Epidemiological Observational Studies


The epidemiological observational studies cluster consists of a large number of investigators who study a variety of health topics using observational approaches, including cohort, case-control, cross-sectional, and repeated measures designs, to observe health determinants, health behaviours and health outcomes in clinical and general population samples. Unlike experimental research in controlled laboratory settings, observational studies involve the collection of data in natural contexts. Researchers in this cluster use administrative databases (e.g., ICES), existing health survey databases as well as investigator-led populations, community health and clinical studies to understand population health and the health determinants, including demographic, socio-economic, psychological, behavioural, environmental, and biological risk and protective factors. Many biostatistical techniques are used by this group, including survival analyses, propensity score matching or adjustment, linear regression, logistic regression, multi-level analyses, instrumental variable analysis (e.g., Mendelian randomization studies), difference-in-differences, time series analyses as well as descriptive analyses, as appropriate depending on the sample and study design. Interdisciplinary work is also conducted in this cluster, where biological, behavioural, social and epidemiological, and biopsychosocial approaches are combined to advance knowledge and develop synergies across disciplines.

Vision and Goals

  • Advance knowledge regarding patient and population health to improve clinical practice and public health policy.
  • Enhance methodological and biostatistical expertise to further advance scientific enquiry and enhance the impact of observational research.
  • Cultivate collaboration among established and emerging researchers to improve knowledge and expertise regarding patient and population health.
  • Use a determinants of health perspective, considering individual, community and societal factors affecting health.

Researchers in the Epidemiological Observational Studies Cluster: