W21C's interdisciplinary research team supports academic faculty, clinicians, non-profits, and companies by providing evidence, feedback, and validation services.

Logo for the University of Calgary
Logo of Alberta Health Services


W21C's interdisciplinary research team supports academic faculty, clinicians, non-profits, and companies by providing evidence, feedback, and validation services.

Logo for the University of Calgary
Logo of Alberta Health Services


W21C reviews all new services requests to ensure that the project fits within the mandate of the W21C and is aligned with the team’s research expertise and capacity. To set up a meeting to review your project’s needs, please first fill out the project intake form. Based on this we will work with you to develop a plan and identify resources to get you moving in the right direction.

Research Capabilities

Clinical Trial Design & Coordination

Support for protocol development, independent third-party review, or connection with subject matter experts and investigators.

Coordination support includes the start-up, initiation, and ongoing management of the trial.

Clinical Simulation

Clinical simulations can evaluate new clinical pathways, identify process improvement and optimization, and enhance hands-on learning experiences. W21C’s Healthcare Human Factors Simulation Laboratory, a highly adaptable observational environment, can be configured to create realistic scenarios and spaces that are comparable to actual healthcare environments.


Involves the equal partnership of individuals who experience the healthcare system, specifically patients and their families, and healthcare staff. We work with these groups to identify their needs and potential solutions, making full use of each other’s knowledge, resources, and contributions to achieve better outcomes or improved efficiency.

Data Management

Ongoing entry, privacy, security, and validation of data collected throughout the study, in addition to maintenance of case report forms, and adverse events to trial sponsors.

Ethics Development and Management

Drafting and submission of the required ethics applications to the University of Calgary’s Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. Includes maintenance of ethics applications, such as amendments and reporting.

Evaluation of Space and Systems Design

Assessment of the safety and efficacy of physical spaces such as facility layouts, workstation configurations, and hospital rooms. In addition to understanding the processes and variables of the health care system as whole. Both these evaluation methods can be paired with an interactive design of the environment.

Expert Reviews

A detailed expert examination of product designs against a set of standardized usability guidelines to identify design issues that may negatively impact the user experience during product interaction. This is a cost-effective evaluation that provides rapid, but detailed feedback on the evaluated system (e.g., digital interfaces, physical products).

Grant Writing Support

Compiling and entering necessary information for funding competitions such as the Canadian Common CV, ResearchNet applications, budgets, methods, and Knowledge Translation plans.

Human-Centred Design

An iterative design approach that focuses on the needs of the users by engaging them in every phase of the design process. This approach allows you to understand your user, what they want and don’t want from your design, and how they’re ultimately going to interact with each part of your product.

Knowledge Translation

Embedded within each of our projects, Knowledge Translation (KT) is a dynamic and iterative research process to create and translate new knowledge to improve health and healthcare. Support can be provided for KT planning, knowledge synthesis (interpreting and integrating existing evidence before designing and conducting additional research), exchange (informing evidenced-based decision-making) and dissemination through paper writing, conference presentations, and media engagement.

Literature Review

Examination and summary of current published information and the state of a topic to inform future research in the area. Support can be provided with identification of the type of literature search required, establishing the relevant databases, search strategy design, data synthesis and interpretation, and writing.

Medical & Scientific Oversight

Provision of medical expertise for clinical integrity, validity, and safety for the design and duration of the trial.

Needs Assessment

A process to determine the healthcare needs for a product, service, workflow or system innovation. It is used to establish the feasibility and utility of the proposed concept and identify areas for further consideration before additional investments are made. Results can be used as a strategic starting point for innovations in healthcare.

Participant Screening & Recruitment

Support includes the identification and randomization of eligible study participants, development of study recruitment materials, obtaining participant consent, and the administration of an intervention.

Specimen Collection

Collection of biological materials and transport to a laboratory for third-party analysis (including onsite phlebotomy and venipuncture services).

Stakeholder Engagement

Based on the research needs, we can identify and apply the appropriate tools to generate the best data from your stakeholders and participants. We can design and facilitate structured workshops, focus groups, or interviews to gather viewpoints or opinions from relevant user groups.

Survey & Questionnaire Support

Assisting with design, development, distribution, data compilation, and analysis of surveys and questionnaires that can be used to gather demographics, attitudes, or previous experiences. This information can be used to target new products, inform further design, or evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention or program.

Usability Testing

A method to evaluate a product or service by putting it into the hands of the end-users. Usability testing can be applied at any stage of development. Identifying and addressing usability problems early in the development process is more cost-effective, and results in more usable and satisfying products.

User Experience Research and Design

The user experience (UX) of digital interface focusses on understanding all aspects that contribute to the end user’s interaction with the system. The inclusion of UX design throughout the entire development process will help you understand and map user needs, product goals, and provide recommendations to mitigate potential usability issues. Digital interfaces can include websites, online platforms, and mobile applications.