Angela Kaida (left) and Julia Smith (right). Photo: Women's Health Research Institute

FHS faculty and research partner win Women’s Health Research Institute grant, accolades

March 23, 2022

In January 2022, the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) announced that Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) associate professor Angela Kaida would be receiving one of seven 2021 WHRI Catalyst Grants. These research awards support projects that: support pilot studies in women’s and newborn’s health; test new approaches, methodologies or tools; bring new teams together; and/or support new research in women’s and newborn’s health from established researchers.

In this project, together with community partners and trainees, Kaida is looking to measure and identify recommendations for adapting and developing gender equity measures for use among diverse young women and gender nonbinary youth. A youth advisory committee (YAC) will be created to ensure meaningful youth participation. Cognitive interviews will be conducted with youth aged 16-29 with diverse ethnic/racial and socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders (cis, trans and gender non-binary inclusive), and relationship types (e.g., open, polyamorous) to assess youth perceptions of two to five commonly used gender equity measures. Once the data is collected, the YAC will be asked to provide recommendations to scale adaptations and development to reflect the diverse realities of young women and gender non-binary youth in BC.

“This BC-based cohort will be part of a participatory global youth project,” says Kaida. “We are hoping to address data gaps to better understand, and effectively monitor the progress of young women and gender nonbinary youth in accessing and enjoying equal rights.”

Kaida is not the only FHS faculty member whose work is being recognized by the WHRI. At the March 9, 2022 WHRI Women’s Health Research Symposium, FHS assistant professor Julia Smith and FHS research partner SANTHE (the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa) were also honored for their work as Champions in Women’s Health Research to Address Shared Global Challenges.

Smith was honoured with the Early Career Researcher Award, while SANTHE received the Global Partner Award. The WHRI praised all award recipients at the ceremony for exemplifying a commitment to addressing global challenges that impact the health of women and infants worldwide.

Smith is an interdisciplinary social scientist trained in policy analysis and political economy, with a focus on gender and health inequities using feminist, participatory, and rights-based approaches to global health. She is co-leading the Gender and COVID-19 Project, which brings together academics from around the world to conduct real-time gender analysis to identify and document the gendered dynamics of COVID-19 and gaps in preparedness and response.

SANTHE is a multinational network working together to empower African scientists, and combat HIV, Tuberculosis and HIV/TB co-infection through pioneering basic, clinical and translational research. SANTHE’s recent work on the frontline of global COVID-19 research, training the next generation of African scientists, and advocacy for gender equity in science (including a social media campaign called #GenderEquityInScience) has contributed greatly to addressing shared global challenges. FHS is a proud collaborative partner with SANTHE, working on multiple research and teaching projects through the work of Drs. Kaida, Mark Brockman, Malcolm Steinberg, and other faculty members.