Conducting Research at the SCSIL

Information and resources for conducting research at the SCSIL

Do you have an exciting research project and you think the SCSIL would be the right environment to carry it out in? You’ve come to the right place.

Different research projects have different needs, depending on their phase, human and material resources needed and available. We have outlined a four-step process below with basic steps to follow to help kick off or continue your research at the SCSIL.

The steps vary depending on whether your research is already part of a scheduled simulation or not. Normally, your research could be part of a scheduled simulation if you ,or the individual(s) coordinating the simulation, have already agreed to allow you to conduct research in the context of their simulation. Please see the sub-heading “Research already part of scheduled sim?” for adapted instructions in these cases.


  1. Step 1: Get in touch

    A key way in which we support research is by facilitating access to SCSIL resources, such as space and equipment. As space and equipment are limited in availability, it is especially important we ensure that availability and expectations are aligned and that resources are used effectively. Accordingly, the first step of exploring the possibility to conduct research at the SCSIL is to send us an email.

    Your email should include a description of the research project (research objectives, methods, contributions to simulation education) proposed timeline, and space/human/material resources needed from the SCSIL and be sent to lucy.vicenzo [at] We will review your request and provide a short letter with the description appended attesting to our plan to support the proposed project. This can be used for step 2.

    We will also ask you about any funding you have or plan to secure for the study (see Bonus Step below). Knowing this will help us assess how we might be able to potentially help as well as provide context to discuss potential research facility fees. Please see Supporting Research at the SCSIL.

    Research already part of scheduled sim?  Disregard above steps and email the Director of Research, Prof. Harley, to inform them of your study, including whether you have already acquired IRB approval and if you need help with anything: jason.harley [at]

  2. Step 2: Get IRB approval

    Like any other unit at McGill, research cannot take place without Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval. If you have received funding from a scholarly agency (e.g., CIHR, SSHRC, RCPSC, IHSE-Research and Innovation Grants Committee) you may be able to submit to IRB directly. If you have not received funding from a scholarly agency or wish to receive additional feedback prior to submitting to IRB, we encourage you to take advantage of the Institute of Health Sciences Education (IHSE) Scientific Peer Review Program. Doing so may help expedite your IRB as well as increase the quality of your research. Many simulation education researchers who conduct research at the SCSIL are members or associate members of the IHSE. Accordingly, the IHSE aims to have at least one person with simulation education research experience review related proposals submitted to the IHSE.

    For IRB questions, please visit McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics (IRB) website. The SCSIL is part of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and subject to IRB policies.

    Audiovisual data: Will you be recording video and/or audio as part of your study? We have dedicated, high-resolution audio or video recording capabilities in most SCSIL rooms. If you have: (a) IRB approval, as well as (b) consent from research subjects as well as anyone else (including SCSIL staff, SPs/actors, etc.) who are filmed/recorded, then you should be able to access data from them with our help. Please note you need consent from ALL people who appear visually or auditorily in recordings—unless otherwise indicated in your IRB-approved protocol—or else the recording should not be used for research purposes. We recommend researchers to collect consent as early as possible to ensure maximum data capture. In order to access the data you will need a SCSIL staff member to start and stop the recordings in each room as well as to help transfer the data to you. Please note that data transfer must be aligned with your data management plan in your IRB approval. You will need to schedule a date with the IT coordinator of the SCSIL to transfer your recordings due to processing time of the large files. Please note the files are large and you will therefore need a hard drive with substantial space, though this will vary depending on quantity and duration of videos. We recommend a minimum of 128GB. If you are bringing and using your own recording devices, both (a) and (b) above still apply.

    Research already part of scheduled sim?  You still need IRB approval. You may also need our help with audio or video recording and transfer if using our cameras.

  3. Step 3: Get started

    Received IRB approval? Please contact us ASAP to proceed with booking or confirming booking for your study. This is also the time to finalize and adapt plans, if needed, based on your IRB approval timeline (which can vary) and other factors that may necessitate some tweaking to your original, approved research plans. 

    Research already part of scheduled sim? Please email Director of Research, Prof. Harley, to discuss support needed, such as IT support for audio-video recording: jason.harley [at]

  4. Step 4: Get noticed

    We are thrilled to support simulation education research. An important part of that is promoting research once it’s published or accepted for presentation. Don’t forget to acknowledge where the research was done in journal articles or presentations and to let us know when research is ready to shine so we can help promote it on our website, through social media and our other channels. 

    Research already part of scheduled sim? Same as above.

  5. Bonus Step: Get funded

    One of the ways we can support research is to provide a letter of support to funding agencies outlining potential material, space, and human resources the SCSIL can provide. An official letter is not always required, nor is it always possible to include in funding applications, but being able to include specifics can help enhance the feasibility of a competitive grant. We encourage you to mention whether you are seeking specific support estimates or a letter for a grant when you reach out to us in phase 1. 

    Research already part of scheduled sim? Same as above.

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