Research Participation Opportunities

Mission of the GIC Research Team

The intent of the GIC research team is to bring about social change through the implementation and dissemination of empirical research that focuses on the experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals and families. In this research, we pay particular attention to the effects of systemic transphobia by documenting the experiences of discrimination and marginalization faced by those in the gender variant community as well as the strengths and resiliencies that emerge in the face of these inequities

Meet the research team

Research Director:

Professional PhotoLindsay L. Edwards, PhD LMFT is the director of research at the GIC as well as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Counseling and Family Therapy at Regis University. Her research interests are on studying the effectiveness of clinicians working with sexual and gender minority clients and exploring the effects of discrimination on those identifying within sexual and gender minority communities. More specifically, she is interested in family adaptive systems and how family based resiliency and growth can emerge following the disclosure of minority gender identities and sexual orientations.

Research Team Members:

photo (9)Scotty Hanley, MA is a GIC research team member and a PsyD student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Denver. Her research interests include examining stigma and how it is experienced in the transgender community, resiliency in children with disabilities, and grit scores and performance outcomes of adaptive athletes.




Check out our current research projects below!


The Matthew Shepard Foundation (the Foundation) is undertaking an initiative to improve the collection of data on bias motivated incidents (also known as hate crimes or bias crimes).  As an initial step in this initiative the Foundation is undertaking a project to collect data on the number and type of bias motivated incidents occurring in the Denver Metro Area.  To accomplish this objective the Foundation needs to connect with and collect data from people residing in the Denver Metro Area (the counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson).  The Foundation is collecting the data through a survey questionnaire.  The survey questionnaire asks about individual bias motivated incidents during the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

The data, results, and findings of the survey will be used only in the aggregate, and will be used internally by the Foundation in its advocacy work on bias motivated incidents and in preparing public outreach materials.  In addition, the results and findings of the survey may be shared with the Foundation’s partners and affiliates, as well as researchers conducting research on bias motivated incidents.

If you know of anyone who was the victim of a bias motivated incident during 2017, the Foundation would appreciate your connecting the person with the survey by either referring them to the URLs to connect to the survey site on Google Forms at either:


If the person would prefer a paper copy of the survey questionnaire, you or they can provide a mailing address where the survey questionnaire should be mailed to by:

  • Emailing the Project Director, Stephen Griffin, at, or

  • Sending a written request to Matthew Shepard Foundation, Attn:  Bias Motivated Incident Survey, 800 18th Street, Suite 101, Denver, CO 80202.

Thank you for your interest in the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s efforts to combat bias motivated incidents, and agreeing to assist the Foundation in connecting with victims of bias motivated incidents.  If you have any questions or wish information on the Project, please contact the Foundation Executive Director, Jason Marsden, at or Stephen Griffin at

Posted 4/20/2017


Cigarette Marketing Study

OMNI Institute, an independent non-profit research firm in Denver is looking for members of the LGBT community who currently smoke cigarettes for several in-person and online focus groups in January to inform a marketing campaign. The marketing campaign is sponsored by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) with the goal of helping people learn more about the tobacco industry’s targeted advertising strategies and the impacts of smoking.

Information about the focus groups:

  • Each participant will be provided $50 for their time participating and food will be provided at the in-person focus groups.
  • Three focus groups will be held in downtown Denver and three will be held online for participants who live outside the Denver Metro area.
  • The focus groups will be conducted at the end of January to the beginning of February.
  • Each event will be 2 hours long.
  • Community members interested in participating will need to either call OMNI or take a brief survey to determine eligibility for participation (e.g., member of the LGBT community, current smoker, etc.).

Additional Information

Posted 12/27/2016


Stigma Study

You are invited to participate in a research study on the daily experiences of gender identity and gender expression. We are researchers at Regis University and The Gender Identity Center of Colorado who are hoping to better understand the possible stigma felt by those who identify in the Trans community. To be eligible for this study, you must be 18 years of age and either 1) in the process of questioning your gender identity or 2) identify as Trans.

This survey should take approximately 8-10 minutes to complete and you will have the opportunity at the end of the survey to enter into a drawing to win one of three Visa $25 gift cards.

If you are willing to participate in this study, please follow the link below:

Your efforts responding to this study would be greatly appreciated and will contribute to a larger understanding on the stigma felt by those in the Trans community. If you have any questions, you may contact me, Lindsay Edwards, the Principal Investigator at


Amelie Company, a marketing and communications firm has partnered with CDPHE on development of a PrEP awareness campaign that will launch early next year. Before campaign development begins, we will be conducting market research, which will consist of a number of focus groups with LGBTQ Coloradans who currently live in Denver and/or Aurora.

We have developed an online survey that will be used to screen for eligible focus group participants. I am reaching out to see if you would be interested and willing to share the screener survey with your network. If there’s an existing email distribution list that you have available, I’d be happy to draft email copy to accompany the survey or develop social post copy to accompany the URL.

Those who are selected for participation in the focus groups will receive payment of $75 for the 1-hour session.

Link to survey:


CDPHE’s HIV/STI/Viral Hepatitis Branch will be conducting three focus groups as part of our market research to help inform our upcoming PrEP Awareness marketing and communications campaign.

The goal of the focus groups is to conduct qualitative research with our target audience; at-risk MSM and transgender individuals to better identify:

  • Current attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and barriers surrounding PrEP
  • Preference and likability of existing PrEP campaigns
  • Keywords, phrases and messages preferred by target

We will be recruiting a maximum of 6 – 7 participants for each group. Focus groups will be held the week of September 19th (exact time/date to be determined) and an honoraria of $75 per person will be given. To qualify for participation, individuals must:

  • Identify as MSM or Transgender
  • Be between the ages of 18 – 54 years old
  • Not currently be prescribed or taking PrEP
  • Be unaffiliated with CDPHE, its grantees, or related work group and task forces

Please help us in our recruiting efforts by informing your network of this opportunity. Any individuals that are interested in participating can contact or 303-832-2700 x 201
to be screened for eligibility.

Thank you in advance for your help.


DESCRIPTION: An online study on healthcare provided for the LGBTQ community. The purpose of this study is to better understand the experiences and health of LGBTQ individuals as well as the quality of services received by the LGBTQ community. I hope to use the results from this study for the purposes of better understand how clinicians and social service agencies can better support the LGBTQ community. 

The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The study has been approved by the Boston College Institutional Review Board and is supervised by Dr. Paul Poteat. For those interested, I can provide a free online research editorial outlining major findings from the study as well as future research directions. 

INCLUSION CRITERIA: You must be 18 years or older, identify as LGBTQ+, and have received health services within this last year. Participation would be voluntary and confidential.  

In appreciation for your participation, you are welcome to enter a raffle for one of 15 $10, 10 $20, or 3 $50 online gift cards. 

 If you would like to participate, please visit the link below to take the survey: 

I would greatly appreciate your help on this project!

Jillian Scheer


TITLE: Generativity Among LGBT Older Adults
Principal Investigator: Dr. Denise Lewis
Student Principal Investigator: Kyle Bower

We are inviting you to take part in a research study exploring the transmission of legacy among older adults who identify as a gender or sexual minority. The purpose of this study is to understand more about how societal structures influence the lives of LGBT older adults and addresses the need for recognizing the individuality that exists within this broad LGBT older population. To explain the social influences, we are exploring the meaning of generativity within the context of historical, individual, familial, and relational culture. By addressing the cultural context of social influences we anticipate being able to discern the individuality that constitutes the LGBT population. The findings will help us learn more about how cultural factors impact the connection between generations. Kyle Bower will conduct the interviews under Dr. Denise Lewis’ advisement.

I recognize this is a unique population and “old age” is subjective. Individuals are eligible for this research study if they are 45 or over and self-identify as an older adult.

If you agree to be in this research study, the researcher will interview you at a time and place of your choice. The interview will be like a conversation. There will be questions about your identity development, your family life, and feelings about death. It will last no more than 2 hours and will be audio recorded. You are allowed to bring pictures or other physical items if this will help you tell your story. You will receive a $20 VISA gift card for your initial participation. If a follow-up interview (up to 1 hour) is needed, you will be given a $10 VISA gift card.

Although specific measures are in place to ensure confidentiality, there is a slight risk privacy could be breached. In addition, there may be some chance of emotional upset. You may skip questions or stop the interview at any time. You may also ask for the voice recording to be shut off for any part of the interview.

You are receiving this invitation because you are associated with LGBT older adults through a personal connection, research, or advocacy. Please feel free to pass along this description to anyone you think might be interested in participating in this study. For additional information please use the contact information provided below.

Kyle Bower, PhD candidate, The University of Georgia

Denise Lewis, Associate Professor, The University of Georgia


If you are a transgender adult, you’re invited to take part in a 30-minute survey being conducted by Linas Mitchell & Dr. Kerstin Blomquist at Furman University.

We want to know the ways that experiences of discrimination and attitudes towards one’s body are related in transgender people. If your gender is different than what you were assigned at birth, not solely male or female, or if you don’t have a gender, and you are 18 years or older, we want to hear from you!

Every perspective is valuable in this research; please consider taking this 30-minute survey and passing this link on to others who might be interested. (This survey is only available in English; we apologize to anyone this inconveniences or disqualifies, but translation is not currently within our means.)


Participants are wanted for a study exploring the experiences of LGBT people of color. Please use the following link to access the survey with informed consent. This study has been approved by the Towson University IRB. Thank you for your participation!