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 partcipate 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: July 09, 2021 @ 11:59PM EST

Mentorship Period: Fall 2021 (September-December)


Update: The URNCST Journal's call for abstracts for the 4th Mentored Paper Initiative is now closed. Those who applied in advance of the July 09, 2021 @ 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 5th Mentored Paper Initiative (Winter 2022) for which we anticipate our call for abstracts will open in Fall 2021.

Update: Decisions have been rendered on all abstracts submitted to the 4th Mentored Paper Initiative. If you submitted an abstract, but did not receive an email with a decision on your submission, please contact us at competition@urncst.com immediately.



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.




MPI4.1: Present the state of knowledge on one intervention available in improving transitional care.


MPI4.2: Patient transfer can create fragmentation of care causing a decrease in quality of life. Do a scoping review on the barriers to an efficient and effective transition of patients.


MPI4.3: During transition, patients' health may be at risk with fragmented care. What are the patients' outcomes from a broken care continuum?


MPI4.4: What therapeutic opportunities can you see in the tumour microenvironment?


MPI4.5: What is the potential for tumour subtyping to influence clinical practice?


MPI4.6: What are the origins of cancer-associated fibroblasts?


MPI4.7: How will developments in artificial intelligence shape the future of organic chemistry?


MPI4.8: How can nanotechnology help in reaching UN sustainability goals?


MPI4.9: What is flash graphene, and what applications can it be used in?


MPI4.10: What is the relationship between sleep and Alzheimer's disease?


MPI4.11: What are some of the potential mechanisms for exercise to promote sleep?


MPI4.12: Why does exercise protect cognitive functions in aging?


MPI4.13: What is the role of Artificial Intelligence in Surgery?


MPI4.14: What is the current landscape of equity and diversity in medical leadership?


MPI4.15: What interventions have the biggest impact on cancer patients' quality of life?


MPI4.16: What is the quality of systematic reviews and meta-analysis reporting of COVID articles based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist [Theme: Research Methods, Methodology: a review]


MPI4.17: Are there environmental factors Involved in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis, or is even the sporadic disease a more complicated, purely genetic disease? [Theme: laboratory science, Methodology: a review]


MPI4.18: What are some factors associated with lower Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores? [ Theme: lifestyle, Methodology: a review]


MPI4.19: Why are Bioluminescence Imaging (BLI) & Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) employed simultaneously for tracking tumour growth in bioluminescent organisms?


MPI4.20: Explain how the Silica Nanoparticles are used for drug delivery while controlling the chemical properties of stimulation of the targeted area.


MPI4.21: What is the benefit of early treatment in Parkinson's disease?


MPI4.22: Why is computational analysis of the musculoskeletal system important for complementing exoskeleton design research?


MPI4.23: What is the role of blood glucose and insulin for regulating skeletal muscle blood flow following a metabolic challenge?


MPI4.24: How do different adjunct training modalities facilitate exercise performance benefits (endurance or hypertrophy)?


MPI4.25: How do plants physiologically and molecularly respond to climate change (i.e., elevated temperatures, decreased precipitation etc.)?


MPI4.26: Monoclonal antibodies are the most widely implemented immunotherapeutic, especially for targeting cancer. What advantages do monoclonal antibodies have in comparison to traditional drugs. What are the limitations of traditional monoclonal antibodies and how are they being addressed?


MPI4.27: Small-molecule based drugs are the most common drug class but frequently suffer from specifity issues. What are three different strategies for increasing drug-delivery to target cells? Explain the benefits and limitations of each one.


MPI4.28: What are antibody-recruiting molecules? Explain their mechanism of action as well as potential applications. Are there any notable limitations to this class of drug, if so, how can they be addressed?


MPI4.29: How are altered metabolic pathways associated with the development and/or progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)? Please either review the existing literature on at least 2 metabolic pathways or propose a primary study on how you might study the effects of one altered metabolic pathway on the development and/or progression of AD.


MPI4.30: Cognitive reserve (CR) involves the more efficient use of existing functional brain processes to maintain cognitive function in the presence of neuropathology/neuro-injury. Lifestyle factors, such as bilingualism/artistic training, have been identified as sources of CR. Please conduct a review on one source of CR and its effects on a specific neurodegenerative disease (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.) or on the recovery from neuro-injury (e.g. stroke, traumatic brain injury, etc.). Based on existing evidence, which is the most convincing?


MPI4.31: What is deep brain stimulation? Choose one application of deep brain stimulation and conduct a review on the current state of the literature.


MPI4.32: Do psychedelic drugs have a future in psychiatry?


MPI4.33: How can artificial intelligence be used in psychiatry?