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Research Experience

Our students learn a great deal about research within their degree and benefit from a variety of hands-on learning opportunities that focus on building and applying research skills working on global health projects. Some of these opportunities have resulted in students being awarded research grants, co-authoring peer-reviewed publications, and presenting their research at academic conferences.

Global health students can gain the chance to work closely with professors and researchers in the School of Global Health and other global health research units at York (Global Strategy Lab, Dahdaleh Institute of Global Health, and the Global & Environmental Health Lab), which provides invaluable first-hand experience in the design, implementation, evaluation, and publication of research.

Some of these opportunities are paid, while course credit can be received for other opportunities. Some students have co-authored peer-reviewed publications with professors collaborating on their research projects. The number and nature of opportunities can vary depending on what research is currently being conducted at the time and how many students professors are able to take on.

Some of the different opportunities to gain research experience include:

  • Research at York (RAY) Program: An exclusive opportunity for eligible undergraduate students to participate in research projects with faculty members and fellow students, as well as receive compensation at a competitive rate.
  • Research Assistantships: Professors and researchers with grant funding often budget for research assistantships to help support different aspects of their project. These opportunities, some during term time and others during summer, can provide students the ability to support and engage in global health research.
  • Independent Study Course: Students may wish to pursue intensive work with a particular faculty member on a topic of study not offered in a particular academic session or in manner which extends beyond the curricular offerings, and provision is made for this in the form of an independent study course (GH 4000) where students receive course credit around an independent research project supervised by a professor or researcher.
  • Practicum: Students taking the Specialized Honours degree in Global Health can do a practicum embedded within a global health organization in Canada or internationally, in which some practicum placements involve contributing to a research project(s).

Urmi Sheth, under the supervision of Professor Tarra Penney, was a research assistant for global food system and policy research contributing to a systematic scoping review about the role of artificial intelligence, ethics, and equity in non-communicable disease prevention policy that was funded by a NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award. Urmi went on to medical school at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University.

Mirianna Georges, under the supervision of Professor Godfred Boateng, was a research assistant completing a project on the gendered differences in the relationship between housing insecurity and diarrheal infections in Kenyan informal settlements that was funded by a CIHR Undergraduate Student Research Award. This research was presented at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health annual conference and at an undergraduate science student research conference and the intern symposium at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research. Mirianna went on to complete her Master of Science in Global Health at McMaster University.

Victoria Cassar, under the supervision of Professor A.M. Viens, was an independent study student completing a project on the use of international law in the prevention of pandemic zoonoses. This work resulted in a research paper that Victoria was a co-author on entitled, Carving the Meat at the Joint: The Role of Defining How Animals are Viewed and Treated in the Governance of (Re-)Emergent Pandemic Zoonoses in International Law. This peer-reviewed article was published in the journal Law & Policy. Victoria went on to law school at the Osgoode Hall School of Law at York University.

Gabriel Fezza, under the supervision of Dr. Mathieu Poirier and Dr. Susan Rogers Van Katwyk, is supporting the Global Strategy Lab’s Global Legal Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Policy Acceleration Streams. Some of Gabriel’s notable contributions at the lab include collaborating on manuscript development for an analysis of Lessons Learned from the Montreal Protocol for the global governance of antimicrobial resistance. Gabriel also assists with data collection for an evaluation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. In addition, Gabriel has collaborated on synthesizing the relationships between Sustainable Development Goals and infections/infectious diseases for a project to propose a Unifying Global Target for reducing antimicrobial resistance. Beginning in January 2024, Gabriel will be leading a sub-review and meta-analysis of the impacts of international laws under the supervision of Dr. Poirier for his Global Health practicum.

Ranjana Nagi, who completed her BSc Honours in Global Health at York and an MSc in International Health Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), is an interdisciplinary health policy professional who was able to develop strong research skills and experience to enhance career prospects. Currently, Ranjana serves as a Policy Analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada and holds the position of Research Fellow at the Global Strategy Lab’s AMR Policy Accelerator. Ranjana has over four years of experience in academic research, biopharmaceutical companies, and consulting. Passionate about applying rigorous research methods to shape health policy decision-making, she has played crucial roles in various research projects, including research to understand the role of senior public health officials, exploring how AMR impacts migrant and refugee populations, and assessing the effectiveness of international treaties in addressing global challenges.

Leah Goldschmidt, under the supervision of Professor Amrita Daftary, was a RAY student supporting the development of the Social Science and Health Innovation for Tuberculosis, a digital hub for tuberculosis research. In her role, Leah curated material for the centre’s database, managed communications with academics, community representatives and students from 20+ countries, and supported publication of a scoping review on the acceptability of video-based treatment supervision for people affected by tuberculosis. For her Specialized Honours Global Health practicum, she interned at Results Canada and StopTB Canada, leading a social media campaign for tuberculosis advocacy. She wrote a telling op-ed for World TB Day 2022. Leah went on to law school at Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Toronto Metropolitan University where she is pursuing a Juris Doctor. 

Rumia Owaisi undertook an independent study with Professor Amrita Daftary where she helped lead a narrative scoping review examining the patient-centeredness of video-based directly observed therapy (VDOT) for people with tuberculosis For her Specialized Honors Global Health practicum, she worked under the supervision of Dr. Brad Meisner together a doctoral student to explore the unique experiences of Canadian older adults, caregivers, and service providers through the lenses of adult day program directors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rumia’s undergraduate projects led to two publications in the Canadian Journal of Aging and the  Journal of Clinical Tuberculosis and Mycobacterial Diseases. She also received the prestigious Faculty of Health Dean’s Gold Medal (2022). Rumia went on to complete a Master of Social Work with a specialization in gerontology at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and proceeded to engage in community-based mental health programming, as well as research on aging, and Muslim mental health.