Susan is an Associate Professor in The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics and is also an Affiliate in the Department of Sociology at UBC. As a sociologist and qualitative health researcher, Susan has extensive experience in applying the methods of the social sciences to applied ethics research and practice. Susan is also the Acting Director of the Centre for Applied Ethics.

Research Interests

1) Research ethics, especially the meaning and experience of being a human subject in health research and how this may better inform an evidence-based approach to research ethics and its governance
2) Arts based methods in health research, especially the use of various artistic approaches to actually doing research as well as disseminating the findings in non-traditional ways
3) Illness experiences throughout the life course, especially as they are shaped by as well as reflected through narrative.

Susan is active within the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, is a member of the Advisory Council for the Arts Health Network Canada and serves as a member of the Research Ethics Board at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.


INDS 502 Qualitative Methods in Applied Ethics Research
SOCI 484 Sociology of Health and Illness
SOCI 382 Qualitative Research Methods
SOCI 382 Ethics and Genetics

Graduate Students

MIchele Sam, PhD Student
Gloria Purveen, PhD Student
Alexandra Korotchenko, PhD Student
Erin Ryan, MSc Student
Alina Shepherd, MA Student
Dana Chalmers, PhD Student
Christina Preto, PhD Student
Heather Walmsley, Post Doctoral Fellow

Representative recent papers:

Cox, Susan M, Kelley Ross, Anne Townsend and Roberta Woodgate (2011). From stakeholders to shareholders: Consumer collaborators in health research. Health Law Review. 19: 3: 63–71.

Bombard, Yvonne, Susan M. Cox and Alicia Semaka. (2011). ‘When They Hear What We Say’: Presenting Research to Participants and Communities. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 6:3: 47–54.

Cox, Susan M, Darquise Lafrenière, Pamela Brett-Maclean, Kate Collie, Nancy Cooley, Janet Dunbrack, and Gerri Frager. (2010). Tipping the iceberg? The state of arts and health in Canada. Arts & Health: An International Journal, 2:2:109–124.

Townsend, Anne, Susan M Cox and Linda Li. (2010) Qualitative research ethics: enhancing evidence based practice in physical therapy. Physical Therapy 90:4

Cox, Susan M, Anne Townsend, Nina Preto, Roberta Woodgate and Pam Kolopack. (2009). Ethical Challenges and Evolving Practices in Research on Ethics in Health Research. Health Law Review, 17(2-3): 33–39.

McDonald, Michael, and Susan M Cox. (2009). Moving Towards Evidence-Based Human Participant Protection. Journal of Academic Ethics, 7(1):1–16.

Cox, Susan M, Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston and Jeff Nisker. (2009). Genetics on Stage: Theatre and Public Engagement in Health Policy Development. Social Science and Medicine, 68: 1472-80.

McDonald, Michael Anne Townsend, Susan M Cox, Darquise Lafrenière, Natasha Damiano Paterson (2008). Trust in Health Research Relationships: Accounts of Human Subjects Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 3 (4): 35–47.