UBC Flexible & Enhanced Learning (FLEX)

Overview and Eligibility

The Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity is a University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser-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 (LGBTQ/2S+), 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 are designed for highly motivated students interested in potentially pursuing a career in sexual health research centred on gender equity.

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

CGSHE FLEX Project Opportunities

Students will gain research experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. FLEX activities include an introduction to ethical research with marginalized communities and sexual health research education.

Students can select one of the following FLEX research projects:

For their 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 CGSHE research supervisor to discuss a potential research project of interest. To enhance the learning experience, 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 about 100 hours, depending on scope of the project selected.

The majority of the time (75%) will be dedicated to the research activities. The remainder (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 such as monthly trainee meetings and the CGSHE Speaker Series.


  • Dr. Brittany Bingham
  • Dr. Kathleen Deering
  • Dr. Andrea Krusi
  • Dr. Kate Shannon


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 including CV to Carlie McPhee, Program Coordinator – Sexual Health: