IRIS is a laboratory infrastructure recently created and funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and dedicated to the comparative study of health inequalities. Its main goal is to assess the contribution of social policies to the development of social inequalities in health over the life course.
This research laboratory provides a physical location for collaborative work among researchers, research assistants, and student trainees and offers its members access to the latest computing and network technology, training, and multiple international and longitudinal databases. Thanks to Dr. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée's (IRIS’ Director) privileged joint position in the Departments of Epidemiology and Sociology, the laboratory offers an interdisciplinary approach joining qualitative and quantitative methods. The lab is therefore composed of sociologists, epidemiologists, demographers and political scientists.
The laboratory also enjoys a privileged location in Peterson Hall being on the same floor as the McGill-Concordia branch of the Quebec Inter-University Centre for Social Statistics (QICSS). This Research Data Centre (RDC) hosts confidential Canadian census, cross-sectional and longitudinal databases from Statistics Canada. Most of the researchers affiliated with IRIS have access to the QICSS, through individual or team projects.
The main project of the lab is the development of the Health Insurance Access Database (HIAD) to assess barriers to health insurance and threats to equity in comparative perspective.