Sheona Mitchell-Foster

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Cancer of the Reproductive System
Drugs and Pregnancy / Breast Feeding
Global Health and Emerging Diseases
Urban and Rural Planning Policies
cervical cancer screening
culturally safe care
Indigenous women's health
perinatal substance-use
reproductive health of women living with HIV
reproductive screening in LMIC
rural and remote reproductive care

Relevant Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters



Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round
I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
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Attend an information session

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These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a supervisor.

Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


I'm so thankful for Dr. Mitchell-Foster, and all she does to support my research. She is approachable, very knowledgable and patient in helping me learn the ins and outs of academia. The way she manages her students, being a baby-saving obgyn and her adorable family is inspirational. I'm so grateful to have such a strong female role model in my life! Thanks for all you do!

Marina Giovannoni (2019)


Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

All my relations: patient oriented research for reconciliation and empowerment of Indigenous women's experiences with cervical screening (2020)

Cervical cancer is caused by high risk strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), but is preventable through vaccination and screening. In British Columbia (BC), cervical cancer occurs predominantly in under screened women, and First Nations women have a 92% higher rate of invasive cervical cancer than non-First Nations women. The current standard of care in the province screening is via the Pap test; Indigenous women experience complex barriers to accessing Pap testing, which has contributed to the higher rates of cervical cancer. CervixCheck North (CCN) is a project in partnership with Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) that offers under screened First Nations women in 11 Northern BC First Nations communities the option to self-collect a sample to be tested for the presence of cancer-causing HPV. This thesis explores the ability of patient oriented research, in combination with Indigenous methodologies to conduct ethical research in First Nations communities, and offers a qualitative review and suggested improvements to CCN. Data was collected from 6 communities using focus groups and a survey, and analyzed using thematic analysis and network analysis. Eleven themes were selected from the transcript data at four levels of impacts to cervical screening, individual, community, health system, and research level, and vetted by community members in an iterative process. Theme convergence was found to occur at the community level, surrounding knowledge acquisition as a source of empowerment. In order to maximize the positive impacts of HPV self-collected projects, holistic health approaches must be taken that involve health education community events. Recruitment of the most vulnerable women is facilitated by offering various options for women to screen, and by hiring champions for the project who are trusted members of the community. For researchers, using both patient oriented methodologies and Indigenous methodologies functions to bridge the divide between Western and Indigenous ways of knowing within academia. At a policy level, the most impactful changes to the health care system that can function to improve Indigenous peoples’ health must be informed by Indigenous voice, and meaningfully incorporated into existing health structures to truly achieve self-determination and reconciliation.

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