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, November 21, 2021 @ 11:59PM EST

Mentorship Period: Winter 2022 (January-April)


Update: The URNCST Journal's call for abstracts for the 5th Mentored Paper Initiative is now closed. Those who applied in advance of the Sunday, November 21, 2021 @ 11:59pm EST deadline should expect to receive an outcome on their submission by late-December/early-January. 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 6th Mentored Paper Initiative (Summer 2022) for which we anticipate our call for abstracts will open in Winter 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.




MPI5.1: Does a low carbohydrate diet have a significant role to play in the prevention and/or treatment of neuro-cognitive diseases (i.e., Alzheimer’s disease)?


MPI5.2: What are the most important factors at play in men’s health (reproductive, cardiovascular, oncological) that contribute to gender disparity in life expectancy?


MPI5.3: Is a sex-specific approach to the management of type-2 diabetes warranted?


MPI5.4: What therapeutic options are available to patients with multiple sclerosis?


MPI5.5: How is multiple sclerosis different from other neurodegenerative diseases?


MPI5.6: What is the role of ageing in multiple sclerosis pathology?


MPI5.7: What is the role of footcare for individuals who are homeless?


MPI5.8: How effective are injectable neuroleptics for individuals with schizophrenia?


MPI5.9: In surgical training programs, how does the use of surgical simulation compare to other surgical training as measured by medical professionals’ (staff, residents, medical students) skills and confidence?


MPI5.10: What are some of the potential mechanisms for exercise to promote sleep?


MPI5.11: Why does exercise protect cognitive functions in ageing?


MPI5.12: 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?


MPI5.13: How can innovative technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) create a gold standard for disease modelling within psychiatry?


MPI5.14: Why is bioluminescence imaging (BLI) & magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) employed simultaneously for tracking tumour growth in bioluminescent organisms?


MPI5.15: Explain how the Silica Nanoparticles are used for drug delivery while controlling the chemical properties of stimulation of the targeted area.


MPI5.16: Why is the computational analysis of the musculoskeletal system important for complementing exoskeleton design research?


MPI5.17: How can short-term music training help be hearing and speech perception in children with cochlear implants?


MPI5.18: What is the relationship between age-related hearing loss and dementia/dementia risk?


MPI5.19: What are the cognitive deficits (i.e., memory, executive function, language) associated with those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias?


MPI5.20: Memory storage is a topic that has dumbfounded the neuroscience community for decades and has yet to be. Over the years many theories have been explored to determine where memories are stored and how they are recalled. To what extent are varying brain regions, neurophysiological functions and/or components involved in the process of storing a memory?


MPI5.21: To what extent does neuroepigenetics play a role in either neurophysiological or psychological conditions (this can include studying a mental disorder, neurological disease, etc)? How has it affected its diagnosis, understanding of the condition and treatment options?


MPI5.22: CRISPR, a novel approach to genome editing, has been used for a variety of applications, including as a potential cancer therapy. What literature exists surrounding these efforts?


MPI5.23: What is the evidence for sex-specific molecular studies? (i.e. the pros and cons of using male vs female cells in a scientific study)


MPI5.24: What efforts are currently underway or have been made in using CRISPR for the treatment of human genetic diseases in humans or in model organisms (eg. primates)? What are the potential pros and cons of human genome editing?


MPI5.25: What advantages and disadvantages are there when engineering a cell with a minimal genome?


MPI5.26: How has bioinformatics advanced essential gene predictions and what are the pitfalls?


MPI5.27: How is the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) improved and optimized?

(i.e. metabolic and genome engineering, process optimization, etc.)


MPI5.28: What therapeutic opportunities can you see in the tumour microenvironment?


MPI5.29: What is the potential for tumour subtyping to influence clinical practice?


MPI5.30: What are the origins of cancer-associated fibroblasts?


MPI5.31: How do blood flow patterns prevent and/or promote plaque build-up in vessels, leading to cardiovascular disease?


MPI5.32: What therapies and therapeutic targets are used to combat a leading cause of death globally, cardiovascular disease?


MPI5.33: As a society, how can we decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease?


MPI5.34: How do host microRNAs impact the gut epithelial barrier during inflammatory bowel disease?


MPI5.35: How do host microRNAs impact the gut microbiota during inflammatory bowel disease?


MPI5.36: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using microRNAs as either diagnostic or therapeutic tools for gut health and disease?


MPI5.37: What are the major stresses that drive the formation, progression, and metastasis of cancer?


MPI5.38: Are there "turning points” (hallmarks) during cancer progression which can be identified for therapeutic manipulation?


MPI5.39: How do tumour cells transmit their epigenetic features to daughter cells and maintain the malignant phenotype?


MPI5.40: What does the trajectory of treatment in patients suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia look like?


MPI5.41: How can identifying measurable residual disease in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and Acute Lymphoid Leukemia (ALL) patients aid in prognosis?


MPI5.42: What are the methods available for identifying measurable residual disease in leukemia patients, and how are they able to detect these cells?


MPI5.43: How will developments in artificial intelligence shape the future of organic chemistry?


MPI5.44: How can nanotechnology help in reaching United Nations (UN) sustainability goals?


MPI5.45: What are the benefits of using nanomaterials in an industrial sector of your choice (examples include aeronautics, medical devices, electronics, etc.) and why?