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.

Interpreting Outcomes of Oral Surgery Topics

This project will focus on introducing the student to fundamental topics of oral surgery including wisdom teeth surgeries, dental implants. The student will then choose to focus on a specific area of oral surgery and look at scientific literature to explore how different factors may alter outcomes.

Public Health, Ethics

Blake
Blake

Public Health Problem-Solver

In this project you will choose an area of need in public health that interests you, and start a partnership with an organization to create a better solution for a problem they have. For example, working with Project Homeless Connect in SF to reliably and routinely package and distribute basic essentials to houseless community members.

Biology, Surgery, Cancer, Public Health

Riya
Riya

"Your zip code matters more than your genetic code"

Place matters for your health. Where you grow up, live, work, and play are important predictors of long-term health. In this project, you'll explore how neighborhoods (e.g. economic resources, access to healthy food, green spaces, and education) impact risk for cardiovascular disease AND racial and ethnic disparities. You will learn about public health theories and frameworks, social determinants of health, and health disparities. Students can explore this topic using quantitative or qualitative methods, or both! Quantitative methods include utilizing publicly available, nationally representative surveys such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Qualitative methods include conducting go-along interviews in which students go on a walking tour in neighborhoods with individuals living in that neighborhood.

Public Health, Social Science, Quantitative

Esther
Esther

Project 1: Failed Self-Tolerance: When Our Immune System Attacks Us

The immune system is like a little army within our body that prevent us from getting diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and more! It also helps in eliminating cancer cells. However, sometimes, the immune system can make a mistake and attack our own proteins and cells, leading to autoimmune diseases such as Lupus Erythematosus, Type I Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and more. For this project, students can explore one or multiple autoimmune disease(s) of their choice. Students will learn to read primary literature relating to the pathophysiology of the autoimmune disease(s) and write a review paper summarizing current scientific work on the autoimmune disease(s). Alternatively, students can choose to hone their scientific communication skills by preparing a 15-minute presentation on the autoimmune(s). Students will then receive individualized feedback to improve public speaking and presentation skills.

Cancer, Public Health

Quan
Quan

Bioinformatics Analysis

In this project, I would work with the student to craft their own bioinformatics analysis using biological data - for example, open-source genetic and physiological data, or data from their own wearable device (Fitbit, Apple Watch etc.). I would mentor the student in identifying a topic and hypothesis to research, reading relevant scientific literature, learning new techniques, implementing the analysis, and crafting a final paper. For students with more coding experience, this analysis could incorporate advanced machine learning and predictive modeling techniques, while students with less coding experience could focus on statistical comparisons and correlations. The final product would likely be a scientific report and/or documented software to be shared on GitHub. In addition to bioinformatics, this project would provide the opportunity to learn about preparing a formal scientific article and writing publishable code.

Public Health

Akshaya
Akshaya

How Rad Is The Fad? Investigating Popular Diets

This project will look at Fad Diets and evaluate their health benefits, history, and longterm effects. We will approach this topic from an anthropological perspective, looking at food ways around the world and our evolutionary history, to see if humans are really even meant to eat this way! We will supplement this with statistical and nutrition work. With a meta-analysis, we will review scientific literature to see if clinical trials find this to be a beneficial diet for your health, and look at the nutrition of the diet plan. This can be done on anything from Keto to the Mediterranean Diet (both have fascinating evolutionary histories and health trends).

Public Health

Makenna
Makenna

Genome Editing: Review and Proposal

Genome editing is a rapidly developing field with enormous consequences for scientific and medical advancements. In the past few years, new techniques have emerged that have allowed for precise changes to the human genome. In this project, a student will write a review paper describing the multiple forms of genome editing and their applications. Additionally, they will propose a genome editing project that can help treat a disease of their interest - including computationally designing the appropriate tools one would need to carry out the project.

Biology, Public Health

Hanan
Hanan

Exploring the Function of Genetic Variations in Breast and Ovarian Cancers through High-Sequencing Techniques

Despite the completion of the human genome project in 2003, many new questions about human disease and chronic illnesses remain unanswered. To uncover some of the answers to this information gap, we can re-analyze datasets branching from the human genome project. For this project, we will use high-sequencing techniques to model function for genetic variations in specific human disease models, such as breast and ovarian cancers. Insights from this project can further inform other target areas for exploration and contribute to the development of new treatments for these diseases. Project Goals: -Identify genetic variations associated with breast and ovarian cancers using data mining tools. -Understand the function of identified genetic variations in the development of these cancers -Provide insights on new target areas for exploration in the field of breast and ovarian cancer research. This project involves the use of bioinformatics tools and methods to analyze large genomic data sets, and will provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills in data analysis and bioinformatics while contributing to the advancement of cancer research.

Biology, Cancer, Public Health

Mariame
Mariame

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

Infotaining Podcast

The world needs more scientists who can speak to the general public about their science. Pandemic science really showed a disconnect. Podcasts offer a unique area to showcase technical information in a public setting. You will gain research skills as well as production skills from editing up to production/distribution.

Biology, Public Health, Math, Comp Sci

Meha
Meha

Full-Stack Web Application:

If you are interested in building a web application from scratch, such as pulling data daily from various sources to create a COVID-19 tracking platform or new analytics site, I can help you develop that. This is a more open-ended project but can provide experience in important computer science fundamentals such as APIs, databases, web design, and web scraping.

Comp Sci, AI/ML, Public Health

Jahnavi
Jahnavi

Do a deep dive on something you're curious about with a systematic literature review

What do you want to know more about? What lights up your curiosity? Literature reviews are a great way to understand the lay of the lay on a topic of your choice and to become an expert on a specific area. We'll work on developing a finely tuned research question using the PICO framework (problem/population, intervention/exposure, control/comparison, and outcome) and then go through the process of developing search terms and finding relevant papers. After reviewing the papers and evaluating the evidence, we'll work on developing an outline and then write a systematic review paper about your topic.

Psychiatry, Healthcare, Public Health

Oluwaseyi
Oluwaseyi

COVID 19 Vaccine

In this project, you will work to create a presentation, infographic, pamphlet, or whatever you see best to explain the COVID vaccine. Many people are afraid of the vaccine, and you are tasked with helping public health officials communicate why it is important to get the vaccine.

Biology, Nutrition, Public Health

Emma
Emma

Tackling Social Determinants of Health in Your Community

Investigate social determinants of health in your community, city, state, or nation and tackle them through policy change or strategic partnerships. In projects such as these, you are proposing evidence-based solutions to tackle the most pressing health challenges that are impacting your community. Through a case studies approach, you will follow a traditional consulting engagement/ research framework including conducting literature reviews, competitor analysis, feasibility studies, stakeholder interviews, survey development/distribution, etc..

Public Health, Business

Bijal
Bijal

Barriers to Seeking Mental Health for Immigrant Families in the US

There are many barriers to seeking mental health in the United States. Such barriers may be greater for immigrant families in the US due to their unique challenges including cultural and language barriers. Students would learn important public health knowledge through research and conducting interviews. They would merge their understanding with a medium of their choice such as a documentary published on YouTube or a journalistic report.

Public Health

Yuni
Yuni

Exploring the current state of Neurodevelopmental Disorders

In this project, yo would learn about how neurodevelopmental disorders are defined, diagnosed, treated, along with behavioral theurapeutic interventions that are used to add to the current advancement in these fields. You will also learn how to critically analyze scientific papers. This would culminate in a review of the topic that could be submitted for publication to a scientific journal like the International Journal of High School Research.

Neuroscience, Public Health, Environmental Science

Carmen
Carmen

Health and inequality

This project aims to explore the relationship between health outcomes and inequality. The final product will be a comprehensive report and a policy proposal that could be submitted to the Journal of Science Policy and Governance.

Public Health

Adrienne
Adrienne

Changes in Public Perception of COVID-19 Pandemic

How has public sentiment about COVID-19 changed since the beginning of the Biden administration? This project would analyze a selection of popular threads and comments in the social media community /r/coronavirus, seeking to identify thematic changes and content exemplars through the period of executive transition to the present. This research would be beneficial for public health advocacy, science communication, and political organizing.

Public Health, Business, AI/ML

Ian
Ian

Market Landscape Assessment (Disease of your Choice!)

Have you ever wanted to understand the key drivers of a particular market. What makes one company invest so much in one disease but not another? What are they key pieces of information healthcare companies are thinking about when exploring a new disease area? In this project, you will learn the principles/fundamentals of how to properly analyze a market of a particular disease of interest. Key principles/fundamentals include: market size, disease overview, current treatment practices/paradigms, key unmet needs, competition, pipeline/clinical trials, payer insurance/coverage. Once you learn these fundamentals, you will choose a disease of interest and conduct a comprehensive market landscape report that touches on all these key metrics and wrap up with a detailed SWOT analysis. You will then create a summary, based on your findings and analysis, that outlines the future trends of this particular disease market.

Public Health, Biotech

Jeff
Jeff

Science Communication

One of the most important parts of medical/STEM studies is the ability to explain complex scientific ideas to the lay population. Physicians need to be able to explain diseases and treatments to patients. Public Health officials need to be able to explain why certain policies are necessary or why certain ideas need to be examined further. For this project: -Students will choose a topic they feel passionately about -Perform a comprehensive literature review -Create educational materials such as a PSA video, brochure, and/or presentation to describe their topic to a lay population

Biology, Cancer, Public Health

Kendra
Kendra