Anu Gomez, Professor

Closed (1) Birth Control Access in Pharmacies Project

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

In April 2016, a policy allowing women in California to obtain certain birth control methods from pharmacists without a prescription went into effect. The purpose of this project is to assess the accessibility and affordability of contraception in pharmacies under this new policy. The study will involve conducting a statewide "mystery shopper” study over the phone. Following a structured script, student researchers will pose as customers and call pharmacies across the state to inquire about the availability of birth control in a pharmacy without a prescription, making note of the availability and cost of services, and other pertinent details. These data will be used to assess the real world impacts of the law and shared with advocates, who may recommend policy fixes if there are barriers to access.

We are looking for students who can commit a minimum of 6 hours per week to the project (and welcome those who can do more!). The best time to make pharmacy calls is between 9:30-11 and 2-4 on weekdays; please consider your availability in these time frames before applying for this project. Please indicate how many hours per week you can commit in your application.

Undergraduate research apprentices will serve as mystery shoppers. Using a structured protocol, they will inquire about the availability and cost of birth control without a prescription in pharmacies.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: TBD, Graduate Student

Qualifications: Required: attention to detail; comfort in discussing issues related to sexuality and reproductive health; familiarity with contraceptive methods; excellent written and oral communication skills; strong academic record. Desirable: Previous coursework in research methods and/or experience working on research projects. Please address these qualifications and hours per week able to work in the application.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Related website:
Related website: