Since 1999, the Survey Research Centre has conducted hundreds of telephone, web, mail and face to face surveys on behalf of academic and institutional researchers. We have developed expertise in conducting survey research projects from straight forward program evaluation studies to more complex, highly specialized studies. Some of our recent and current projects are highlighted below.
Academic sector projects
Public and Private sector projects
The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project (www.itcproject.org) is the first international research program for the systematic evaluation of key policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the population level. The ITC Project is conducting longitudinal cohort surveys in more than 28 countries and includes over 150 tobacco control collaborators from around the world.
The ITC Project was founded by Chief Principal Investigator Dr. Geoffrey T. Fong at the University of Waterloo, and began with the first wave of the ITC Four Country (4C) Survey in Australia, Canada, the US, and the UK in 2002. The Survey Research Centre has been a key contributor to the ITC Project during the ITC 4C Survey’s transition from computer-assisted telephone surveys to interactive web surveys, a transition necessitated by the increasing challenges in conducting telephone surveys for this study. (2009 - present)
The researcher, Dr. John Hirdes, is a member of interRAI, a collaborative network of researchers in over 30 countries committed to improving health care for vulnerable persons with complex needs, include frail older persons and their caregivers.
With an aging population, there is a push towards aging at home. The majority of older adults living in the community will be cared for in a primary care setting. interRAI has identified a need for tools to distinguish healthier individuals from those in a frailer, more vulnerable state who may benefit from more comprehensive assessment and care. In order to increase the feasibility and acceptability of interRAI assessment tools in community settings, a pilot study was developed to assess self-report questions for older adults in primary care. Other objectives of the pilot study were to establish rates of health measures for adults of all ages within the general population rather than within clinical populations and to establish rates of health measures in adults identifying as informal care providers. The Survey Research Centre provided survey design consultation as well as data collection for this project. A Random Digit Dialing (RDD) telephone approach was used for this research targeting adults within the Waterloo region who are aged 18+, with an oversample of persons aged 65+. (2017)
The School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo, has determined that information about the employment and professional development outcomes of graduates is important to those making decisions about post-secondary education. To obtain this information, business schools in Canada and the U.S. are surveying their graduates. The School of Accounting and Finance offers programs that compete for candidates with these schools, but does not have comparable data to share with candidates as a way to promote that their experiential approach to learning produces work-ready graduates. Data collected will allow the researchers to understand the career entry decisions made by graduates, inform programming decisions and support student recruitment. The Survey Research Centre provided survey design and sampling consultation, as well as online and telephone data collection for this project. Telephone reminders were employed to achieve the best possible survey response rate. (2017)
To assist with recruitment and marketing of graduate studies programs, the University of Waterloo Graduate Studies Office has developed an on-line survey for students who accept or decline offers of admission to the UW On-site or Online graduate programs. First conducted in 2014, this survey is being conducted annually over a five-year time period. (2014 - present)
SCAALAR and SPAACE to SPAACE were the first national population-based surveys on the prevalence, perceptions, and experiences of food allergies in Canada. Study findings informed the development of food allergy labeling legislation in Canada. There is general concern that food allergies are becoming an epidemic. Researchers from the University of Waterloo and the University of Calgary employed the Survey Research Centre to conduct a large scale, national follow-up telephone survey to determine if any changes in prevalence, perceptions, and experiences have occurred over the past five years. For more information on this survey or the results, please contact Dr. Susan Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org. (2016-2017)
The purpose of the study is to evaluate and monitor the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing's (CEMC) Think About Math (TAM) and Computer Science For Young Women (CSG) outreach programs offered through the University of Waterloo each May and June to high school aged girls. Five cohorts of workshop attendees were first surveyed the year they attended the respective workshop and then follow-up surveys were administered with each cohort five years after attending the workshops. (2010-present)
The Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) and researchers at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University were interested in identifying and documenting the workforce profile, demographics and health and wellness of Canadian paramedics and other emergency medical responders. Mixed-mode methodology was employed. An online survey link was emailed, and paper surveys with a pre-paid return envelope were mailed, to numerous paramedic work locations across Canada. A snowballing approach was implemented by the research team for the online survey recruitment. A link to the online survey was provided in the mailed paper survey package and in targeted communication vehicles such as the Paramedic Association of Canada e-newsletter and through email campaigns to the Paramedic Chiefs. The Survey Research Centre (SRC) provided consulting services on the survey methodology used, and was responsible for hosting and data collection for the online survey and for data entry of the returned mailed surveys. The online survey was launched in May 2016 and remained open for approximately 9 weeks, closing in August 2016. Data collection for this first ever, comprehensive research of Canadian paramedics and emergency medical responders resulted in over 2,500 completed surveys. (2016)
Researchers from the Statistics and Actuarial Science department at the University of Waterloo were interested in studying financial retirement expectations and experiences of Canadians. The objective of the study was to develop a better understanding of the concerns and risk preferences of individuals who are either close to retirement, or who are already retired. Data collected will allow the researchers to assess whether the retirement income plans offered by insurance companies, or provided through occupational pension plans, are adequately meeting the needs of retirees. The research was partially funded by the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. The Survey Research Centre provided survey design and sampling consultation, as well as data collection for this project. An online survey was conducted among Ontario respondents aged 50 to 80 who self-identified as either pre-retired or retired. An online panel firm was used for participant recruitment. The online survey was launched in September 2016 and remained open for 3 weeks, closing in October 2016. The goal of 1,000 completed surveys was successfully reached. (2016)
The Healthy Weights Connection is an intervention aimed at promoting healthy weights and preventing obesity among Indigenous children in Canada, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy (2013–17). The theory of the intervention is that by promoting better cooperation and resource sharing among the various organizations whose activities may affect the risk of obesity among Aboriginal children, local public health systems will be better able to provide culturally-appropriate programming. The intervention consists of providing a community health worker to work at building opportunities for collaboration among local Indigenous-specific and “mainstream” organizations, as well as a website, newsletters, and other knowledge-exchange activities. An online survey of these organizations was administered as part of the project evaluation plan to measure changes in the degree to which institutions in the local public health system serve Indigenous children and youth in the community, and the amount of collaboration and coordination among them. Data collection for this University of Waterloo online organization survey occurred in 2014. An online follow-up survey was conducted in 2017. (2014 - 2017)
The purpose of this McGill university research was twofold; first, the researchers were trying to understand the ways in which societal/environmental conditions in the home, school and community impact children’s body weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and healthy living-related behavior. The second purpose was to explore how biological (i.e. genetic and cognitive) differences impact the way children respond to these societal/environmental conditions. The focus was specifically on children between the ages of 6-12 living in the greater Montreal area, with the primary data being collected from the parent/guardian who is most familiar with the eating and physical activity habits of the child. A follow up recruitment wave was undertaken in 2016. (2013, 2016)
The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of smoking cessation programs that involve mass distribution of nicotine replacement therapy. The study was designed as a single-blinded panel survey with random assignment to an experimental or control condition and involved two stages of recruitment and three telephone interviews. Households across Canada were contacted using a random digit dialing approach. Eligible respondents over the age of 18 were screened and recruited to either an experimental or control group, with those in the experimental group receiving a free five week supply of nicotine patches. Eligible respondents in both groups were also asked to provide a saliva sample. Follow-up interviews were then scheduled to take place eight weeks, six months and five years after completing the initial survey. (2012 - present)
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is conducting a comprehensive survey of over 18,000 MNO citizens. The MNO is committed to a family-centred approach for service delivery for the Métis Nation in Ontario. A key component of such an approach is the ongoing assessment of broader well-being of MNO citizens and their families throughout Ontario, to better understand their service needs and to help tailor programming and services going forward. The MNO household survey is being administered online or by telephone in an effort to connect and collect information from as many MNO citizens as possible. The Survey Research Centre (SRC) is working closely with the MNO lead researchers to develop and implement the overall methodology and to provide survey research design expertise and consultation throughout. The SRC is also managing all online and telephone survey data collection on behalf of MNO. (2017 - present)
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) is developing a Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion (CWHP) program to improve the health of its employees. As part of a situational assessment, an on-line baseline survey was administered to employees to learn more about their health (e.g. physical activity, smoking, fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol consumption, and mental health/stress) and their interest in various workplace health programs. To assess changes in knowledge and behaviour, two follow up online survey waves were implemented after the baseline survey. (2014 - present)
Grand River Hospital (GRH), a 567 bed hospital serving 700,000 people in the Waterloo Wellington Region of Southwestern Ontario, has identified a need to more fully understand their patients’ experience with hospital care. They are interested in developing a ‘best practice’ methodological approach to collecting patient experience data that produces actionable results. GRH previously participated in a province - wide patient experience survey; however there were opportunities for a greater number of responses. A separate pilot study with data collection conducted by the Survey Research Centre was conducted to assess whether a different methodological approach would produce better outcomes.
Three patient groups were considered for the pilot study: emergency, surgery inpatient, and medicine. Surveys were conducted by telephone with emergency patients shortly after discharge from the hospital , and on-site surveys were administered with surgery inpatient and medicine patients prior to their discharge from the hospital. Further to the pilot study, Grand River Hospital has maintained the post discharge telephone approach in the emergency department using the Survey Research Centre and expanded the face-to-face approach to include eight additional clinical programs. (2013 - present)