'Undeniable passion': Acting director appointed to specialized research centre

Jul 6th, 2021

By Jeff Green

Dr. Rick Audas. Photo submitted.
'Undeniable passion': Acting director appointed to specialized research centre

A researcher based in the Faculty of Medicine has taken on a new leadership role.

Dr. Rick Audas, professor of health statistics and economics in the Division of Community Health and Humanities, is the new acting academic director for Memorial’s Research Data Centre (RDC), a facility housing in-depth Statistics Canada data.

Located in the Queen Elizabeth II Library, the centre is part of a national network that provides researchers access to detailed information in a secure setting.

In consultation with the centre’s governance board, Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research), announced the appointment of Dr. Audas for the period July 1 to March 31, 2022.

He replaces Dr. Zhiwei Gao, whose term has concluded.

‘Valuable resources’

“Dr. Audas’ research is rooted in health statistics and economics and he has an undeniable passion for data collection,” said Dr. Bose.

“With a strong vision to grow Memorial’s Research Data Centre, combined with his skillset and research interests, he brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role. I encourage all members of our university community to take full advantage of the data facility and its valuable resources. I also acknowledge and thank Dr. Gao for his time and contributions to the centre and its operations.”

Dr. Audas’ research interests include health policy analysis; health, labour, education and human resources issues in health-care settings; health-technology assessment; and high-cost treatments.

His studies have examined the costs and benefits of health, health services and medical care.

He holds a BBA from the University of New Brunswick; MBA and MA degrees from Dalhousie University; and a PhD from the University of Wales.

Dr. Audas has secured funding from agencies such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research. He has co-authored a report on Canada’s justice system.

Opened in 2013, Memorial’s RDC site is a branch of the New Brunswick Research Data Centre.

It is accessible to researchers and graduate students who have an approved project and security clearance.

The centre provides access to detailed microdata, including unaggregated survey data with individual, household or family data, as well as sensitive variables, precise, geographic variables and longitudinal survey results.

Nationwide, there are more than 30 centres and branches at select universities.

The facilities are part of an initiative led by Statistics Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research CouncilCIHR and Canada Foundation for Innovation to help strengthen Canada’s social research capacity and to support the policy research community.

Memorial’s branch is located in room 3017C in the Queen Elizabeth II Library. Specific hours of operation, and more information about the centre, is available online.

Jeff Green is manager of communications in the Office of the Vice-President (Research). He can be reached at jeffg@mun.ca.