2,893 Inspirational Research Project Ideas

Turn inspirations into your passion project.

This collection of project ideas, shared by Polygence mentors, is meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

A two-way street: How mentor stress and depression influence relational satisfaction and attachment in youth mentoring relationships

Youth mentoring is often seen as a low cost way to provide mental health services to at-risk youth. But we don't know much about how a mentor's life history and experiences might impact that relationship. We investigate the impact of a mentor's life history and depressive symptoms on mentoring relationship outcomes in this paper.

Psychology

Emma
Emma

Computational Analysis of Publicly Available Datasets

This project utilized publicly available datasets to analyze data collected by other researchers using computational methods. With open software programs like R and Python, you could utilize existing code or write your own code to explore the large amounts of data that have yet to be fully explored. After identifying the dataset you would want to explore, you could come up with a question that dataset can answer and find ways to extract that information with code. The results could then be compiled and turned into a written publication.

Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Shayla
Shayla

Learning History

For this project, students will write a history paper on their personal favorite time period of history. This paper will have to focus on why this period is important, what happened in this period, and why people should use this time period to learn for the future.

Environmental Science, Psychology, History, Literature and Languages

Katie
Katie

Why do some children do better in school than others?

Often, we answer this question by thinking about the skills children come to school with. But what if schools have simply been designed to serve some students better than others? In this project, we’ll do a deep-dive into early education literature, and think through how this relates to structural inequity and children’s early language experiences. This would be an awesome review paper for a student journal.

Cognitive, Psychology

Monica
Monica

Research Project on Youth Vaping Epidemic

I researched data related to a Public Heath crisis of the youth vaping epidemic. This was a 25 page research project in which I received an A. I also had to make a ppt and present my findings to a group. I would love the opportunity to present my entire paper and project.

Psychology, Public Health, Ethics, Finance, Organizational Leadership

Candice
Candice

Introducing Statistics to Answer Research Questions

There are publicly available datasets that the student could use to gain first-hand experience in statistical analyses and interpretations, with the ability to present findings in a research conference of interest.

Neuroscience, Psychology, Social Science

Melissa
Melissa

Adapting evidence-based psychology interventions for diverse families

Explores existing evidence-based psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and how they can be adapted to be more culturally sensitive and responsive to family values.

Psychology, Social Science

Kaley
Kaley

Creating a blog post

In this project, you will write a scientific blog post on a topic that interests you. This could range anywhere from explaining how something works (ex. how memories are formed) to answering a specific question (ex. does listening to music help you study better?). This project will give you experience with finding and reading scientific literature on a topic that you're excited about. The overall goal of this project is to communicate your topic and ideas to a general audience. This project will help you sharpen your writing and editing skills as well as literature synthesis skills.

Cognitive, Psychology

Alexandria
Alexandria

#EveryDayAdvocacy & Social Media

In today's society, many things are competing for people's attention. Let's work together to build a winning social media advocacy strategy for a topic that is important to you! This might look like identifying a target audience, connecting with policymakers, engaging with supporters, and developing ongoing relationships with activists or advocates doing similar work.

Psychology

Ayli
Ayli

The Neurological Basis of "Long COVID"

We know that some people have long-term COVID symptoms (brain fog, lethargy, loss of smell/taste), but we don't know why. This project could focus on finding what researchers already know about the way COVID affects the body and brain, and develop some educated hypotheses about the pathology of long COVID symptoms.

Psychiatry, Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Megan
Megan

You are What You Eat

Interested in helping others feel better? Well, you are what you eat. Many nutritional changes/deficiencies can drastically impact your mental health and affect diagnoses. This project could include educational content/series for your community or class with local grocery store about how to read labels and know what they consume and how it can affect their mental health.

Psychiatry, Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Kia
Kia

A brain game about neurocellular dynamics

How do the building blocks of the brain fit together? In this project, you will design an educational game that teaches players how cells in the brain support each other to enable brain function. This game will break the brain down into modules and common resources that can be manipulated to heal injuries, adapt to altered nutritional states, or become happier! You will learn how different neuronal and glial (supporting) cells work to instruct and protect each other, then translate your knowledge into a cooperative group game where players take the role of a functional brain.

Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Dorian
Dorian

Using machine learning algorithms to predict volunteer turnover

Turnover, or employees quitting an organization, is a key issue for most employers, and much prior research has examined the various job-related predictors of turnover. However, few have explored the effect of non-cognitive predictors (e.g., role ambiguity, satisfaction with colleagues) on turnover, especially among volunteer populations. Such research is particularly important with volunteers, who generally lack traditional motivators such as pay or lack of alternative options. Moreover, few studies have employed modern machine learning methods to examine the relative importance of different predictors. This study tests 14 different machine learning models on a large sample of volunteers, using a set of non-cognitive variables to predict turnover.

Business, Statistics, Psychology, Organizational Leadership

Steven
Steven

Mental health during pregnancy among caregivers

Mental health can be a large obstacle for many to deal with during their life, and pregnancy and becoming a new parent often adds some addition challenges. We could investigate mental health and interventions for all types of caregivers. While there is some research on mental health and pregnancy, little investigates how fathers, secondary caregivers, and other types of caregivers' mental health effects the transition to parenthood, and their new infant.

Neuroscience, Statistics, Psychology

Shannon
Shannon

Foundations of Structural MRI Physics

In this project, you will learn about the physics of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). You will explore the physics of the MRI machine and how those signals interact with the body to produce a structural MRI. You may choose to focus on anatomical images or diffusion-weighted images, or you may explore both topics. You will then produce an a scientific review paper or infographic depicting the process, depending on your preference. Prerequisites Basic understanding of physics and biology.

Cognitive, Neuroscience, Statistics, Psychology

Juliann
Juliann

Changing factors to improve obesity levels

Changing factors in grade school to improve obesity epidemic in America.

Neuroscience, Psychology

Stacey
Stacey

Writing an Op-Ed

An Op-Ed is a personal article that serves as powerful tool for advocating, persuading, and bringing attention to an issue. When done well, it can be the spark that a topic needs to gain national or international attention. In this project, you'll write your own persuasive op-ed on a topic of your choice! You'll gain skills of observing the social climate, researching the topic, and writing creatively and authentically.

Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Adeoluwa
Adeoluwa

Lost in translation: research models of the future

The scientific field has faced many challenges over the years to find models (such as monkeys, mice, worms, or computers) for different diseases and research questions about human health. Some questions can be answered with models that don't even require a living organism, while others need live human or non-human primate participation in order to translate findings into medical treatments. This project would explore the pros and cons of different models, as well as an outlook for what the future of scientific research will look like.

Psychiatry, Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Megan
Megan

Differential outcomes of first psychosis based on income levels

This would be a retrospective study examining the outcomes of first psychosis episodes based on income levels of the patients. My hypothesis is that due to both better resources (income, health insurance, better familial and social supports, etc.) of higher income patients, their first psychotic episodes would lead to better resolution and better life outcomes than patients from lower socioeconomic statuses.

Biology, Public Health, Psychology

Kunwal
Kunwal

8 legs are better than 2!

The octopus is one of my favorite animals- not just because they're crazy smart but because they're amazing movers! 70% of neurons in the octopus are located in their arms, which control their movement, the texture of their skin, the color of their camouflage, and each individual sucker. On top of that, they can detect color and taste through their skin! In this project, you'll learn about the motor and chromatophore systems of these amazing creatures along with their unique behaviors for camouflage. Along the way, you'll learn the core principles of how neurons communicate and produce behavior.

Neuroscience, Psychology, AI/ML

Abby
Abby