William Small

Associate Professor
Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Ethno-spatial epidemiological methods, illicit drug use, HIV prevention


  • BA, Anthropology University of Victoria
  • MA, Anthropology University of Victoria
  • PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies University of British Columbia


Dr. Small received his doctorate from the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010. He then completed two and a half years of postdoctoral training within the Department of Medicine (Division of AIDS) at UBC and the Australian National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research (now the Kirby Institute) at the University of New South Wales. Dr. Small joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU as an Assistant Professor in September 2012. He is also a Research Scientist at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. He currently holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Career Investigator Scholar Award.

Research interests

Dr. Small’s work has applied social science methods to study public health problems among illicit drug users, with a focus on HIV prevention and interventions designed to reduce drug-related harm. His current research program applies ethno-spatial epidemiological methods to examine the impact of social, structural and physical environments on HIV risk behaviour and HIV treatment-related outcomes among illicit drug users. This work employs an interdisciplinary approach integrating ethnographic observational fieldwork, in-depth interviews, and geo-spatial mapping techniques in connection with three prospective epidemiological cohort studies of illicit drug users based in Vancouver. These cohort studies include the At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS) of street-involved drug using youth, the Vancouver Injection Drug User Study (VIDUS) of HIV-negative injection drug users, and the AIDS Care Cohort to Evaluate Access to Survival Services (ACCESS) composed HIV-positive drug users.

Publications and activities

View Dr. William Small's publications here.