Will Small

  • Interim Director, CARMHA and Assistant Professor FHS

Phone: 778-782-3474
Email: wsmall@sfu.ca


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.

At CARMHA Dr. Small is the principal investigator of several projects such as the Prevalence and Distribution Study which aims to provide up to date epidemiological prevalence and distribution estimates of adults in BC for selected mental disorders and substance use disorders. Dr. Small is also the principal investigator of the Public Health System Innovations (PHSI) study which aims to examine the system flow impact of two new and innovative mental health service programs to be implemented, the “Access and Assessment Centre” and The HUB which will provide rapid assessment and screening to individuals with complex and concurrent disorders.