Susan Cox

Associate Professor
School of Population and Public Health

Susan is an Associate Professor, and Acting Director of The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics. She is also an Affiliate in the Department of Sociology at UBC. As a sociologist and qualitative health researcher, Susan has extensive experience in applying the methods of the social sciences to applied ethics research and practice.
Susan’s recent research focuses in three areas:
1) Research ethics, especially the meaning and experience of being a human subject in health research and how this may better inform an evidence-based approach to research ethics and its governance
2) Arts based methods in health research, especially the use of various artistic approaches to actually doing research as well as disseminating the findings in non-traditional ways
3) Illness experiences throughout the life course, especially as they are shaped by as well as reflected through narrative.

Susan is active within the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, is a member of the Advisory Council for the Arts Health Network Canada and serves as a member of the Research Ethics Board at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.

Primary Recipient Awards

Exploratory Workshops, Susan Cox, 2009

Susan Cox

The workshop was held November 20-22, 2009.

Arts-based initiatives have emerged over the last few decades as promising avenues for innovation in qualitative research. As a result, researchers in various disciplines are experimenting with novel forms of inquiry and data representation, such as dance, drama, fiction, poetry, songs, visual arts, etc. If much has been written about the form, the content and the legitimacy of these novel research methods, it seems that other important questions have been neglected.

Drawing on the empirical works of our UBC interdisciplinary research team, we wish to open up to a larger audience the discussion about these under-studied issues. Our proposed workshop will thus explore the following questions with a particular focus on health research:

  1. What is unique about using arts-based methods in health research as opposed to other fields of research such as education or law?
  2. Are researchers more interested in the process of creating/using the arts or are they more interested in the outcome and its impact?
  3. What level of professionalism and core competence is required from artist/performers versus what is required from lay artists?
  4. Does the art form have to be executed to a high professional standard to be effective or can lay artists also contribute to effective forms of inquiry and methods for conveying research results?
  5. Which methods and forms of artistic expression are most effective for knowledge dissemination? for which audiences (e.g. general public, policy-makers, researchers, etc.)? which topics? and why?
  6. What are the priorities for research on the uses of arts-based methods in health research?