Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility (POP SRF)

POP SRF Overview

The Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility (POP SRF) plays a key role in helping Markey Cancer Center (MCC) clinician-scientists and researchers conduct research on the psychosocial, behavioral, and epidemiologic aspects of cancer prevention and control. Other cancer-related research areas in which the POP Sciences SRF is well equipped to contribute include implementation science, health services, and community-based interventions. The POP Sciences SRF facilitates research in partnership with Kentucky Cancer Program, Kentucky Cancer Consortium, MCC Community Impact Office (CIO), MCC Research and Affiliate Networks plus other established clinics and community partners.

This SRF is focused on helping UK and MCC investigators with 1) psychosocial and behavioral studies with cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, or providers and 2) studies with the general population that investigate topics pertinent to cancer, such as smoking, HPV vaccination, or obesity. The POP Sciences SRF is adept at the conduct of both observational studies and clinical trials and has immense experience conducting research in Markey’s clinics and catchment area communities, including Appalachian Kentucky.

Investigators are encouraged to reach out to the POP Sciences SRF early when developing a study protocol or grant application. This allows the Director and Manager time to brainstorm with you and plan for the best use of our services.

The POP Sciences SRF can assist with:

  • Study design and outcome measurement
  • Participant recruitment, enrollment, and retention
  • Survey data collection in clinic and community settings
  • Key informant interviews and focus groups
  • Qualitative research including transcription and thematic analysis
  • Data management and sharing with other SRFs
  • Identification of clinical collaborators 
  • Dissemination of supported studies through collaborative presentations and manuscripts

Specific Aims

  1. Streamline methods for participant accrual and retention.
  2. Collect patient-reported outcomes and other survey data for epidemiological and other observational studies and non-therapeutic clinical trials.
  3. Facilitate rigorous qualitative research as part of observational studies, clinical trials and dissemination and implementation studies.
  4. Coordinate behavioral, psychosocial and epidemiologic studies to accelerate cancer research findings and their dissemination.

Pre-award: Consulting, Developing, and Planning

The Director offers thoughtful, study-specific consultation on “best practices” for research methods in which POP Sciences excels and can help identify suitable partners collaborators, and other MCC SRFs that will enhance the rigor and impact of a given study. Pre-award consultation services could include the following:  

  • Selecting reliable and valid patient-reported outcomes (e.g., pain, distress)
  • Measuring health behavior and change processes (e.g., tobacco use, physical activity)
  • Choosing the best platform for data collection (e.g., in-person interview, REDCap or Qualtrics online survey)
  • Modifying recruitment strategies and informed consent procedures to streamline enrollment
  • Refining a study design to capitalize on MCC, institutional, and community resources
  • Linking investigators with MCC clinics, other SRFs, and relevant campus resources
  • Fostering collaborations within and across MCC Research Programs

Post-award: Study Implementation

Post-award services are provided by the staff within the POP Sciences SRF. The POP Sciences SRF conducts a wide range of services from study preparation to participant retention efforts and qualitative data analysis. Some of the services offered include:

  • Recruiting participants and screening for eligibility
  • Accruing participants into observational studies and clinical trials
  • Facilitating retention in longitudinal studies
  • Collecting data via survey and/or qualitative research methods
  • Contributing to qualitative data analysis
  • Coordinating with investigative team members, MCC clinics and providers, community partners, and other SRFs

You may request services by emailing

Jessica Burris

Jessica L Burris, PhD
POP SRF Director

Laurie McLouth

Laurie McLouth, PhD
POP SRF Assistant Director

Ami Christian

Amy Christian, MSPH
Senior Research Associate

courtney blair

Courtney Blair, MSM
Senior Research Associate

Melissa Horton

Melissa Horton, MPH
Research Coordinator



The Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility (POP SRF)

Combs Research Building, Room 235
800 Rose St., Lexington KY 40536-0293

Subsidization provided by Markey Cancer Center

For Markey members, pre-award services are 100% subsidized by MCC. For post-award services, MCC members receive a 33% subsidy.

Cost for Post-Award Services

The POP Sciences SRF charges a fee for Post-Award services, with subsidized rates for Markey Members as explained above. The POP Sciences SRF primarily uses an effort-based approach to billing, with percentage effort determined on a study-by-study basis. When necessary, the POP Sciences SRF will use an hourly approach to billing with a flat rate across all services and research staff. In collaboration with the Principal Investigator of the study, the POP Sciences SRF Director and Manager will decide the billing approach far in advance of study implementation and provide a quote or estimate for potential services rendered. 

Post-award Study Implementation Services

Membership Status

Hourly Charges

UK MCC Member $20
UK Non-MCC Member $30

The POP Sciences SRF has a second tier of pricing for post-award and Other Professional Services (e.g., consultation on manuscript development), which are supplied by the SRF Director.

Post-award and Other Professional Services

Membership Status

Hourly Charges

UK MCC Member $96


Why should I use POP Sciences for participant recruitment?

The POP SRF staff are very experienced in both in-person and remote recruitment, informed consent procedures, and Oncore protocol management. Due to the institutional knowledge of POP SRF staff, clinician-scientists and researchers who utilize this SRF benefit from years of experience and strong collaborations on and off the UK campus. 

What technical resources do you have available for data collection and analysis? 

The POP SRF maintains a library of iPads and digital voice recorders for the purpose of data collection; these tools are available for MCC members to check out free of charge. The POP SRF staff are also very familiar with the “ins and outs” of Zoom-based survey and interview data collection. Finally, NVivo is available for POP SRF staff to use to aid qualitative data analysis.

What form of participant incentive do you recommend?

There are several factors to consider when determining the amount and form of participant incentive to use in a study. We recommend thinking about the study needs and population preferences in addition to consulting with the business office in your department prior to making a final decision. We are also happy to discuss different approaches that have been utilized in studies we have supported and the pros/cons of each option.

quotation marks

Acknowledge the POP SRF

Investigators are required to acknowledge the Markey Cancer Center Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility (POP SRF) in any publications that result from the use of POP SRF or information received through the MCC POP SRF. Please use the following statement to acknowledge the POP SRF.

“This research was supported by the Patient-Oriented and Population Sciences Shared Resource Facility of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (P30CA177558).”

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.