Emergency Department SUPPORT

Important Notice Regarding Recruitment

Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CHEO ED SUPPORT Program has been temporarily suspended. In accordance with current recommendations and with the health and safety of CHEO patients/families, staff and program applicants in mind, we will be unable to recruit new volunteers to the program at this time. Please periodically check the website for further updates. Thank you for your interest in the CHEO ED SUPPORT Program.   For program inquiries, please contact the Program Coordinator, Jessica Paul, at [email protected].

What is the purpose of this program?

Volunteers for the SUPPORT Clinical Research Training Program function as specialized hospital volunteers. Volunteers will be trained to help screen and enroll eligible patients into several clinical research studies that are currently recruiting in the CHEO Emergency Department (ED). The specific goals of this initiative are to facilitate and support research and quality improvement activities involving patients in the ED

What will I be doing?

As a SUPPORT volunteer, you will be scanning the ED patient tracking system to capture possible patients for several clinical studies. This will entail determining eligibility of patients for the various studies and interacting with families and/or clinical staff. Given the emphasis on patient interaction, it is very important that applicants feel comfortable speaking to and interacting with patients from birth to 18 years of age as well as their family members. This position does not entail any data entry or writing of research proposals/papers. SUPPORT volunteers may often be responsible for determining a patient’s willingness to discuss participating in a study with a research assistant and completing the screening process by documenting activities on a screening log (one for each clinical study). Importantly, you will be liaising closely with the program coordinator who is committed to educating the SUPPORT volunteers and ensuring a high performance standard.

What is required?

A commitment of one 4-hour shift per week (same weekly shift), every week, for six months is mandatory. Volunteers will be able to change their weekly shift at the beginning of the academic terms in order to accommodate their academic/work schedules. Each volunteer is entitled to 3 vacation days and 5 personal/sick days (these 5 must be made up), and must complete a total of 23 shifts over a 26-week term. The program operates seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and is divided into the following three shifts:

  • 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
  • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 6 p.m to 10 p.m. 

The program runs from January to July and July to January. All selected volunteers must: 

  • Meet CHEO’s occupational health and safety requirements (two-step TB test & up to date immunizations
    • Please note that reimbursement for expenses related to immunizations is not possible. 
  • Submit a Level 2 Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (completed within the last 6 months)
    • Please note that successful applicants must pay the initial fee out of pocket. Upon successful completion of a 3 month probationary period, a volunteer is eligible to request reimbursement (with original receipt). 
  •  Complete paperwork as required by CHEO Human Resources
  • Complete additional program training as specified by the SUPPORT Program Coordinator
  •  Attend the SUPPORT orientation evening and role play session (see dates above – no exceptions will be made)

Volunteers who meet minimum program requirements may have the opportunity to extend their six-month commitment for another term.  

Who is eligible?

Current registered students or recently graduated students (less than 12 months) from an accredited post-secondary program (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, or nursing school) are eligible for this training program. No previous formal research training is necessary. International Medical Graduates are not eligible to apply for this program.


To be considered for the position, you should possess:

  • Excellent attention to detail and efficient time management skills
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to be self-directed, resourceful, flexible, and take initiative
  • Be comfortable working independently or as part of a team
  • Previous customer service skills and/or experience working with the general public is an asset
Will I Be Paid?

This is a volunteer opportunity. At the end of your six-month commitment, you will receive an official certificate of completion of the SUPPORT Clinical Research Training Program (only if you have completed all 23 shifts).

How might this experience help me?

This position primarily provides the opportunity to learn about the practicality of conducting research in a clinical setting. CHEO’s Emergency Department has an international reputation for high-quality clinical research. You will gain valuable experience communicating with patients and their families in the ED.