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, July 17, 2022 @ 11:59PM EST

Mentorship Period: Fall 2022 (September-December)


Update: The URNCST Journal's call for abstracts for the 7th Mentored Paper Initiative is now closed. Those who applied in advance of the Sunday, July 17, 2022 @ 11:59pm EST deadline should expect to receive an outcome on their submission by late-August/early-September. Should you have any questions about participating, please contact us at competition@urncst.com. For those who did not have the chance to participate, please stay tuned for the 8th Mentored Paper Initiative (Winter 2022) for which we anticipate our call for abstracts will open in Fall 2022.


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.




MPI7.1: What is the role of stress granules in disease?


MPI7.2: How do misfolded proteins contribute to neurodegenerative disease? (focus on one or two diseases: Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, etc.)


MPI7.3: How is heartbeat regulated by ion channels?


MPI7.4: What is the current research examining sensory, neurological, and/or cognitive difficulties for those who tested positive for COVID-19?


MPI7.5: How can nanotechnology help in reaching UN sustainability goals?


MPI7.6: What is flash graphene, and what applications can it be used in?


MPI7.7: What role do extracellular vesicles play in the pathobiology and immune evasion of malignant diseases?


MPI7.8: What are the current health inequities and social determinants which lead to diagnostic delays in gynecological diseases?


MPI7.9: Do phytoestrogens (plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen) such as soy, tofu, beans and berries, play a role in estrogen-dependent diseases, such as endometriosis?


MPI7.10: How can Plant-Based Dietary Index (PDI) metrics relate to health outcomes?


MPI7.11: What is the relationship between protein content claim (protein quality and protein content) and nutrient intakes of Canadians?


MPI7.12: How can inositol be used as an effective treatment for PCOS?


MPI7.13: Can the implementation of a machine learning model within a non-knowledge-based clinical decision support system be useful for front-line workers in psychiatry?


MPI7.14: How can innovative technologies in AI create a gold standard for disease modelling within psychiatry?


MPI7.15: What types of data (passive or actively gathered data) are useful for machine learning models in psychiatry (systematic/literature review)?


MPI7.16: Why do some people not vaccinate against deadly diseases?


MPI7.17: What are the most effective ways to engage patients and families in hospital activities (e.g., quality improvement, research, and strategic planning)?


MPI7.18: Is there a benefit in using combinatory therapies in treating heterogeneous cancers like glioblastoma?


MPI7.19: Highly evolving cancers are often treatment refractory due to the cancer being mutagenic. How can we use mutation and epigenetic mutation clocks to evaluate the mutational course of specific cancers?


MPI7.20: How can we adopt and alter the immune system to attack cancer?