Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Projects in Health (MURPH)


MURPH is a new undergraduate research program at UBC Okanagan, awarded through the UBC’s Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) competition, which aims to offer a unique cross-disciplinary platform to undergraduate students for engaging in academic research, while also getting professionalization training through MURPH-specific workshops. The core component of MURPH includes project teams comprising multiple undergraduate students and faculty members across faculties to conduct applied health research projects.

The 9 MURPH research teams, encompassing 21 undergraduate Scholars, presented their posters at this year of UBCO Interdisciplinary Student Health Conference. The following two MURPH groups won the best poster awards in their respective research categories. Congratulations to Angela, Noman, Andrew, Joan, and Reece!

Medical Technology Category: Joan Brewer, Andrew Nicholson, Reece Walsh. X-ray Vision: Seeing Radiation from Medical Procedures.
Media and Health Category: Angela Leung, Noman Mohammad. Smoke-free Dads: A game changer for better health.


Conference Program


MURPH Graduate Mentors

Negin Kazemian
PhD student in Applied Science
Natasha Haskey
PhD candidate in Biology

2019-2020 Funded Projects

Indigenous methodologies: building capacity for telediabetes care in urban (and rural) Indigenous communities

Dr. Donna Kurtz (Nursing) & Dr. Charlotte Ann Jones (Southern Medical Program)

Aidan O'Callahan
Psychology
Karim Davarani
Human Kinetics

Integrating patient user experience platforms through Internet of Things (IoT) with better data visualization, visioning and analytics algorithms

Dr. Barb Marcolin (Management) & Dr. Homayoun Najjaran (Engineering)

Emily Medema
Computer Science
Mirna Hennawy
Medicine

Development and evaluation of a mosquito repellent paint as a novel tool against mosquito-borne diseases

Dr. Mark Rheault (Biology) & Dr. Kevin Golovin (Engineering)

Helena Nunes
Biochemistry
Giulia Rossi
Engineering
Madison Dirks
Biology

Smoke-free Dads: A game changer for better health

Dr. Joan Bottorff (Nursing), Dr. Mohammad Khalad Hasan (Computer Science) & Dr. Laura Struik (Nursing)

Angela Leung
Nursing
Noman Mohammad
Computer Science

Development of a highly-specific exosome isolation and characterization platform

Dr. Isaac Li (Chemistry) & Dr. Mina Hoorfar (Engineering)

Alexander Corbett
Chemistry
George Ng
Engineering

Microencapsulation platform for oral delivery of microbiome-based therapy for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Dr. Deanna Gibson (Biology) & Dr. Mina Hoorfar (Engineering)

Ryan Bonnie
Biology
Kaden Workun
Engineering

Visualizing x-ray scatter using circular penumbra tomographic reconstruction

Dr. Thorarin Bjarnason (Physics) & Dr. Jonathan Holzman (Engineering)

Joan Brewer
Physics
Andrew Nicholson
Engineering
Reece Walsh
Computer Science

Design and development of optimal protective stents for head and neck cancer radiation therapy

Dr. Sepideh Pakpour (Engineering) & Dr. Andrew Jirasek (Physics)

James Fowler
Engineering
Mathias Labonte
Physics
Sebastian Sabry
Engineering

The effects of virtual reality on depressive symptoms in inpatient
stroke survivors: A pilot randomized controlled trial

Dr. Brodie Sakakibara (Medicine) & Ms. Donna Jansons (Social Work)

Nicole Ketter
Biology
Lydia Wood
Psychology

MURPH roadmap. MURPH offers a two-phase research engagement path to undergraduates admitted to the program. Phase 1 runs over the Winter Terms 1 and 2, and expects a part-time commitment from the students. Throughout this phase, a number of select multidisciplinary projects in applied health will be launched, each creating a unique platform for 2-4 undergraduates, named as MURPH Scholars, from distinct faculties (Arts and Science; Creative and Critical Studies; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Development; Management; and Medicine) to gain an unprecedented team-based research experience in the field. At the end of this phase, some of the projects will be selected by faculty and industry experts to extend to Phase 2 that spans the Summer Session, and offers a full-time research job opportunity to the involved undergraduate students. In addition to working on a team-based research project, participating undergraduates will be provided the opportunity to attend various research and professional skills workshops—such as multidisciplinary teamwork, data analysis, job interviews, research report preparation, and entrepreneurship—all to be organized and coordinated by MURPH administration. A top graduate student is also hired part-time to provide continual mentorship support to undergraduates over the course of the program.

Application deadline: Friday, August 16, 2019.

For Faculty Members

We are inviting faculty members at UBC Okanagan to submit their project proposals to MURPH for the Winter Session of 2019/20. MURPH Steering Committee, composed of a number of faculty members from the participating departments and institutes, will review and select the proposals for funding. Each awarded project will receive the following benefits:

▸Salaries of two part-time undergraduate students (10 hrs/week for 20 weeks)I;
▸Financial support for project materials/supplies (maximum $1500);
▸Continuous mentorship support to hired undergraduates, offered by the MURPH Graduate Student Mentor as well as the Administration team.

The undergraduate students for each project will be selected, in direct consultation with the PIs of the approved projects, from the pool of successful student applications to MURPH.

I Note that next to regular (paid) research assistant appointments, some other students who are applying to MURPH might wish to have their projects linked to a credited course, in which case they are not entitled to be paid; however, they will still be full members of projects (MURPH Scholars).

Projects Requirements. Each project must:

▸be relevant to health (any categories, e.g. biomedical engineering, public health, remote health, medical education, etc.);
▸foster cross-disciplinary partnership;
▸have two PIs, each from a different faculty at UBC Okanagan (Arts and Science; Creative and Critical Studies; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Development; Management; and Medicine);
▸create research opportunities for undergraduate students from distinct disciplines.

Submit your research proposal

The application is closed.

For Undergraduate Students

We are inviting all undergraduate students from any faculty at UBC Okanagan (Arts and Science; Creative and Critical Studies; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Development; Management; and Medicine) to apply for MURPH research positions over Winter Session of 2019/2020. Applicants must have an average of A- Cumulative GPA (80%) or higher, along with a clear vision and enthusiasm to get involved in highly multi-disciplinary research projects in applied health.

MURPH offers participants the following opportunities:

▸A 20-week (starting September 16, 2019) part-time paid ($15/hour) research job in a laboratory setting at UBC Okanagan, with the potential of becoming a full-time job in Summer 2020;
▸A minimum of three training workshops on topics relevant to multidisciplinary research in health, such as multidisciplinary teamwork, data analysis, job interviews, research report preparation, and entrepreneurship;
▸Travel and accommodation support to attend the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference in Vancouver (March 2020);
▸Continuous mentorship support provided through a graduate student dedicated to MURPH.

Note: If any student is willing to apply to MURPH as part of their requirements for a course, e.g. HMKN 499, FLEX, etc., they can still be considered as a full member of a MURPH project and a MURPH Scholar, but will not be eligible to be paid for it through MURPH, as the research experience will be part of their coursework.

Apply to MURPH

The application is closed.

For Graduate Students
To provide mentorship support to accepted undergraduates in MURPH along with assisting the senior management team with execution of the program, a part-time position (10 hrs/week for 11 weeks starting mid September) is available for graduate students at UBC Okanagan for Winter Terms of 2019/2020. This position is expected to provide a unique opportunity for the graduate mentor to engage with various research labs across campus and to gain mentorship and teamwork experience towards implementing a brand new undergraduate research initiative at UBC.

The applicants should have strong academic background and vision for multidisciplinary applied health research projects. The successful candidate can be a full time Master’s or PhD student in any faculties at UBC Okanagan.

Apply for the Mentor Position

The application is closed.

For any inquiries regarding this program, please email Mahdi Takaffoli, MMRI Research Engineer, at mahdi.takaffoli@ubc.ca.


MURPH is supported by