Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences Graduate Program (WACH)

BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute

UPDATED Feb 9 2024

The Departments of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Pediatrics are collaborating on the development of an umbrella program for graduate student training in Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences (WACH). The term Women+ embraces women, transgender, and non-binary individuals.

The program and training will be interdisciplinary, building on the strengths of our Biomedical and Clinician-Scientists, whose research encompasses biomedical, clinical, health services, and population health in multiple disciplines that include translational and precision medicine. Other important disciplines for the program include social sciences, data science, implementation science, biomedical engineering, and health economics, while rethinking the pedagogy and curriculum structure.

There are 3 WACH Degrees Offered:
• MSc Program
• PhD Program
• Enhanced Scholars Program

The Women+ and Children’s Health Sciences (WACH) Program curriculum is based on creating scientific experts that have career competencies across six domains, including scholarship, professionalism, communication, collaboration, leadership and advocacy. These competencies are represented by the Competency Passport Framework (ComPass).

WACH learners choose one of 3 streams and complete courses and training relevant to their chosen stream:
• Women+ Health
• Child Health
• Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (RDS)

Visit the WACH program page

Interested students are required to confirm a research supervisor prior to applying.

The WACH program is excited to add new supervisors to the program every week!

The WACH program recently welcomed these dynamic supervisors in Women+ Health:

• Dr. Lori Brotto is a professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a registered psychologist. She is also the executive director of the Women’s Health Research Institute of BC located at BC Women’s Hospital.

• Dr. Gillian Hanley is a successful recipient of a Tier 2, Canada Research Chair in Population-based Gynecologic and Perinatal outcomes.

• Dr. Paul Yong (MD, PhD, FRCSC) is a Gynaecologist at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis and directs the Research Program at the BC Women’s Centre for Pelvic Pain & Endometriosis.

Visit the WACH program page

Master of Science Opportunity in Indigenous Health Services Research

A fully-funded 2-year Master of Science position is available in the Women+ and Children’s Health graduate program at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Munro.

The MSc student will complete their training as part of the CIHR-funded STORY Project, Improving access to family planning services for Indigenous peoples through storytelling. The student will have an opportunity to craft a thesis question that aligns with the research project, their own research interests, and community partner input. They will join a vibrant, interdisciplinary cohort of learners, including graduate students and health professionals. The student will be supported through a mentorship network of Indigenous scholars, leaders, Elders, and knowledge keepers. Preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit.

For further details on curriculum design please click here.

If you would like additional information on the development of this exciting new program please email Natalie Twohey, Program Manager.