Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

FHS project summaries

Supervisors

Ginny BruntonShilpa Dogra | Bernadette MurphyNicholas La Delfa | Syed QadriWinnie Sun

 

Supervisor name: Ginny Brunton
Project title: Training in Systematic Review Methods: Research on Home Birth

Summary of research project: Research evidence can bring new knowledge to people making decisions about health care. Researchers use the systematic review method to locate, assess and analyze the relevant research to bring this knowledge into personal, practice and policy decisions. A recent CIHR-funded scoping review (Brunton et al. 2021) identified several topics for further synthesis. These include fathers’ views of home birth, perceptions of rural home birth and the experience of transfer from home to hospital during birth. This project seeks to provide systematic review training to undergraduate students through their involvement on a qualitative evidence synthesis of stakeholders’ views of home birth.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

  • Students will assist with the systematic review qualitative evidence synthesis process, supported by the supervisor.
  • This could include searching multiple databases and websites; use of EndNote software; screening of identified references, full text retrieval, data extraction, critical appraisal, synthesis and communication of results.

Student qualifications required:

  • An interest in research and close attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and consult regularly with their Supervisor
  • A 75+ average in a critical appraisal course
  • Ability to access/search electronic databases (e.g. MEDLINE) and use citation software

Expected training/skills to be received by the Student:

  • Students will gain specific training in the evidence synthesis cycle and systematic review methods through completion of an online NCCMT module.
  • Through supervisor mentorship, students will also gain skills in critical thinking, time management and team working.

Length of award: 12 weeks

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award

  

Supervisor name: Shilpa Dogra
Project title: How Does the Built Environment Affect Active Aging?

Summary of research project: Social isolation is one of the most pressing issues related to our growing aging population in Canada. While individual level factors that lead to social isolation have been identified, little work has been done to identify environmental level determinants of active aging in older adults. Thus, there exists a critical gap in our knowledge. An understanding of the environmental determinants is necessary as communities around Canada commit to becoming age-friendly.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

  • Ethics application
  • Recruitment
  • Walking interviews with older adults
  • Data analysis
  • Publication

Student qualifications required:

  • The ideal student will have taken KINE 3200 (or a similar course)

Expected training/skills to be received by the Student:

  • Ethics applications and approvals
  • Qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Manuscript preparation and publication

Length of award: 16 weeks

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award

 

Supervisor name: Bernadette Murphy
Project title: Effect of Neck Vibration on Upper Limb Sensorimotor Integration

Summary of research project: When people learn new skills, it changes the way the brain processes information. Neck pain and fatigue alter this response and also worsen motor performance.  A challenge with experimental neck fatigue is that the fatigue recovers within a few minutes.  Vibration of neck muscles affords a way to excite specific muscle receptors called muscle spindles, and when frequencies above 60 Hz are used for periods of 10 minutes, post vibration effects can last up to 22 hours, providing a longer time window to explore the impact of altered neck sensory inputs. The aim of this project is to investigate how altering neck sensory input with vibration affects brain excitability, and motor performance.
Student responsibilities/tasks:

Students will assist in recruiting and testing participants, and performing data analysis.  They will acquire skills in:

  • Collecting and analyzing somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to study sensory
    processing by the brain
  • Collecting and analyzing upper limb force matching data
  • Running statistical analyses and data presentation
  • Communicating with research participants

Student qualifications required: Students need to have completed Intro to Movement Neuroscience and Motor Control and learning with strong grades.

Expected training/skills to be received by the Student:

  • Collecting and analyzing somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) to study sensory processing by the brain
  • Collecting and analyzing upper limb force matching data
  • Learning to run statistical analyses and present data
  • Communicating with research participants and obtaining informed consent.

Length of award: 16 weeks

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA

 

Supervisor name: Nicholas La Delfa
Project title: Assessing Inertial and Optical Markerless Motion Capture for Upper Limb Occupational Tasks

Summary of research project: In the last few years, major advances have been made in our ability to accurately measure human kinematics outside of the laboratory. These include: a) an optical markerless machine-learning approach that can recognize features on the human subject(s) and compute accurate joint kinematics, and b) inertial sensors that can compute segment and joint kinematics in the absence of any visual data. This project will compare these two novel motion capture approaches to gold-standard motion capture for upper limb focused work, as there is a relative lack of validation data on these systems for both upper limb movements and occupational-based tasks (e.g. overhead drilling, etc.). 

Student responsibilities/tasks:

  • The candidate will work with graduate students in Dr. La Delfa's lab to conduct a laboratory-based research study.
  • They will be trained on the 3 motion capture technologies involved in the research.
  • They will be responsible for scheduling participants, conducting all aspects of the data collection and some preliminary data analysis.
  • The Student will have every opportunity to be involved in presentation and publication of this work.

Student qualifications required:

  • 'A-' or higher in Musculoskeletal Biomechanics (HLSC 4471U) AND Occupational Ergonomics (HLSC 4475U).
  • Note, if you are currently enrolled in HLSC 4475U, you will still be considered for this project.

Expected training/skills to be received by the Student:

  • Placing kinematics sensors on skeletal landmarks according to standard biomechanics conventions
  • How to operate and synchronize three different motion capture systems
  • Basic Data reduction, processing and analysis
  • Knowledge translation in academic and industry-focused forums

Length of award: 16 weeks

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA

 

Supervisor name: Syed Qadri
Project title: Mechanisms Regulating Red Blood Cell Deformability

Summary of research project: Deformability is an essential property of red blood cells (RBCs) which enables them to traverse through the microcirculation of tissues, thereby facilitating gaseous exchange. Reduced RBC deformability and increased cell membrane stiffening leads to premature removal of RBCs from the circulation. This project aims to identify the molecular mechanisms which regulate deformability of RBCs exposed to various pathophysiological cell stressors in vitro.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

  • The Student will assist in the preparation of different buffers required for RBC sampling.
  • The Student will further help in elucidating different RBC proteins using flow cytometry and immunoblotting.
  • The Student will also be expected to perform thorough literature reviews to understand relevant research questions and methodologies for this project.

Student qualifications required:

  • Grade: A; 4.0 GPA
  • Human Health Sciences students: HLSC2462U and HLSC2110U
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences students: HLSC2461U and MLSC1110U
  • Faculty of Science students: BIOL2030U/BIOL2020U/BIOL2080U

Expected training/skills to be received by the Student:

  • Basic laboratory skills: Pipetting, preparation of simple solutions, preparation of samples, and using basic lab equipment such as water baths, pH meter, microcentrifuges, etc.
  • Isolation of human RBCs and cellular phenotyping using ektacytometry and flow cytometry analyses
  • Comprehensive understanding of RBC biology in the context of human diseases and blood banking

Length of award: 12 weeks

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award or NSERC USRA

 

Supervisor name: Winnie Sun
Project title: Development and Evaluation of Virtual Reality Reminiscence Therapy for Persons with Dementia

Summary of research project: Reminiscence therapy (RT) is a cross-sensory experience that helps individuals with dementia to remember events. However, traditional RT media lacks immersion that otherwise found in immersive technologies such as VR. The purpose of this project is to explore caregiver approaches that would improve reminiscence therapy experiences for persons with dementia. We have prototyped an immersive and non-immersive VR framework (VR using a headset and VR without one) that allows caregivers to design and deliver reminiscence therapy to support the persons with dementia with varying stages in their disease progression.

Student responsibilities/tasks:

  • Student will be involved in assisting with usability testing and evaluation of the VR reminiscence therapy prototype with persons with dementia and their caregivers in Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
  • Student will be involved in collecting non-invasive data analytics based on user interactions and physiological measures, including facial and eye tracking, to provide quantifiable metrics about the effects of intervention.

Student qualifications required:

  • Background experience and interest in the area of aging research and dementia care
  • Background experience and interest in the area of technology enabled care for older adults
  • Skill in quantitative data analysis (i.e. SPSS)
  • Skill in qualitative data collection and data analysis (i.e. interviewing technique)
  • Minimum grade B+

Expected training/skills to be received by the Student:

  • To co-design and develop a framework prototype for creating immersive and interactive virtual reminiscence experiences to facilitate the caregiving and management of behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
  • To conduct usability testing of prototype immersive/non-immersive virtual reminiscence therapy for persons with dementia at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

Length of award: 12 weeks

Available Award: Ontario Tech STAR Award