MURPH 2021-2022 Program

What is MURPH?
MURPH is an undergraduate research program at UBC Okanagan aiming to offer a unique cross-disciplinary platform to undergraduate students for engaging in academic research, while also providing professional training through custom-designed workshops. The core component of MURPH includes project teams comprising multiple undergraduate students and faculty members across different disciplines working together on applied health research projects.

MURPH Introduction
A Presentation by Dr. Abbas Milani

MURPH is now a member of the Life Sciences BC.
For information about the upcoming events of LSBC, visit the page here.

MURPH inspires the launch of the Faculty of Medicine Multidisciplinary Research Program in Medicine.
More information about this program can be found on its website here.

MURPH Projects

Sleep and Family Relationships Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Study of Okanagan Families with Young Children

Dr. Susan Holtzman (Psycology) & Dr. Elizabeth keys (Nursing)

Andrea Tam
Tristen Michael Ramsay

Designing and Developing an Immersive Technology Solution for Telehealth

Dr. Khalad Hasan (Computer Science) & Dr. Abbas Milani (Engineering)

Vanessa Lo
Jay Jang
Computer Science

Personal Belongings Carrier

Dr. Shirley Chau (Social Work) & Dr. Abbas Milani (Engineering)

Deniz Gunduz
Paige Reekie
Health and Exercise Sciences

Developing and Evaluating an Educational Program for Using a Restorative Approach to Address Healthcare Harm

Dr. Nelly Oelke (Nursing), Dr. Colin Reid (Social Work)

Dylan Rogers
Alisha Sindhu
Madyson Campbell

Steps to Indoor Normalcy: Real-Time Analysis of Aerosol Spread and Dispersion in Dynamic Indoor Environments

Dr. Sunny Li (Engineering) & Dr. Jonathan Little (Helath and Exercise Sciences)

Endrio Rambelli
Riya Naik

A Mobile Makerspace to Support Inclusive Patient and Community-Led Technology Solutions for Rural Health and Wellness

Dr. Eric Li (Management), Dr. Charlene Ronquillo (Nursing) & Dr. Katy Rush (Nursing)

Emily Mayzes-Kotulla
Ashish Giri

Using Artificial Intelligence to Assess Performance of Fine Motor and Upper-Limb Skills in Health and Disease

Dr. Sarah Kraeutner (Psycology) & Dr. Vicki Komisar (Engineering)

Nadine Widjaja
Elizabeth Bannon
Human Kinetics

Developing an Online Resource for Safe Active Recreation for Families Living with Autism

Dr. Lise L. Olsen(Nursing) & Dr. Carolyn Szostak (Pyscology)

Paige Dafoe
Rebecca Anderson

Establishing Foundations for Equity-Considerate Artificial Intelligence in Community Health: Understanding Community Health Nurses’ Conceptualizations and Documentation of Health Equity in Electronic Health Records

Dr. Charlene Ronquillo (Nursing), Dr. Shirley Chau (Social Work) & Dr. Xiaoxiao Li (Engineering)

Dawson Penner
David Shifflett

Generating Human Colonic “Mucus Factories” from Colon Organoids for Use as Novel Prebiotics to Combat Microbiota-Dependent Intestinal Diseases

Dr. Kirk Bergstrom (Biology) & Dr. Wesley Zandberg (Chemistry)

Ojogbane Amedu
Spencer Ursel

MURPH Graduate Mentors

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

MURPH in the News
Multidisciplinary approach leads to top award for UBCO scholar

Read more

MURPH is supported by

MURPH roadmap
MURPH offers a research engagement opportunity to undergraduates over the Winter Terms 1 and 2, expecting a part-time commitment from the students. Throughout the program, a number of select multidisciplinary projects in applied health will be launched, each creating a unique setting for a minimum of 2 undergraduates, named as MURPH Scholars, from distinct faculties to gain an unprecedented team-based research experience in health-related fields. In addition to working on a team-based research project, MURPH Scholars will have the opportunity to attend various research and professional skill development workshops uniquely designed by the MURPH team. Two graduate students will also provide continual mentorship support to the Scholars over the course of the program.

In the past two years, MURPH has supported 14 applied health projects with the involvement of 33 MURPH Scholars and 27 faculty members. You can learn about students' success stories and program highlights in the past years from MURPH Pamphlet and MURPH Report.

2021-2022 Program

MURPH is now accepting applications from faculty members, undergraduate students, and supporting organizations interested in conducting multidisciplinary research projects for the upcoming (September 2021-April 2022) academic year. To learn more about the application process, please click on a link below that is relevant to you.

Application deadline: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

For Faculty Members

We are inviting all faculty members at UBC Okanagan to submit their project proposals to MURPH for the Winter Terms 1 & 2. The MURPH management team 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);
▸Continuous mentorship to hired undergraduates, provided by the MURPH Graduate Student Mentors.

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.

Please note that all the awarded PIs must attend the MURPH launch meeting, to be held in October 2021, and the mid-term program review meeting, to be held in January 2022 (these meetings will be held digitally or in-person).

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, but they can still be regarded as the participants in the program (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; Science; Creative and Critical Studies; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Development; Management; and Medicine);
▸create research opportunities for undergraduate students from distinct disciplines.

For Undergraduate Students

We are inviting all undergraduate students from any faculty at UBC Okanagan (Arts; Science; Creative and Critical Studies; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Development; Management; and Medicine) to apply for MURPH research positions for the Winter Terms 1 & 2. Applicants must:

▸ have a strong desire and commitment to become involved in a multi-disciplinary research project focused on applied health;
▸ have a willingness to collaborate with others outside their discipline;
▸ hold a cumulative GPA of A (80%) or higher;
▸ commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week on the research project for 20 weeks;
▸ attend 5 professional workshops which consist of pre and post workshop preparation, in addition to the workshop itself (4-6 hours commitment/workshop);
▸ attend 2 research conferences in March 2022;

Note: The students who have participated in the program in the past two years are not eligible to apply again for this year.

MURPH offers participants the following opportunities:

▸a 20-week (starting October 4, 2021) part-time paid research job, remotely or in the lab, working with two faculty members;
▸skills development workshops on topics relevant to multidisciplinary research in health, data presentation, abstract writing, etc.;
▸continuous mentorship support provided by two graduate students 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 their time through MURPH, as the research experience will be part of their coursework.

For Companies

MURPH is seeking partnerships with organizations interested in conducting multidisciplinary research projects for the upcoming academic year (September 2021- April 2022). We are inviting all interested parties to submit their project proposals to MURPH. Project proposals will be evaluated and short-listed by the program management team. If you are selected to participate, the MURPH staff will help you build connections with research faculty and student teams that have the expertise and lab facilities related to your proposed project.

For any inquiries regarding this program, please email Mahdi Takaffoli, MMRI Research Engineer, at