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 20, 2022 @ 11:59PM EST

Mentorship Period: Summer 2022 (May-August)


Update: The URNCST Journal's call for abstracts for the 6th Mentored Paper Initiative is now closed. Those who applied in advance of the Sunday, March 20, 2022 @ 11:59pm EST deadline should expect to receive an outcome on their submission by late-April/early-May. 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 7th Mentored Paper Initiative (Fall 2022) for which we anticipate our call for abstracts will open in Summer 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.




MPI6.1: 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?

MPI6.2: How can innovative technologies in AI create a gold standard for disease modelling within psychiatry?

MPI6.3: What types of data (passive or actively gathered data) are useful for machine learning models in psychiatry (systematic/literature review)?

MPI6.4: What are some of the potential mechanisms for exercise to promote sleep?

MPI6.5: Why does exercise protect cognitive functions in aging?

MPI6.6: How will developments in artificial intelligence shape the future of organic chemistry?

MPI6.7: How can nanotechnology help in reaching United Nations (UN) sustainability goals?

MPI6.8: How do host microRNAs impact the gut microbiota during inflammatory bowel disease?

MPI6.9: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using microRNAs as either diagnostic or therapeutic tools for gut health and disease?

MPI6.10: As a society, how can we decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease?

MPI6.11: What therapeutic targets are used to combat cardiovascular disease?

MPI6.12: How do blood flow patterns affect genes, through epigenetics?

MPI6.13: What are the mechanisms/strategies for new drug therapies in cancer? How do emerging classes of cancer drugs compare to those currently available?

MPI6.14: What are the mechanisms of drug resistance in the treatment of cancer and what strategies are available to overcome this issue?

MPI6.15: What therapeutic opportunities are available in the tumour microenvironment?

MPI6.16: Why is measurable residual disease a useful prognostic factor in leukemia, and what methods are available for identifying measurable residual disease?

MPI6.17: What is the role of epigenetics in cancer?

MPI6.18: What are the short-term and long-term treatment-emergent adverse events and complications associated with cancer treatment?

MPI6.19: What therapeutic opportunities can you see in the tumour microenvironment?

MPI6.20: What is the potential for tumour subtyping to influence clinical practice?

MPI6.21: What are the origins of cancer-associated fibroblasts?

MPI6.22: Is a sex-specific approach to the management of type-2 diabetes warranted?

MPI6.23: What factors impact patient satisfaction in patient-healthcare provider interactions?

MPI6.24: What is the relationship between cholesterol/triglyceride levels and type-2 diabetes?

MPI6.25: What support strategies exist for caregivers of people with dementia?

MPI6.26: Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) fall under the category of Lewy body dementias; however the clinical and etiological distinction between PDD and DLB remain unclear. What are the morphological, neurophysiological, and/or cognitive/psychological differences that help distinguish between these two neurodegenerative disorders?

MPI6.27: Evidence suggests that age-related hearing loss is a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, but the relationship between the two is unclear. What mechanisms are responsible for this relationship? How does age-related hearing loss interplay with the severity of memory and executive impairment in these populations?

MPI6.28: Research has suggested that early engagement in musical activities and learning a second language each serves as a protective factor for late-life neurodegenerative disorders. How does musicianship and bilingualism prevent and delay the progression of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease/other dementias? (Alternatively, what is the evidence in incorporating music and/or language in cognitive interventions and rehabilitations for these populations?)

MPI6.29: Absolute pitch (i.e., perfect pitch) is the rare perceptual ability for musicians to automatically recognize and name a note without referring to a keyboard. What factors contribute to the development of absolute pitch, and what are the neurobiological underpinnings of this ability?

MPI6.30: What is the role of protein arginine methyltransferases in skeletal muscle? More specifically in response to exercise or in response to a disease that impacts skeletal muscle (ie. diabetes, cancer, neuromuscular diseases).


MPI6.31: What therapeutics and approaches are being developed to tackle the increasingly deadly rise in antibiotic-resistant pathogens (e.g. phage therapy, novel compounds)?


MPI6.32: How might “psychedelic” or naturally-occurring psychoactive substances (e.g. psilocybin, N, N-dimethyltryptamine) be applied to psychiatric treatment and/or addressing the current mental health crisis?


MPI6.33: What are the health and nutrient outcomes of incorporating more plant- protein in diet?


MPI6.34: How can myo-inositol and/or soy isoflavones be a putative approach for hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance in PCOS women?


MPI6.35: Is metformin use for PCOS women beneficial? And if so, what are the side effects?


MPI6.36: What are the effects of pea protein on postprandial responses of satiety and appetite?


MPI6.37:  How can application of concepts of lifestyle medicine in clinical practice be beneficial for the promotion of health, prevention, and treatment of chronic diseases?


MPI6.38:  How can you use nanoparticles to measure biomarkers for cancer?


MPI6.39:  How can you use smartphones or microfluidics technology to make disease diagnostics more accessible to resource-limited settings?