSHE Speaker Series).


• Arveen Kaur (CGSHE Program Manager)
• Dr. Kate Shannon
• Dr. Andrea Krusi
• Dr. Kathleen Deering


There are no prior requirements for this elective
. There are no projected Student Expenses.

Timeline for Applications

Availability of student placements are limited. Students are encouraged to apply early.

Application Details

Please send applications with CV to
Note: You will need to provide a copy of your CV during the application process.