URNCST Journal Mentored Paper

The URNCST Journal team prides itself on its commitment to advocate for undergraduate STEM research. In our endeavours to promote undergraduate research, we have published a number of papers from undergraduate research competitions and case competitions. From these ventures, we have identified a couple of themes that were found to recur independently as follows: 1) undergraduate students are extremely keen to use their critical thinking skills to participate in research endeavours that recognize their valuable work and 2) there exists a subset of students who desire to contribute to undergraduate STEM research but due to one reason or another are unable to take part in such research or feel as if they may need closer guidance during the writing process. Despite this, many thousands of undergraduate students across the globe play crucial roles in making new discoveries every single year.

In an effort to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to contribute to STEM research literature, we have established our novel Mentored Paper Initiative. Students that are selected to participate will have the opportunity to be partnered with a graduate student as they write a manuscript that is of peer-reviewable quality in the URNCST Journal. The topic of the manuscript will be in the graduate student’s area of expertise to allow them to more effectively guide the students throughout the writing process. Students will be mentored from the design stage to write up, and the final manuscript will be peer-reviewed by another graduate student, to allow the students to experience external-feedback. This opportunity provides undergraduate students with the chance to improve their scientific writing skills and experience the entire process of writing an academic manuscript, while working under the supervision of a graduate student. Those wishing to learn more about how the URNCST Journal Mentored Paper initiative was developed can read our published editorial.


Eligibility to Participate: The mentored paper is open to authors who are enrolled in an undergraduate (i.e. BSc, BEng, BA, etc.) or professional-undergraduate (i.e. MD, DDS, PharmD, OD, RN, etc.) degree program.

About the Initiative: Undergraduate students participating in the URNCST Journal Mentored Paper are required to draft and submit an abstract on a topic that is of interest to them based on the questions provided below. This abstract must be in the format of either 1) a research protocol (i.e. a plan to conduct a study) OR 2) a review (i.e. a review of the currently existing literature); it is not acceptable to simply summarize a single study already published in the literature by an academic journal. Students may submit an abstract alone or in teams of up to 3. These abstracts will be reviewed for suitability (i.e. understanding of topic, writing ability), and accepted students will be paired with the graduate student who proposed the topic and will mentor the undergraduate (team) in drafting a manuscript that is of suitable quality to undergo peer-review by the URNCST Journal. As participants will be under the guidance of a graduate student, they are not required to have a complete understanding of the topic, but should have done their due diligence in reading about the topic online and have the motivation and dedication to learn from the mentoring graduate student.

Topics Available: Please see below for a complete list of the available research topics for the manuscripts. Please note that these are the only questions accepted students should write on and they are not subject to change.


Deadline to Submit Abstract for Consideration: Sunday, March 12, 2023 @ 11:59PM EST

Mentorship Period: Summer 2023 (May-August)


Update: The URNCST Journal has extended its call for abstracts deadline for the 9th Mentored Paper Initiative to Sunday, March 12, 2023 @ 11:59pm EST! Should you have any questions about participating, please contact us at [email protected]. Successful applicants will partake in the mentored paper initiative during Summer 2023. A sufficient number of submissions have already been received, so the competition will close its call after this date/time!


Update: Earlier this week, the URNCST Journal experienced an email outage. For anyone who sent an email to any email address ending in "@urncst.com" between March 13 and 15, 2023 and who did not already receive a reply, please kindly re-send your email to the intended recipient. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.


For Graduate Students: We are always interested in identifying new mentors who are able/willing to help keen undergraduate researchers design, develop, and write a full-length study protocol or review. Eligible mentors must be enrolled in or a graduate of a graduate program (a Master's level degree at minimum) in any natural or clinical science or technology discipline. Please apply to be a mentor here.


After selecting a topic, please click "Learn More & SUBMIT ABSTRACT" below and follow the instructions provided.




MPI9.1: What is the role of VEGF-A in influencing the epigenetic regulation of endothelial cell genes? (literature review)


MPI9.2: What is the role of the p53/mdm2 axis in epigenetic regulation of skeletal muscle genes? (literature review)


MPI9.3: How do regulatory T-cells contribute to tumorigenesis and how can they be targeted?


MPI9.4: How can patient response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (anti-PD1/PDL1 and anti-CTLA-4) be improved?


MPI9.5: What advantages do various genetic applications provide for the healthcare field?


MPI9.6: How can genetic testing be used to navigate chronic kidney disease?


MPI9.7: How might brain-heart mechanisms be mediating cardiac problems in patients who have suffered brain injury?


MPI9.8: Can plant-based diets be beneficial to COVID-19 related outcomes?


MPI9.9: What are lifestyle modifications effective for the management of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?


MPI9.10: Is female reproductive health impacted during COVID-19 pandemic? What are the implications?


MPI9.11: What therapeutic opportunities can you see in the tumor microenvironment


MPI9.12: What is the potential for tumor subtyping to influence clinical practice?


MPI9.13: What are the origins of cancer-associated fibroblasts?


MPI9.14: How can nanobubbles be used/applied in your field of choice?


MPI9.15: How can nanotechnology help in reaching UN sustainability goals?


MPI9.16: What is flash graphene, and what applications can it be used in?


MPI9.17: Review a nanomaterial of your choice and it's impact in your field of science and the environment.


MPI9.18: How do epigenetic changes affect differentiation during hematopoiesis?


MPI9.19: How does transcription factor dysregulation result in leukemogenesis? How does this apply to pre-leukemic stem cells?


MPI9.20: How does the bone marrow microenvironment support leukemia? And does it play a role in measurable residual disease (MRD)?


MPI9.21: Bone metastases commonly occur in those with prostate cancer and breast cancer. What makes the bone a favourable site for metastatic bone disease and what therapies have been developed to mitigate some of these effects?


MPI9.22: Perhaps one of the most challenging tasks for scientists is developing in vitro models to describe in vivo processes. One new field of interest is microfluidics and the development of organ-on-a-chip models, what are the advantages and limitations of such models?


MPI9.23: Describe the first line treatments for patients with prostate cancer. What novel treatments have been developed in response to castration resistant prostate cancer?


MPI9.24: The use of deep learning and artificial intelligence in the detection of disease progression, specifically in bone and joint diseases


MPI9.25: What advances in prosthetic design have improved the quality of life of patients requiring joint replacements? (They can focus on any one joint, i.e. knee, hip, shoulder, etc.)


MPI9.26: How to support infant nutrition among vulnerable Canadian families?


MPI9.27: How to deal with missing data?


MPI9.28: How to lower food insecurity among Canadian university students?


MPI9.29: What are the current challenges and emerging solutions for severe traumatic brain injury in the intensive care unit?


MPI9.30: Which vaccination strategy results in the least number of deaths during a pandemic?


MPI9.31: What percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity for an infectious disease?


MPI9.32: How does in vitro fertilization influence fetal programming and adult health?


MPI9.33: Can recent developments with stem cells and human organoids be applied to reproductive processes?


MPI9.34: Can the microbiome be used as a diagnostic tool to detect human disease?


MPI9.35: What are the current challenges and solutions for overweight and obesity treatment?


MPI9.36: Describe the landscape of prescription medications to treat overweight and obesity. How could the use of these medications influence or prevent overweight and obesity relapse?


MPI9.37: What role does mental health play in the prevention of treatment of overweight and obesity?


MPI9.38: In what extent collagen is being used in skin tissue engineering? How the existing collagen scaffolds can be optimised?


MPI9.39: What are the collagen-based skin substitutes that passed the clinical trial stage and are being produced in large scale?


MPI9.40: Were the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 infection cases underestimated during the Omicron season?


MPI9.41: What affects the willingness of people to take COVID-19 vaccines?


MPI9.42: Did people with respiratory diseases receive a proper level of care during COVID-19?


MPI9.43: How has interprofessional collaboration changed after the COVID-19 pandemic amongst healthcare teams?


MPI9.44: Have prioritization strategies/policies for waitlists of health interventions discussed the ethical principles that underpin them?


MPI9.45: What criteria has been used to develop prioritization policies for waitlists of health interventions?


MPI9.46: How can simulation/decision models be used to assess the impact of different prioritization strategies for waitlists of health interventions?