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2,893 Inspirational Passion 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.

People working on laptops
Public Health

Historical Exhibition:

Do you love visiting museums? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to create an exhibit about a topic of your choice? We can work together to create one! In a project like this, we would first select a period or event in history to talk about. I would then guide you toward relevant primary and secondary resources which we can talk through and analyze together. From there, we will work on curating those pieces you found to be most relevant into an exhibit that you could, if you wanted to, display for family or friends to see!

Economics, Public Health

Dominique
Dominique

Mitochondrial diseases: a review of current knowledge and future research

Mitchondrial diseases come in many forms and are rare. Many of these diseases do not have effective treatment and can be devastating. In order to guide future scientists in pursuing appropriate research on mitchondrial diseases, it is important to perform a literature review to see what current knowledge already exists and reveal gaps in the literature where future research must be performed. This paper can be a literature review or scoping review, which means that students would read through existing publications to understand the current state of the literature, and use what they've read to create their scientific research paper. Students will end up with a scientific research paper that can be published to journals and presented at various local and national conferences. They will learn skills of literature review, research study design, data collection, data analysis, manuscript review, and, if applicable, journal submission process.

Cancer, Surgery, Public Health, Medicine

Brandon
Brandon

Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Treating Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders in Youth

Anxiety disorders are very prevalent in youth today, and they have their onset in childhood or early adulthood. Pediatric anxiety disorders can lead to adult psychopathology and are associated with poor functioning in several areas of life. Some of the of the most common anxiety disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Social Anxiety Disorder, or Social Phobia (SOP). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be efficacious in the treatment of such anxiety disorders and is one of the main treatment options recommended for mental disorders. The specific research question being investigated in this study would be the treatment efficacy of CBT in children and adolescents diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Psychology, Public Health

Ana
Ana

The World Of Mathematics

The history of mathematics can date all the way back into the very first civilizations and followed throughout history all over the globe. This development leads us into our way of living and thinking today. Rarely taught in math courses, the origins of math can provide clear insight into the necessities of learning math and the broad applications that math has in the world. This project will include conducting research on a chosen time period, location, or figure in mathematics and describing the impacts that this had on the development of math as we know it while also focusing on the importance of learning it today.

Computer Science, Math, Public Health, Statistics

Shae
Shae

Patient Case Simulation

Explore 2-3 case-based patient scenarios which will involve a review of their medical history, treatments, and plans for discharging home from the hospital. This project will focus on learning about what factors might influence a person's ability to live at home independently following an injury/illness and ways to evaluate/treat them from the rehabilitation standpoint. This will involve researching into different conditions and critical thinking of how someone's personal or environmental factors may influence their health outcomes and how to problem solve through those difficulties.

Public Health

Gabrielle
Gabrielle

A review of biomarkers to monitor and diagnose cancer

In this project you will write a review that evaluates the biomarkers present in various body fluids and its potential use to monitor and diagnosis cancer. There has been an increase in interest in studying other body fluids to detect and monitor disease. This study will allow you develop the skills to critally analyze research and determine if the data is significant and then to combine the literature into a review.

Cancer, Public Health

Varun
Varun

One health with connection of COVID-19 or climate change

This project could be about the interactions of one health regarding climate change or Covid-19, on how the social, economic, and political implications have been affected. potential skills: Exel data analysis, and Analytical/Assessment Skills.

Public Health, Medicine

Estefania
Estefania

Intersection of Depression and Diabetes

Students would use publicly available data to assess the prevalence of depression medication use stratified by chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

Social Science, Public Health

Shaina
Shaina

Sickness behavior: How our immune system can change the way we feel

Have you ever had a cold and felt just awful? Have you ever gotten a vaccine and felt tired and sluggish afterwards? This is called 'sickness behavior', and it is actually caused by our immune systems, not the cold or the vaccine! In this project, we can learn more about how the immune system interacts with the brain and nervous system to cause sickness behavior. We can read up on the current scientific literature that has been published, compile our findings, and synthesize the knowledge into a comprehensive literature review. For this literature review, you have the opportunity to take all of the existing knowledge about sickness behavior, and write it up so it is easy to find and understand in one paper. You also have the opportunity to use your creativity and artistic skills to create original figures and diagrams which summarize the big concepts covered in the literature review.

Public Health

Danielle
Danielle

Why don't we have an HIV Vaccine?

With the quick turn around on the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 people have turned to other viruses and asked why we don't have a vaccine for them yet. HIV is another virus that caused a global epidemic and yet it does not have an effective vaccine yet. The answer why lies in both the nature of the virus and its target and to tease this apart one would need to have a foundational understanding of virology. This project could take the form of a literature review on the history of HIV vaccine efforts and where we stand today or could be an Op-ed/blog post answering the burning question everyone has had on their mind since we heard of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Public Health

Kolin
Kolin

Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health

Although genetic factors influence many health outcomes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other chronic diseases are largely "preventable" and can be managed with proper diet and physical activity that we can control. Animal meat and processed foods have been linked to higher risks for chronic diseases like CVD. What are the ideal dietary patterns, if any, that can help mitigate disease?

Biology, Nutrition, Public Health, Medicine

Aubrey
Aubrey

I Feel it in My Body: The Relationship Between Mental and Physical Health

Mental and physical health are intimately connected. For example, during childhood, anxiety may manifest primarily as physical symptoms like stomachaches or headaches. Mental illnesses increase your risk of developing physical illness in the future, and vice versa. In this project, we will make use of a publicly available, large longitudinal dataset (e.g., AddHealth) to explore the relationship between physical and mental health. You will learn how to perform a literature review on a topic, develop a testable research question and hypothesis, evaluate your hypothesis using statistics, explore your data using appropriate visualizations, interpret your findings, and write up your results in a scientific paper for others to learn about.

Biology, Public Health, Statistics

Francesca
Francesca

#1: Barriers and facilitators to accessing appropriate and timely healthcare

Disparities and inequities in healthcare stem from forces such as discrimination, racism, and lack of governmental support. However, while there are generic interventions that can be implemented, these solutions must be appropriate and relevant to the community of interest in order to make a significant impact. This project would require an in-depth analysis of societal or structural challenges to accessing adequate healthcare, as well as any existing practices or policies that promote it. The goal would be to identify a model that is culturally competent for the setting and community served.

Illustration, Public Health

Viana
Viana

Mental Health Stigma in the Black Community

This study will examine the intersections of stigma around mental health, access to healthcare, and race through a lens of structural inequality. You will acquire skills such as critical thinking, literature review searches, and consolidating data and research to be translated to the public.

Neuroscience, Psychology, Public Health

Kenna
Kenna

Research a Bioethical Issue in Emerging Technologies

How should we think about new technology in medicine and biomedical research? What ethical issues arise with advancements in fields like artificial intelligence, genetics, and neuroscience? In this project, you will produce a paper in which you will identify a novel biomedical innovation that you're interested in, research relevant ethical perspectives, and support your own argument on how you think law and policy should intervene, if at all.

Ethics, Public Health

Lars
Lars

Lifestyle Factors and Mental Health during Covid-19

Are you interested in contributing to the ever-growing research on Covid-19 and its impact? Covid-19 has disrupted all our lives in one way, and research has shown that mental health has changed for many during the past two years as people navigated their way through this difficult time. For this project, you will conduct research by surveying a population of your choice on some of their lifestyle habits during the pandemic and the impact of Covid-19 on their mental health. This project can culminate into either a research paper, a website where you display your findings for the general public or any other creative format of your choice.

Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Public Health

Shirine
Shirine

Host on Health Disparities

In this project you will explore an area of health disparity -- whether that be in socioeconomic class, race, sex, or another population -- and then review sources that allow you to formulate an evidence-based opinion. Your project will include that opinion and possible solutions, to be featured online in print or via podcast!

Biology, Cancer, Surgery, Public Health

Riya
Riya

Propose a Health Policy Solution

Have an idea to improve health outcomes through policy? In this project, you would identify a problem you want to address, propose a solution, and research how it would work and feasibly be implemented. By the end of the project, you will produce a paper explaining why you think your solution would be effective and defend it against potential counterarguments.

Ethics, Public Health

Lars
Lars

Statistical Modeling/Machine Learning Models

This project is for the student who is proficient in Python or R and more familiar with the tenets of good data analysis and would like to take the next step, which is predictive modeling. The student will identify a research question, perform rigorous data analysis, and research/build the appropriate models to help him/her answer the research question. The end project likely will be a report in Word, Markdown, or PowerPoint format.

AI/ML, Public Health

Derek
Derek

Hospital Ranking & Communities

Review population demographics of the highest ranked hospitals in the country. Identify if highly ranked organizations primarily serve affluent communities that are likely to have better health outcomes.

Social, Public Health

Breanna
Breanna