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.

The Relationship Between Time Spent in Nature and Psychological and Physical Well-being

A survey study to measure how much time high school students spend in nature, and how this is related to both their psychological and physical health. Questions may include the types of nature activities that students are engaging in (hiking, going to the beach, biking, etc.), how often they are engaging in these activities, stress level, anxiety rating, depression rating, and self-rated physical health.

Statistics, Psychology, Social Science

Hayley
Hayley

Covid-19, Disability, and Accessibility in School

I invite research projects in which students examine the ways in which the pandemic has altered schooling and adolescent life in any number of ways, but perhaps particularly as they may relate to issues of access, ability, and class.

Creative Writing, Social Science, Literature and Languages

Jack
Jack

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.

Public Health, Social Science

Shaina
Shaina

Why is the U.S. supporting the war in Ukraine?

In general, why do countries go to war? And when do other countries decide to help them? This project might entail reading scholarly literature, gathering and analyzing data, and presenting results in the form of an essay, op-ed, or other platform of your choosing. If interested, you could explore these questions from a historical perspective using online archival resources.

Social, Social Science, Quantitative

Alexandra
Alexandra

Gender Equity School Research Project (Social Science)

How do students at my high school define the term "gender equity"? What types of informal and formal resources or activities do they believe will help bring about more gender equity in high schools? A rigorous review of the research literature, a series of focus groups, and interviews with school administrators will help shed more light onto this topic. Results of this research will be shared with schools in my city in order to help administrators and teachers understand what students believe to be effective resources and activities.

Social Science

Peichi
Peichi

Fighting for Our Future: How Environmental Activists Shaped America

This research paper dives into the history of environmental justice movements in the United States to uncover how activists have shaped or transformed public policy.

Public Health, Social Science

Emily
Emily

Dance, Meditation, and Self

Do you love dancing? Do you meditate? Have you ever thought that they can be the same thing in a magical way? How can a mix of sound, non-judgmental space, and beats bring out the joy and gratitude from a self that is moving freely? If you are interested in designing a dance meditation workshop for people to share their life experiences through mindful dance improvisation. Come and we can talk about all the ideas and try them out!

Languages, Social Science

Mian
Mian

Let's get creative: blog post, podcast, infographic...

Who ever said academia is boring? Let's get your creativity flowing and work toward a final product that makes scientific knowledge fun. This could be a blog post, podcast, infographic, personal memoir, YouTube video, or so on! Based on your specific research question, we'll start by gathering the information you need (through a survey, interviews, reading existing research on the topic, and so on). We'll then work together to present that information in a creative format.

Psychology, Social Science

Abigail
Abigail

How does technology help Wildlife

Research how technology is improving wildlife populations and connecting parks throughout the US

Comp Sci, Social Science

Cole
Cole

Exploration

Is there a certain culture you feel kinship with and want to know more about? Do you want to learn about the history of who we are as a people, and use that to inform where you want to go? With exploration projects we access a large group of opinions and highlight avenues for improvement. For example, we could look at the average high schooler’s anxiety rates, what do only-children have in common, or if people choose their own groups end up in them. We will spend some time going over options in general, then invest in some reading and learning, followed by exploring the society around you, and ending with an exhibition of your findings.

Psychology, Social Science

Tanya
Tanya

What makes people more trusting of technology?

Nowadays, we use technology everyday - to get around, to relax, to communicate with others, to find information, etc. Although technology is everywhere around us, we still struggle with trusting it - many of us probably know the feeling of receiving an ad for a product right after looking it up, which is likely uncomfortable for many. Many people do not feel like they can trust their technology, which may prevent them from benefitting from technology. Given how much we use technology, it is important to understand what characteristics of technology make people more or less likely to trust it, and in turn, use it. If the student finds questions about trust within the context of technology interesting, we can explore a research project in this space.

Statistics, Psychology, Economics, Social Science

Keana
Keana

The Proposal

Do you have a vague research idea but have no clue where to start? Then this is the project for you! By working on a research proposal, you'll learn how to define your research questions, pick the best research methodology, and learn some cool stats to answer those questions. Together, we'll discuss the challenges your research project may face, pros/cons of your methods, and the potential significance of your findings. At the end of this project, you'll have a "research proposal" that should convince any reader of the importance of your project (and hope that they'll agree to fund your research)!

Social, Statistics, Psychology, Social Science

Aili
Aili

Gender Inequality and the COVID-19 Pandemic

This project looks at the gendered division of labor in the home during the pandemic. I interview couples with children about how they divide up work in the home, from childcare to cooking and cleaning. The goal is to understand if and why gender inequality may have worsened during the pandemic.

Social Science

Michelle
Michelle

Creating Player Investment through Character Dialogue

(This is inspired by an independent study I did during my master's program.) The average gamer is only truly invested in a video game for the first 30 minutes of gameplay. Does character dialogue contribute or detract to that player experience? Does the player need to be an active participant or do they prefer to be a passive observer? Using narrative scenes featuring two or more characters, I will gauge multiple player factors for liking characters (such as what character archetypes players gravitate towards, and how to establish character arcs for players to take interest in).

Creative Writing, History, Social Science, Literature and Languages, Comp Sci - Game Design

Tyler
Tyler

Cookie Wars: How Lawsuits Shape Firm-Level Evaluations

A possible research project could explore the impact of being sued on small businesses, specifically in the food industry. The study could focus on the example of Crumbl suing Dirty Dough, as well as other similar cases. Using data from Yelp, the study could examine changes in customer ratings and reviews before and after the lawsuit. Additionally, natural language processing techniques could be used to analyze customer comments to understand their perceptions of the company before and after the lawsuit. The study could also investigate any changes in the company's social media presence and overall reputation. By conducting this research, the study could provide insights on how being sued could potentially benefit small businesses by bringing more positive attention to the firm, depending on the audience and their preferences.

Economics, Social Science, Quantitative

Grady
Grady

Literature Review

What do we know about a topic? Where are the gaps in our knowledge? Pulling together all the relevant background info is an important skill for research. With a literature review project, we can work together to help you build skills that will be useful for ANY research in your future. We'll go over topics like how to find papers, how to read a scientific article, and how to write a literature review summarizing what we know about a topic. We can work with any topic you're interested in! Here are some ideas to start off: How do high school sports affect long-term health? How are students selected for college or medical school? Do SAT/ACT score predict success? How has COVID-19 affected specific groups of people, like doctors or high schoolers? What medical specialties have the most workforce diversity?

Biology, Surgery, Ethics, Social Science

Caroline
Caroline

The Study

Do you have the perfect research questions and a clear sense of how you want to go about answering them? Then let's do the study together! By conducting a psychology study, you'll put together a research plan, carry it out over a period of time, and learn how to synthesize the data. Together, we'll put your research skills to test, discuss extensively the ethics of psychology research, and take data-analysis step-by-step. At the end of this project, you'll have completed a research study, and earn the life-long bragging rights among family and friends!

Social, Statistics, Psychology, Social Science

Aili
Aili

Using Playful Learning to Support Language Growth

The size of a child's vocabulary in the preschool years is a strong predictor of later reading and academic success. You can develop one or more games and find a classroom where you can try them out and then see if the teacher wants to start using them. Using simple measures you develop you can track children's learning and determine how to improve the games. If they work and teachers like them you can share your methods with other teachers at teacher meetings or in a conference. Prerequisites: None

Cognitive, Psychology, Social Science

david
david

High School Students' Self-Efficacy and Locus of Control Regarding Environmental Issues

Students are often left out of decision-making processes that directly affect their present and their futures. This is especially the case with environmental issues, in which the youngest generations will suffer far more than their parents. Many students understand that in order to protect their planet and their futures, our systems of government need to act now. Some students have found ways to make their voices heard in an attempt to direct environmental policies. This could be in the form of creating or joining a student advocacy group such as the Sunrise Movement, or some other novel way of amplifying student voice. This project would identify and then survey and interview a group of these students. Through these methods we would seek to understand how much control these students' feel they have over environmental policy (locus of control) and how much they believe they can change their situation (self-efficacy). A control group of students would also be surveyed in comparison to see if participation in these types of activism is correlated with higher self-efficacy or locus of control.

Social, Social Science

Jennifer
Jennifer

UX/ Human-Computer Interaction project

This can be done as a desing project. Some topics might be sustainability, education. We can discuss

Psychology, Languages, Social Science

Maria Paula
Maria Paula