Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Projects in Health (MURPH) 2022-2023 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.

An Introduction Presentation about MURPH by Dr. Abbas Milani

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.

MURPH Projects

Investigating the potential accumulation of nano- and microplastics in the mammalian nervous system

MURPH Scholars: Ellie Leung (Mechanical Engineering) and Neet Kaur (Medical Biochemistry)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Pakpour (Engineering) and Prof. Gibon (Biology)

EMPHASize: E-module for Professional Health Awareness on Eating Disorders and Weight Stigma

MURPH Scholars: Lakoda R Thomas (Psychology) and Mona Huang (Microbiology)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Stewart (Health and Exercise Sciences) and Prof. Libben (Psychology)

Co-Creating An Indigenous-Led Culturally Safe Tele-Diabetes/Obesity Implementation Toolkit

MURPH Scholars: Kyra Molen (Human Kinetics) and Marie-Claire Lantin (Biology, Psychology)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Jones (Medicine) and Prof. Kurtz (Nursing)

Personal Belongings Carrier: An interdisciplinary collaborative intervention project to address homelessness and the precariousness of personal belongings

MURPH Scholars: Shiva Natarajan (Psychology) and Alison Marie Rose Siddon (Engineering)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Milani (Engineering) and Prof. Chau (Nursing)

Design and Testing of an Augmented Reality-Assisted Vein Detection Device: A Low-Cost Solution for Difficult Intravenous Access in Healthcare Settings

MURPH Scholars: Kibele Sebnem Yildrim (Computer Science) and Nicole Merritt (Nursing)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Milani (Engineering) and Prof. Ronquillo (Nursing)

Integrating Patient User Experience Platforms and Sharing Data to Visualize

MURPH Scholars: Vanessa Ferraro (Management) and Wenqi Guo (Computer Science)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Marcolin (Management) and Prof. Ronquillo (Nursing)

Design and testing of an airborne disease mitigation device for interior hospitals

MURPH Scholars: Ryan Gordon (Mechanical Engineering) and Ashley Tahara (Biochemistry)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Li (Engineering) and Prof. Little (Health and Exercise Sciences)

Mahalanobis-distance based fuzzy c-means in breast cancer imaging

MURPH Scholars: Dresya Davis (Nursing) and Daniel Alexadner Krasnov (Data Science)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Shi (Computer Science) and Prof. Voss (Medicine)

Design and Optimization of a Low-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging System using Permanent Magnets

MURPH Scholars: Solomon Thiessen (Electrical Engineering) and Mikayla Tchir (Biochemistry)
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Feldman (Physics) and Prof. Weyand (Engineering)

MURPH is now accepting applications from faculty members and undergraduate students for the 2022-2023 academic year. We also have two open positions for MURPH Graduate Mentors. To learn more about the application process, please click on the relevant link below.

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.

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.

Submit your research proposal

Application deadline: Thursday, September 15, 2022

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:

▸ be in the second year or up of their undergraduate study;
▸ 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 3 professional workshops which consist of pre and post workshop preparation, in addition to the workshop itself (4-6 hours commitment/workshop);
▸ attend a research conferences in March 2022: UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Student Health Conference;

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

MURPH offers participants the following opportunities:

▸a 20-week (starting October 10, 2022) 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.

Apply to MURPH

Application deadline: Thursday, September 15, 2022

For Graduate Students

To provide mentorship support to accepted undergraduates in MURPH along with assisting the senior management team with execution of the program, part-time MURPH Graduate Mentor positions (12 hrs/week) are available for graduate students at UBC Okanagan from September 15, 2022 until April 31, 2023. 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 to MURPH Mentor Positions

Application deadline: Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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

MURPH in the News

Using mixed-reality tools to bolster nurse training

Read more

Multidisciplinary approach leads to top award for UBCO scholar
Read more

MURPH Achievements

MURPH was featured as a model program at the UBC Board of Governors meeting in Feb 2020

Four best poster presentation awards were won by MURPH Scholars at UBC Okanagan Interdisciplinary Student Health Conference

Inspired the launch of the Faculty of Medicine Multidisciplinary Research Program in Medicine at UBC Vancouver

MURPH acknowledges the financial support from the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic at UBC Okanagan.

MURPH is supported by