On September 29th, 2021, the Michael Smith Health Research BC (Health Research BC) named Dan Nixon (Youth Peer Engagement Coordinator, Foundry BC), Dr. Kirsten Marchand, Dr. Krista Glowacki, Dr. Nikki Ow, Dr. Skye Barbic (Director of Research, Foundry BC) and their team among the 32 recipients receiving the 2021 Convening and Collaborating (C2) award for their project: Sharing the podium: identifying solutions to meaningfully collaborate with youth in mental health and substance use research. This project will engage key stakeholders in co-creating a set of recommendations to improve youth engagement and collaboration in mental health and substance use (MHSU) research.  

Foundry is thrilled to be part of this announcement which comes two weeks following the announcement of Dr. Kirsten Marchand and Dr. Krista Glowacki, as recipients of Health Research BC’s Research Trainee award. This marks the first time that Foundry has been honoured with two Health Research BC awards in the same year.  

“Since day 1, Health Research BC has been there to support Foundry. Through various programs, Health Research BC’s support allows us to build a network of academic, clinical, and youth leaders who are driving service innovation in BC for young people and families,” says Dr. Skye Barbic, Director of Research, Foundry and 3x Health Research BC awardee.

The Health Research BC’s C2 program promotes knowledge exchange and meaningful collaboration by supporting researchers, trainees and research users (those with lived experience) in co-developing research that can have a direct impact on patients and the public.  

Learn more about their project below: 

Sharing the podium: identifying solutions to meaningfully collaborate with youth in mental health and substance use research 

Mental health and substance use (MHSU) are key health concerns for youth in British Columbia. Involving youth in research for these topics improves the development of MHSU interventions and solutions. However, youth may not want to engage in MHSU research due to concerns around confidentiality, stigma, and other barriers. Researchers may also perceive barriers in finding and working with youth researchers. 

The main goal of this project is to identify barriers for youth engagement in MHSU research and recommend solutions for these issues. Two key activities – a small-group discussion (utilizing nominal group technique) and a World Café in-person (March-May 2022, pending COVID-19 restrictions) – will be used to bring youth and researchers together to identify the perceived barriers for each group and how these barriers can be overcome.    

From these findings, Foundry’s research team will synthesize results and outline a list of recommendations for youth engagement in MHSU research, and pursue additional funding for a pilot study using these recommendations. The pilot study will measure changes in youth research engagement and research outcomes due to the recommendations. 

Foundry’s second award recognition in 2021 

Youth engagement, research collaborations and co-design is central to our work at Foundry. We are deeply grateful to Health Research BC for their continuous support in enabling our researchers to lead this innovative work. 

Congratulations to Dan Nixon, Dr. Kirsten Marchand, Dr. Krista Glowacki, Dr. Nikki Ow, Dr. Skye Barbic and their team on this award!  

Special thanks to our partner and host institutions for making this possible: BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), Center for Gender and Sexual Health Equity (CGSHE)Foundry BCHuman Early Learning Partnership – UBC Research Network (HELP), Simon Fraser University (SFU)’s Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of British Columbia (UBC)’s Doctorate of Medicine and of Philosophy (MD-PhD) program, UBC Department of Occupational Science and Occupational TherapyUBC Faculty of MedicineUBC School of Population and Public Health, and the UBC Mental Health Youth and Family Research Advisory Panels (YRAP/FRAP). 

About the project team 

Project Lead: Dr. Skye Barbic, Director of Research, Foundry and 3x Health Research BC awardee

Research co-investigators: 

  • Dr. Anne Gadermann, Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health, UBC 
  • Dr. Sarah Munro, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, UBC 
  • Dr. Travis Salway, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU  
  • Dr. Hasina Samji, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU 

Research users:  

  • Dr. Amanda Butler, Research Manager, Foundry 
  • Dan Nixon, Youth Peer Engagement Coordinator, Foundry 
  • Dr. Renee Cormier, Knowledge Translation and Exchange Lead, Foundry  
  • Dr. Steve Mathias, Executive Director, Foundry  

Research trainees:  

  • Chloe Gao
  • Dr. Krista Glowacki
  • Dr. Kirsten Marchand
  • Dr. Nikki Ow

About Michael Smith Health Research BC and Foundry’s partnership 

Since our inception in 2015, Health Research BC was one of several organizations who provided critical funding to Foundry. This year, in celebration and honour of Health Research BC’s 20th anniversary, Foundry extends our deep gratitude and appreciation for our continued partnership with the Foundation. 

Learn more about Health Research BC’s Convening & Collaborating (C2) program. 



Keywords: health research BC, michael smith health research bc, health research, foundry, foundry BC, youth, youth research, British Columbia, mental health, substance use, health services, youth services, health care, research, researchers, the 2021 Convening and Collaborating award, C2 program, youth engagement, group discussion, announcement, Kirsten Marchand, Krista Glowacki, Skye Barbic, Nikki Ow, Dan Nixon