ORICE Design Research Project- Remote Placement with SHARP NGO, India


The UBC Office of Regional and International Community Engagement (UBC ORICE) in collaboration with School Health Annual Report Programme (SHARP-NGO) India, has launched a Design Research Project-Remote International Placement summer opportunity for UBC undergraduate students. The Design Research Project is a 10-week remote international Placement with SHARP NGO—one of India’s largest health networks that runs scientifically-planned health programs for school children, to create community engagement opportunities within the frameworks of design thinking /research. 

A team of 2-4 UBC students will collaborate with SHARP NGO to undertake design research* and collaboratively develop interventions and design prototype solutions to address the challenges of depression and anxiety in middle-aged school children especially during/after COVID-19 in Northern India. 

*Design research involves careful investigation of human experience and behaviour to dream up new ways to spark and distill insight. It begins with the rigorous study of the issue, of the people being served and their context and continues to build understanding and empathy through observation, prototyping possible solutions, and reflecting on the feedback from the stakeholders themselves.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a design mindset and demonstrate associated skills to be able to break down complex problems and strategically approach them;
  • Design a research project that supports sustainable development through collaborative work;
  • Gain hands-on experience with empathy-building through cross-disciplinary collaboration;
  • Gain a holistic understanding of the principles of international community engagement/community-engaged learning;
  • Recognize the ethical responsibilities that accompany research with (rather than on) the community;

Update (11/06/20): Based on the interest, we have opened up this opportunity for students from all faculties.

  • Be an undergraduate student (domestic or international) at the University of British Columbia with 60 or more completed credits as of May 1st, 2020. (Recent grads are welcome to apply but priority will be given to current undergraduate students);
  • Have access to a reliable internet connection and computer to collaborate with peers and attend all meetings remotely;
  • Demonstrate ability to think critically and creatively to apply knowledge to SHARP NGO’s social impact;
  • Prior knowledge about Design Thinking and/or Design Research is preferred but not required;
  • Demonstrated interest in mental health is an asset.

Academic Integration:

*Please note this is a not-for-credit design research opportunity. If you are interested in making this a student-directed study course, please contact ubc.orice@ubc.ca to discuss the process to explore this option.

Selected Students are expected to:

  • Commit 7-10 hours a week between June 22 – August 28;
  • Attend interactive online pre-placement orientation with ORICE staff between June 22-26;
  • Participate in weekly scheduled calls with SHARP NGO and ORICE to learn more about design thinking through a mix of live zoom session and online-learning resources for the duration of the project;
  • Participate in a weekly meeting with SHARP NGO between 8-10pm due to the time difference.

Note: This is an unpaid opportunity under the tenets of mutual aid and skill-sharing to support non-profit organizations that are spread thin trying to respond to the needs of their community due to COVID-19.

How to apply

Thank you for your interest, the application deadline was June 12, 2020 11:59PM PST and we are no longer accepting applications. Accepted applicants will be contacted by mid-June 2020. Please reach out to us at ubc.orice@ubc.ca if you have any questions.