Geoff Bardwell

Assistant Professor
Geoff Bardwell

Contact information

Office: LHN 3707


Research interests

My research seeks to understand how social, structural, political, and environmental contexts shape substance use and related public health interventions. I am a social scientist with training and expertise in qualitative and community-based participatory research. I have conducted research across Canada in various settings, including community health centres, inner-city drug scenes, housing environments, and small urban, rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. I enjoy working in collaboration across disciplines and on mixed-methods research teams to more comprehensively understand and shape policy and practice.

I am currently the Principal Investigator on several projects including a longitudinal study examining access to opioid agonist treatment in rural and Indigenous communities in British Columbia (funded by Vancouver Foundation) and a community-based research project examining injection drug use and access to health services in Northern Ontario (funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research).

In addition to this research, I also have many years of direct service experience working with people who use drugs. I have worked as a housing stability worker for a Housing First organization, at a needle and syringe program for an HIV/AIDS organization, and as a harm reduction street outreach worker. This direct service experience provided me valuable insights into the daily lives of people who use drugs and inspired me to pursue a career in drug policy research.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

I am currently accepting applications from graduate students with research interests related to:

  • Drug policy
  • Opioid agonist treatments
  • Community drug strategies
  • Critical perspectives on substance use and addictions

Graduate studies application details

Teaching interests

  • Substance use
  • Epistemology and ways of knowing
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • Rural health
  • Knowledge mobilization and health communications


BA Women’s Studies and Sociology, University of Western Ontario

MA, Kinesiology (Sociocultural Studies), University of Western Ontario

PhD, Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, University of Western Ontario

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Medicine (Division of Social Medicine), University of British Columbia and BC Centre on Substance Use

Selected publications

  1. Bardwell G, Perlman C (2024). Spatial analyses of health services and drug-related harms in urban and rural settings. The Lancet Public Health, 9, 2: e69.
  2. Bowles J, Mansoor M, Werb D, Kerr T, Bardwell G(2024). A qualitative assessment of tablet injectable opioid agonist therapy (TiOAT) in rural and smaller urban British Columbia: Motivations and initial impacts. Journal of Substance Use and Addiction Treatment, 157: 209185.
  3. Bardwell G, Ivsins A, Mansoor M Nolan S, Kerr T (2023). Safer opioid supply via a biometric dispensing machine: A qualitative study of barriers, facilitators and associated outcomes. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 195: E668-676.
  4. Bardwell G, Bowles J, Mansoor M, Werb D, Kerr T (2023).Access to tablet injectable opioid agonist therapy in rural and smaller urban settings in British Columbia, Canada: A qualitative study. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 18:14.
  5. Ivsins A, Warnock A, Small W, Strike C, Kerr T, Bardwell G (2023). A scoping review of qualitative research on barriers and facilitators to the use of supervised consumption services. International Journal of Drug Policy, 111: 103910.
  6. Bardwell G, Mansoor M*, Van Zweitering A*, Cleveland E, Snell D, Kerr T (2022). The ‘goldfish bowl’: A qualitative study of the effects of heightened surveillance on people who use drugs in a rural and coastal Canadian setting. Harm Reduction Journal, 19: 136.
  7. Bardwell G, Lappalainen L (2021). The need to prioritize research, policy, and practice to address the overdose epidemic in smaller settings in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 112(4), 733-736.

See Google Scholar for a full list of publications.