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Research News

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Plastic junk? Researchers find tiny particles in men's testicles

Researchers have detected microplastics in human testicles. Volodymyr Zakharov/Getty Images hide caption

Shots - Health News

Plastic junk researchers find tiny particles in men's testicles.

May 22, 2024 • The new study has scientists concerned that microplastics may be contributing to reproductive health issues.

To escape hungry bats, these flying beetles create an ultrasound 'illusion'

Harlan Gough holds a recently collected tiger beetle on a tether. Lawrence Reeves hide caption

To escape hungry bats, these flying beetles create an ultrasound 'illusion'

May 22, 2024 • A study of tiger beetles has found a possible explanation for why they produce ultrasound noises right before an echolocating bat swoops in for the kill.

A sea otter in Monterey Bay with a rock anvil on its belly and a scallop in its forepaws.

A sea otter in Monterey Bay with a rock anvil on its belly and a scallop in its forepaws. Jessica Fujii hide caption

When sea otters lose their favorite foods, they can use tools to go after new ones

May 20, 2024 • Some otters rely on tools to bust open hard-shelled prey items like snails, and a new study suggests this tool use is helping them to survive as their favorite, easier-to-eat foods disappear.

On this unassuming trail near LA, bird watchers see something spectacular

Lauren Hill, a graduate student at Cal State LA, holds a bird at the bird banding site at Bear Divide in the San Gabriel Mountains. Grace Widyatmadja/NPR hide caption

On this unassuming trail near LA, bird watchers see something spectacular

May 13, 2024 • At Bear Divide, just outside Los Angeles, you can see a rare spectacle of nature. This is one of the only places in the western United States where you can see bird migration during daylight hours.

AI gets scientists one step closer to mapping the organized chaos in our cells

The inside of a cell is a complicated orchestration of interactions between molecules. Keith Chambers/Science Photo Library hide caption

AI gets scientists one step closer to mapping the organized chaos in our cells

May 13, 2024 • As artificial intelligence seeps into some realms of society, it rushes into others. One area it's making a big difference is protein science — as in the "building blocks of life," proteins! Producer Berly McCoy talks to host Emily Kwong about the newest advance in protein science: AlphaFold3, an AI program from Google DeepMind. Plus, they talk about the wider field of AI protein science and why researchers hope it will solve a range of problems, from disease to the climate.

NOAA Issues First Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch Since 2005

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a strong solar flare on May 8, 2024. The Wednesday solar flares kicked off the geomagnetic storm happening this weekend. NASA/SDO hide caption

NOAA Issues First Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch Since 2005

May 10, 2024 • Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observed a cluster of sunspots on the surface of the sun this week. With them came solar flares that kicked off a severe geomagnetic storm. That storm is expected to last throughout the weekend as at least five coronal mass ejections — chunks of the sun — are flung out into space, towards Earth! NOAA uses a five point scale to rate these storms, and this weekend's storm is a G4. It's expected to produce auroras as far south as Alabama. To contextualize this storm, we are looking back at the largest solar storm on record: the Carrington Event.

In a decade of drug overdoses, more than 320,000 American children lost a parent

Esther Nesbitt lost two of her children to drug overdoses, and her grandchildren are among more than 320,000 who lost parents in the overdose epidemic. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

In a decade of drug overdoses, more than 320,000 American children lost a parent

May 8, 2024 • New research documents how many children lost a parent to an opioid or other overdose in the period from 2011 to 2021. Bereaved children face elevated risks to their physical and emotional health.

Largest-ever marine reptile found with help from an 11-year-old girl

This illustration depicts a washed-up Ichthyotitan severnensis carcass on the beach. Sergey Krasovskiy hide caption

Largest-ever marine reptile found with help from an 11-year-old girl

May 6, 2024 • A father and daughter discovered fossil remnants of a giant ichthyosaur that scientists say may have been the largest-known marine reptile to ever swim the seas.

When PTO stands for 'pretend time off': Doctors struggle to take real breaks

A survey shows that doctors have trouble taking full vacations from their high-stress jobs. Even when they do, they often still do work on their time off. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

Perspective

When pto stands for 'pretend time off': doctors struggle to take real breaks.

May 4, 2024 • What's a typical vacation activity for doctors? Work. A new study finds that most physicians do work on a typical day off. In this essay, a family doctor considers why that is and why it matters.

'Dance Your Ph.D.' winner on science, art, and embracing his identity

Weliton Menário Costa (center) holds a laptop while surrounded by dancers for his music video, "Kangaroo Time." From left: Faux Née Phish (Caitlin Winter), Holly Hazlewood, and Marina de Andrade. Nic Vevers/ANU hide caption

'Dance Your Ph.D.' winner on science, art, and embracing his identity

May 4, 2024 • Weliton Menário Costa's award-winning music video showcases his research on kangaroo personality and behavior — and offers a celebration of human diversity, too.

Orangutan in the wild applied medicinal plant to heal its own injury, biologists say

Researchers in a rainforest in Indonesia spotted an injury on the face of a male orangutan they named Rakus. They were stunned to watch him treat his wound with a medicinal plant. Armas/Suaq Project hide caption

Orangutan in the wild applied medicinal plant to heal its own injury, biologists say

May 3, 2024 • It is "the first known case of active wound treatment in a wild animal with a medical plant," biologist Isabelle Laumer told NPR. She says the orangutan, called Rakus, is now thriving.

Launching an effective bird flu vaccine quickly could be tough, scientists warn

The federal government says it has taken steps toward developing a vaccine to protect against bird flu should it become a threat to humans. skodonnell/Getty Images hide caption

Launching an effective bird flu vaccine quickly could be tough, scientists warn

May 3, 2024 • Federal health officials say the U.S. has the building blocks to make a vaccine to protect humans from bird flu, if needed. But experts warn we're nowhere near prepared for another pandemic.

For birds, siblinghood can be a matter of life or death

A Nazca booby in the Galápagos Islands incubates eggs with its webbed feet. Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

The Science of Siblings

For birds, siblinghood can be a matter of life or death.

May 1, 2024 • Some birds kill their siblings soon after hatching. Other birds spend their whole lives with their siblings and will even risk their lives to help each other.

How do you counter misinformation? Critical thinking is step one

Planet Money

How do you counter misinformation critical thinking is step one.

April 30, 2024 • An economic perspective on misinformation

Scientists restore brain cells impaired by a rare genetic disorder

This image shows a brain "assembloid" consisting of two connected brain "organoids." Scientists studying these structures have restored impaired brain cells in Timothy syndrome patients. Pasca lab, Stanford University hide caption

Scientists restore brain cells impaired by a rare genetic disorder

April 30, 2024 • A therapy that restores brain cells impaired by a rare genetic disorder may offer a strategy for treating conditions like autism, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

Helping women get better sleep by calming the relentless 'to-do lists' in their heads

Katie Krimitsos is among the majority of American women who have trouble getting healthy sleep, according to a new Gallup survey. Krimitsos launched a podcast called Sleep Meditation for Women to offer some help. Natalie Champa Jennings/Natalie Jennings, courtesy of Katie Krimitsos hide caption

Helping women get better sleep by calming the relentless 'to-do lists' in their heads

April 26, 2024 • A recent survey found that Americans' sleep patterns have been getting worse. Adult women under 50 are among the most sleep-deprived demographics.

As bird flu spreads in cows, here are 4 big questions scientists are trying to answer

Bird flu is spreading through U.S. dairy cattle. Scientists say the risk to people is minimal, but open questions remain, including how widespread the outbreak is and how the virus is spreading. DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

As bird flu spreads in cows, here are 4 big questions scientists are trying to answer

April 26, 2024 • Health officials say there's very little risk to humans from the bird flu outbreak among dairy cattle, but there's still much they don't know. Here are four questions scientists are trying to answer.

Animals get stressed during eclipses. But not for the reason you think

A coyote at the Fort Worth Zoo is photographed in the hours leading up to the April 8 total solar eclipse. The Hartstone-Rose Research Lab, NC State hide caption

Animals get stressed during eclipses. But not for the reason you think

April 25, 2024 • After studying various species earlier this month, some scientists now say they understand the origin of animal behavior during solar eclipses.

A woman with failing kidneys receives genetically modified pig organs

Dr. Jeffrey Stern, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, prepare the gene-edited pig kidney with thymus for transplantation. Joe Carrotta for NYU Langone Health hide caption

A woman with failing kidneys receives genetically modified pig organs

April 24, 2024 • Surgeons transplanted a kidney and thymus gland from a gene-edited pig into a 54-year-old woman in an attempt to extend her life. It's the latest experimental use of animal organs in humans.

Oncologists' meetings with drug reps don't help cancer patients live longer

Drug companies often do one-on-one outreach to doctors. A new study finds these meetings with drug reps lead to more prescriptions for cancer patients, but not longer survival. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

Oncologists' meetings with drug reps don't help cancer patients live longer

April 22, 2024 • Drug company reps commonly visit doctors to talk about new medications. A team of economists wanted to know if that helps patients live longer. They found that for cancer patients, the answer is no.

Which scientists get mentioned in the news? Mostly ones with Anglo names, says study

When the media covers scientific research, not all scientists are equally likely to be mentioned. A new study finds scientists with Asian or African names were 15% less likely to be named in a story. shironosov/Getty Images hide caption

Which scientists get mentioned in the news? Mostly ones with Anglo names, says study

April 19, 2024 • A new study finds that in news stories about scientific research, U.S. media were less likely to mention a scientist if they had an East Asian or African name, as compared to one with an Anglo name.

An 11-year-old unearthed fossils of the largest known marine reptile

An artistic rendering of a washed-up Ichthyotitan severnensis carcass on the beach. Sergey Krasovskiy hide caption

An 11-year-old unearthed fossils of the largest known marine reptile

April 19, 2024 • When the dinosaurs walked the Earth, massive marine reptiles swam. Among them, a species of Ichthyosaur that measured over 80 feet long. Today, we look into how a chance discovery by a father-daughter duo of fossil hunters furthered paleontologist's understanding of the "giant fish lizard of the Severn." Currently, it is the largest marine reptile known to scientists.

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Science News

A photograph of two female scientists cooking meet in a laboratory

‘Flavorama’ guides readers through the complex landscape of flavor

In her new book, Arielle Johnson, former resident scientist at the restaurant Noma, explains how to think like a scientist in the kitchen.

A new method of making diamonds doesn’t require extreme pressure 

How a sugar acid crucial for life could have formed in interstellar clouds.

A glacier tongue juts out into dark blue water

Warm water is sneaking underneath the Thwaites Glacier — and rapidly melting it

The salty water, just 3.6 degrees Celsius above the ice’s melting point, is undermining the foundation of the Antarctic glacier.

‘The High Seas’ tells of the many ways humans are laying claim to the ocean

A weaker magnetic field may have paved the way for marine life to go big.

Close up of a woman holding a smartphone

Privacy remains an issue with several women’s health apps

Inconsistent privacy policies and dodgy data collection in popular fertility and pregnancy tracking apps put women’s health information at risk.

Malnutrition’s effects on the body don’t end when food arrives

Biological puzzles abound in an up-close look at a human brain.

A fish with a long, sawtooth-like snout in murky water, held by a person's hands

A built-in pocket protector keeps sawfish from ‘sword fighting’ in the womb

What’s to prevent pups, with a snout that resembles a hedge trimmer, from slicing and dicing each other in mom’s uterus? Scientists have the answer.

An illustration of bacterial molecules forming a triangular fractal.

Scientists find a naturally occurring molecule that forms a fractal

The protein assembles itself into a repeating triangle pattern. The fractal seems to be an accident of evolution, scientists say.

How two outsiders tackled the mystery of arithmetic progressions

A predicted quasicrystal is based on the ‘einstein’ tile known as the hat.

A swirl of two particles represents the tauonium atom in an illustration. The atom has emerged from a particle detector represented by a series of concentric cylinders, centered around a beam line where electrons and positrons enter from either side.

Scientists propose a hunt for never-before-seen ‘tauonium’ atoms 

Made of heavy relatives of the electron, the exotic atoms could be used to test the theory of quantum electrodynamics.

Two real-world tests of quantum memories bring a quantum internet closer to reality

Here’s how ice may get so slippery , science & society, should we use ai to resurrect digital ‘ghosts’ of the dead, a hidden danger lurks beneath yellowstone.

A simulated image of the sun's corona during the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse.

Here’s how predictions of the sun’s corona during the 2024 eclipse fared

Models from Predictive Science Inc. forecasted the appearance of the sun’s corona during the April eclipse to better understand our star.

Venus might be as volcanically active as Earth

Forget moon walking. scientists want to give moon running a try .

robots playing soccer

Reinforcement learning AI might bring humanoid robots to the real world

Reinforcement learning techniques could be the keys to integrating robots — who use machine learning to output more than words — into the real world.

This robot can tell when you’re about to smile — and smile back

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Microscopic defects in ice influence how massive glaciers flow, study shows

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 113 great research paper topics.

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One of the hardest parts of writing a research paper can be just finding a good topic to write about. Fortunately we've done the hard work for you and have compiled a list of 113 interesting research paper topics. They've been organized into ten categories and cover a wide range of subjects so you can easily find the best topic for you.

In addition to the list of good research topics, we've included advice on what makes a good research paper topic and how you can use your topic to start writing a great paper.

What Makes a Good Research Paper Topic?

Not all research paper topics are created equal, and you want to make sure you choose a great topic before you start writing. Below are the three most important factors to consider to make sure you choose the best research paper topics.

#1: It's Something You're Interested In

A paper is always easier to write if you're interested in the topic, and you'll be more motivated to do in-depth research and write a paper that really covers the entire subject. Even if a certain research paper topic is getting a lot of buzz right now or other people seem interested in writing about it, don't feel tempted to make it your topic unless you genuinely have some sort of interest in it as well.

#2: There's Enough Information to Write a Paper

Even if you come up with the absolute best research paper topic and you're so excited to write about it, you won't be able to produce a good paper if there isn't enough research about the topic. This can happen for very specific or specialized topics, as well as topics that are too new to have enough research done on them at the moment. Easy research paper topics will always be topics with enough information to write a full-length paper.

Trying to write a research paper on a topic that doesn't have much research on it is incredibly hard, so before you decide on a topic, do a bit of preliminary searching and make sure you'll have all the information you need to write your paper.

#3: It Fits Your Teacher's Guidelines

Don't get so carried away looking at lists of research paper topics that you forget any requirements or restrictions your teacher may have put on research topic ideas. If you're writing a research paper on a health-related topic, deciding to write about the impact of rap on the music scene probably won't be allowed, but there may be some sort of leeway. For example, if you're really interested in current events but your teacher wants you to write a research paper on a history topic, you may be able to choose a topic that fits both categories, like exploring the relationship between the US and North Korea. No matter what, always get your research paper topic approved by your teacher first before you begin writing.

113 Good Research Paper Topics

Below are 113 good research topics to help you get you started on your paper. We've organized them into ten categories to make it easier to find the type of research paper topics you're looking for.

Arts/Culture

  • Discuss the main differences in art from the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance .
  • Analyze the impact a famous artist had on the world.
  • How is sexism portrayed in different types of media (music, film, video games, etc.)? Has the amount/type of sexism changed over the years?
  • How has the music of slaves brought over from Africa shaped modern American music?
  • How has rap music evolved in the past decade?
  • How has the portrayal of minorities in the media changed?

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Current Events

  • What have been the impacts of China's one child policy?
  • How have the goals of feminists changed over the decades?
  • How has the Trump presidency changed international relations?
  • Analyze the history of the relationship between the United States and North Korea.
  • What factors contributed to the current decline in the rate of unemployment?
  • What have been the impacts of states which have increased their minimum wage?
  • How do US immigration laws compare to immigration laws of other countries?
  • How have the US's immigration laws changed in the past few years/decades?
  • How has the Black Lives Matter movement affected discussions and view about racism in the US?
  • What impact has the Affordable Care Act had on healthcare in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the UK deciding to leave the EU (Brexit)?
  • What factors contributed to China becoming an economic power?
  • Discuss the history of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies  (some of which tokenize the S&P 500 Index on the blockchain) .
  • Do students in schools that eliminate grades do better in college and their careers?
  • Do students from wealthier backgrounds score higher on standardized tests?
  • Do students who receive free meals at school get higher grades compared to when they weren't receiving a free meal?
  • Do students who attend charter schools score higher on standardized tests than students in public schools?
  • Do students learn better in same-sex classrooms?
  • How does giving each student access to an iPad or laptop affect their studies?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Montessori Method ?
  • Do children who attend preschool do better in school later on?
  • What was the impact of the No Child Left Behind act?
  • How does the US education system compare to education systems in other countries?
  • What impact does mandatory physical education classes have on students' health?
  • Which methods are most effective at reducing bullying in schools?
  • Do homeschoolers who attend college do as well as students who attended traditional schools?
  • Does offering tenure increase or decrease quality of teaching?
  • How does college debt affect future life choices of students?
  • Should graduate students be able to form unions?

body_highschoolsc

  • What are different ways to lower gun-related deaths in the US?
  • How and why have divorce rates changed over time?
  • Is affirmative action still necessary in education and/or the workplace?
  • Should physician-assisted suicide be legal?
  • How has stem cell research impacted the medical field?
  • How can human trafficking be reduced in the United States/world?
  • Should people be able to donate organs in exchange for money?
  • Which types of juvenile punishment have proven most effective at preventing future crimes?
  • Has the increase in US airport security made passengers safer?
  • Analyze the immigration policies of certain countries and how they are similar and different from one another.
  • Several states have legalized recreational marijuana. What positive and negative impacts have they experienced as a result?
  • Do tariffs increase the number of domestic jobs?
  • Which prison reforms have proven most effective?
  • Should governments be able to censor certain information on the internet?
  • Which methods/programs have been most effective at reducing teen pregnancy?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of the Keto diet?
  • How effective are different exercise regimes for losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
  • How do the healthcare plans of various countries differ from each other?
  • What are the most effective ways to treat depression ?
  • What are the pros and cons of genetically modified foods?
  • Which methods are most effective for improving memory?
  • What can be done to lower healthcare costs in the US?
  • What factors contributed to the current opioid crisis?
  • Analyze the history and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic .
  • Are low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets more effective for weight loss?
  • How much exercise should the average adult be getting each week?
  • Which methods are most effective to get parents to vaccinate their children?
  • What are the pros and cons of clean needle programs?
  • How does stress affect the body?
  • Discuss the history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • What were the causes and effects of the Salem Witch Trials?
  • Who was responsible for the Iran-Contra situation?
  • How has New Orleans and the government's response to natural disasters changed since Hurricane Katrina?
  • What events led to the fall of the Roman Empire?
  • What were the impacts of British rule in India ?
  • Was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki necessary?
  • What were the successes and failures of the women's suffrage movement in the United States?
  • What were the causes of the Civil War?
  • How did Abraham Lincoln's assassination impact the country and reconstruction after the Civil War?
  • Which factors contributed to the colonies winning the American Revolution?
  • What caused Hitler's rise to power?
  • Discuss how a specific invention impacted history.
  • What led to Cleopatra's fall as ruler of Egypt?
  • How has Japan changed and evolved over the centuries?
  • What were the causes of the Rwandan genocide ?

main_lincoln

  • Why did Martin Luther decide to split with the Catholic Church?
  • Analyze the history and impact of a well-known cult (Jonestown, Manson family, etc.)
  • How did the sexual abuse scandal impact how people view the Catholic Church?
  • How has the Catholic church's power changed over the past decades/centuries?
  • What are the causes behind the rise in atheism/ agnosticism in the United States?
  • What were the influences in Siddhartha's life resulted in him becoming the Buddha?
  • How has media portrayal of Islam/Muslims changed since September 11th?

Science/Environment

  • How has the earth's climate changed in the past few decades?
  • How has the use and elimination of DDT affected bird populations in the US?
  • Analyze how the number and severity of natural disasters have increased in the past few decades.
  • Analyze deforestation rates in a certain area or globally over a period of time.
  • How have past oil spills changed regulations and cleanup methods?
  • How has the Flint water crisis changed water regulation safety?
  • What are the pros and cons of fracking?
  • What impact has the Paris Climate Agreement had so far?
  • What have NASA's biggest successes and failures been?
  • How can we improve access to clean water around the world?
  • Does ecotourism actually have a positive impact on the environment?
  • Should the US rely on nuclear energy more?
  • What can be done to save amphibian species currently at risk of extinction?
  • What impact has climate change had on coral reefs?
  • How are black holes created?
  • Are teens who spend more time on social media more likely to suffer anxiety and/or depression?
  • How will the loss of net neutrality affect internet users?
  • Analyze the history and progress of self-driving vehicles.
  • How has the use of drones changed surveillance and warfare methods?
  • Has social media made people more or less connected?
  • What progress has currently been made with artificial intelligence ?
  • Do smartphones increase or decrease workplace productivity?
  • What are the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom?
  • How is Google search affecting our intelligence?
  • When is the best age for a child to begin owning a smartphone?
  • Has frequent texting reduced teen literacy rates?

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How to Write a Great Research Paper

Even great research paper topics won't give you a great research paper if you don't hone your topic before and during the writing process. Follow these three tips to turn good research paper topics into great papers.

#1: Figure Out Your Thesis Early

Before you start writing a single word of your paper, you first need to know what your thesis will be. Your thesis is a statement that explains what you intend to prove/show in your paper. Every sentence in your research paper will relate back to your thesis, so you don't want to start writing without it!

As some examples, if you're writing a research paper on if students learn better in same-sex classrooms, your thesis might be "Research has shown that elementary-age students in same-sex classrooms score higher on standardized tests and report feeling more comfortable in the classroom."

If you're writing a paper on the causes of the Civil War, your thesis might be "While the dispute between the North and South over slavery is the most well-known cause of the Civil War, other key causes include differences in the economies of the North and South, states' rights, and territorial expansion."

#2: Back Every Statement Up With Research

Remember, this is a research paper you're writing, so you'll need to use lots of research to make your points. Every statement you give must be backed up with research, properly cited the way your teacher requested. You're allowed to include opinions of your own, but they must also be supported by the research you give.

#3: Do Your Research Before You Begin Writing

You don't want to start writing your research paper and then learn that there isn't enough research to back up the points you're making, or, even worse, that the research contradicts the points you're trying to make!

Get most of your research on your good research topics done before you begin writing. Then use the research you've collected to create a rough outline of what your paper will cover and the key points you're going to make. This will help keep your paper clear and organized, and it'll ensure you have enough research to produce a strong paper.

What's Next?

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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Research Topic Ideas

Getting started, 1. brainstorming for a topic, 2. read general background information, 3. focus your topic, more research help.

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This guide provides you with a list of topic ideas (by subject or academic discipline) which could be developed into a research paper or project. It is not an all-inclusive list, but a list developed over time with input from faculty and students.

It is intended to offer suggestions only.

This is NOT a guide to help you research a topic. It is only intended to provide ideas for a paper.

The ability to develop a good research topic is an important skill. An instructor may assign you a specific topic, but most often instructors require you to select your own topic of interest. When deciding on a topic, there are a few things that you will need to do:

  • Brainstorm for ideas.
  • Choose a topic that will enable you to read and understand the articles and books you find.
  • Ensure that the topic is manageable and that material is available.
  • Make a list of key words.
  • Be flexible. You may have to broaden or narrow your topic to fit your assignment or the sources you find.

Selecting a good topic may not be easy. It must be narrow and focused enough to be interesting, yet broad enough to find adequate information. Before selecting your final topic, make sure you know what your final project should look like. Each class or instructor will likely require a different format or style of research project.

Choose a topic that interests you. Use the following questions to help generate topic ideas.

  • Do you have a strong opinion on a current social or political controversy?
  • Did you read or see a news story recently that has piqued your interest or made you angry or anxious?
  • Do you have a personal issue, problem, or interest that you would like to know more about?
  • Is there an aspect of a class that you are interested in learning more about?

Write down any key words or concepts that may be of interest to you. These terms can be helpful in your searching and used to form a more focused research topic.

Be aware of overused ideas when deciding a topic. You may wish to avoid topics such as abortion, gun control, teen pregnancy, or suicide unless you feel you have a unique approach to the topic. Ask the instructor for ideas if you feel you are stuck or need additional guidance.

Sometimes using a  Concept Map  can help you come up with directions to take your research.

  • Topic Concept Map Download and print this PDF to create a concept map for your topic. Put your main topic in the middle circle and then put ideas related to your topic on the lines radiating from the circle.

Read a general encyclopedia article on the top two or three topics you are considering.

Reading a broad summary enables you to get an overview of the topic and see how your idea relates to broader, narrower, and related issues. It also provides a great source for finding words commonly used to describe the topic. These keywords may be very useful to your later research.

If you can't find an article on your topic, try using broader terms and ask for help from a librarian.

The databases listed below are good places to find general information. The library's print reference collection can also be useful and is located on the third floor of the library.

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Authoritative coverage of thousands of topics in all areas of study.

Encyclopaedia Britannica's latest article database (including hundreds of articles not found in the print edition), Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, and the Britannica Book of the Year (1994-present), with thousands of web links selected by editors. Updated daily.

Fully indexed, cross-searchable database of over 400 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press. Includes subject reference works in the humanities, social sciences, and science--both "Quick Reference" titles (concise dictionaries, etc.) and larger "Reference Library" titles (multi-volume encyclopedias, etc.).

Covers anthropology, communication, education, geography, health, history, law, management, politics, psychology, and sociology.

Concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities.

Keep it manageable and be flexible. If you start doing more research and not finding enough sources that support your thesis, you may need to adjust your topic.

A topic will be very difficult to research if it is too broad or narrow. One way to narrow a broad topic such as "the environment" is to limit your topic. Some common ways to limit a topic are:

  • by geographic area

Example: What environmental issues are most important in the Southwestern United States?

  • by time frame:

Example: What are the most prominent environmental issues of the last 10 years?

  • by discipline

Example: How does environmental awareness effect business practices today?

  • by population group

Example: What are the effects of air pollution on senior citizens?

Remember that a topic may be too difficult to research if it is too:

  • locally confined - Topics this specific may only be covered in local newspapers and not in scholarly articles.

Example: What sources of pollution affect the Genesee County water supply?

  • recent - If a topic is quite recent, books or journal articles may not be available, but newspaper or magazine articles may. Also, websites related to the topic may or may not be available.
  • broadly interdisciplinary - You could be overwhelmed with superficial information.

Example: How can the environment contribute to the culture, politics and society of the Western United States?

  • popular - You will only find very popular articles about some topics such as sports figures and high-profile celebrities and musicians.

Putting your topic in the form of a question will help you focus on what type of information you want to collect.

If you have any difficulties or questions with focusing your topic, discuss the topic with your instructor, or with a librarian.

For more help with the research help, please see our Research Help Guides:

  • Research Process by Liz Svoboda Last Updated May 29, 2024 9344 views this year
  • Primary Sources for Historical Research: A Library Guide by Reference Librarians Last Updated May 29, 2024 91 views this year
  • Understanding Journals: Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly, & Popular by Liz Svoboda Last Updated Jan 10, 2024 1606 views this year
  • Identifying Information Sources by Liz Svoboda Last Updated Mar 13, 2024 2600 views this year
  • Next: Area & Interdisciplinary Studies >>
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2024 4:05 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.umflint.edu/topics

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Teaching and Learning About the Pro-Palestinian Student Protests on College Campuses

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Weekly Student News Quiz: Dubai, College Protests, Caitlin Clark

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Environmental sciences articles from across Nature Portfolio

Environmental science is the multidisciplinary study of all aspects of the Earth’s physical and biological environments. It encompasses environmental chemistry, soil science, ecology, climatology, vegetation cover, marine and freshwater systems, as well as environmental remediation and preservation, and agriculture and land use.

research paper topics for recent events

Climate change and geohazards

Long-term monitoring is required to determine whether climate change is having an impact on shallow geohazard frequency and magnitude; however, these records rarely exist. An innovative approach, using tree damage as evidence, suggests climate change has shifted the seasonality of alpine rockfalls as well as increasing their frequency and volume.

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A sustainable protein ratio

Circularity principles and tipping the ratio of animal- to plant-based proteins towards plant-based diets could largely reduce greenhouse gas emissions and land-use change impacts in the EU28, while avoiding micronutrient losses associated with lower animal-based protein intake.

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Challenges associated with greenhouse gas emissions-related food guidance

Dietary patterns make a substantial contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Research is needed to investigate whether these dietary pattern-level GHG emission contributions can be disaggregated into food product-specific GHG emissions estimates and used to encourage citizens to switch from high- to low-emitting foods.

  • Mark Lawrence

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Hydrogen peroxide serves as pivotal fountainhead for aerosol aqueous sulfate formation from a global perspective

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Increased incidence and diverse manifestations of multiple evanescent white dot syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic

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research paper topics for recent events

Household Inflation Expectations: An Overview of Recent Insights for Monetary Policy

research paper topics for recent events

This paper discusses the recent wave of research that has emphasized the importance of measures of consumers’ inflation expectations. In contrast to other measures of expected inflation, such as for experts or financial market participants, consumers’ inflation expectations capture the broader distribution of societal beliefs about inflation. This research has revealed very significant deviations from traditional assumptions about rationality in consumers’ expectations formation. However, households do act on their beliefs about inflation, though in heterogeneous ways that can depart from the predictions of conventional economic models. Recent euro area experiences highlight the importance of tracking the degree of anchoring in consumers’ inflation expectations in a way that considers their inherent complexity, heterogeneity, and subjectivity. On average, consumers’ medium and longer-term expectations deviate noticeably in levels from central bank targets and, in contrast with expert expectations, often co-move more closely with shorter-term inflation news. By stepping up their engagement with the wider public, central banks may be able to influence expectations by building up greater knowledge and trust and thereby support more effective monetary transmission. Communication efforts need to be persistent because central banks must compete with many other demands on consumers’ attention.

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  • Science and Technology Directorate

Feature Article: FloodAdapt Will Help Protect Flood-prone Communities

The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has partnered with Deltares USA to conduct demonstrations, trainings, and performance testing for the new accessible compound flood and impact assessment tool, which will help at-risk communities better prepare for and respond to severe weather events.

A map with light green, dark green (for low), and purple coloring (for high) is used to display areas of high and low social vulnerability. Geographic locations that are considered to be a high social vulnerability region are colored in purple, while locations that are considered to be a low social vulnerability region are indicated with dark green. A “pop-up” graphic demonstrates how FloodAdapt considers variables such as building damage; flooded and displaced populations; and damaged roads when modeling h

Our coastal communities have taken a real hit in recent years. With extreme weather events on the rise, learning from past incidents and emerging trends is the key to protecting lives and property. Having the right compound flood modeling systems and data in place to study, simulate, and predict threats makes collaboration and critical decision-making that much easier, so when the time comes, response can be swift.

S&T has been working with Deltares USA and the city of Charleston, South Carolina, for two years to develop and pilot a state-of-the-art suite of community-oriented flood-hazard modeling and impact assessment technologies and software that will soon be available to inform field operations and emergency response before and after any events make landfall. The tools, now collectively known as FloodAdapt , will provide responders, emergency managers, and policy makers in flood-prone communities with capabilities to establish stronger planning and preparation strategies.

“Our efforts in Charleston have played a critical role in the ongoing development of FloodAdapt,” said S&T Program Manager Ron Langhelm. “Thanks to engagement with local emergency managers, first responders, and community decision makers, along with continual performance and user testing, we’ve been able drastically improve upon FloodAdapt’s tools, and enhance their capabilities and scope of use.”

FloodAdapt has unique, user-friendly components that help users create community-specific flood simulations, study related impacts, and investigate the efficacy of potential preventive and mitigative efforts and responses.

SFINCS is an open-source modeling tool that rapidly and dynamically simulates compound flooding events that impact large-scale coastal environments, and calculates interactions between related phenomena such as rainfall, storm surges, and river discharge. Delft-FIAT is an open-source flood impact assessment modeling tool that evaluates flood damage to buildings, utilities, and roads.

FloodAdapt incorporates innovative decision-support features, helping bring them into practice. These include an equity-weighting tool that (optionally) incorporates income data in determining equity-weighted damages and risk, infographics that use social vulnerability data to evaluate the equitable distribution of impacts and benefits, and a benefits calculator to assess the risk-reduction benefits of measures or strategies that will help lessen the impact of future flood events.

“With these advanced capabilities, FloodAdapt is able to provide some of the most accurate flood-related models, infographics, and infometrics that are currently available,” explained Langhelm. “Users can integrate FloodAdapt into their own toolsets and plug in publicly available data or use their own. They can then study past weather events, simulate hypothetical scenarios, and evaluate vulnerabilities, risks, and mitigation strategies that are the most relevant to their needs or interests.”

A map with varying shades of red (from 0 to 60%) and blue (showing flood depth in feet measurement) is used to display damage percentage associated with a flood event.  Geographic locations that are colored in red have been damaged by flooding – minor damage is indicated with light shades of red, while severe damage is shown with dark shades of red. Areas on the map that have experienced flooding are shown in blue – minor flooding is indicated with light shades of blue, while severe flooding is shown with dark shades of blue. The map is divided by a line down the middle. The lefthand side displays the effect of a recent extreme weather event, while the right-hand side simulates the amount of damage that would have been caused if that same event had caused an additional 12-inch rise in sea level and associated flooding.

While it is currently being piloted for coastal flooding research in Charleston, Langhelm and the Deltares team are working hard to raise awareness about and further improve FloodAdapt before it transitions to the field.

“Continuing to spread awareness about, improve, and develop new innovations for FloodAdapt are major priorities for us,” said Langhelm. “We want to make sure that it will always be accessible and useful to anyone who may want to use it—whether they are government organizations, academia, emergency managers and responders, or just everyday citizens who have their own interest in learning about flood modeling and research.”

FloodAdapt stakeholders sit in a room at computer desks while attending a FloodAdapt workshop in Charleston, South Carolina.  Deltares’ FloodAdapt developer, Panos Athanasiou, is presenting at the far-right end of the room. On his left, a large television screen is displaying one of FloodAdapt’s map comparison features.

To meet these goals, in March 2024 the Deltares team conducted demonstrations, trainings, and performance testing with members of the flood research and response communities in Charleston and Baltimore. Both trips were a great success.

“FloodAdapt made quite an impression in Charleston and Baltimore,” said Langhelm. “Our emergency managers in South Carolina were impressed with the improvements we’ve made and the capabilities we’ve added and are looking forward to using them with their current models and datasets as a part of their future flood research and planning efforts.”

“Our colleagues in Maryland weren’t as familiar with FloodAdapt,” continued Langhelm. “However, they found it to be a powerful, user-friendly tool, and believe that it can play a key role in their current flood research and mitigation efforts. We are preparing additional training materials for them so that they can continue to get more comfortable with FloodAdapt and eventually teach their regional partners how to use it as well.”

The team has also been consulting with academia to make FloodAdapt even more effective in the field.

Deltares Senior Advisor Kathryn Roscoe stands in the center of a conference room behind a podium. In the audience are members from Maryland’s Department of Emergency Management sitting around tables. Kathryn is teaching them about FloodAdapt and the role that it can have in their future flood planning and research efforts.

“We’re working with the George Washington University to study income, population, and other related factors, and looking at how these social indicators should be better accounted for when implementing flood-related policies,” explained Langhelm. “And our colleagues at Dartmouth College’s School of Engineering have created an uncertainty framework for damage modeling, that, if incorporated into FloodAdapt, will help users more accurately predict the probability of a flood occurring in any given area.”

A growing number of international partners in the European Union, including the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts and emergency responders in Ireland and Denmark, are also interested in exploring ways to implement FloodAdapt into their regional and local coastal communities.

“All of these partnerships are critical,” said Langhelm. “Ultimately, we all have the same shared goal: to raise awareness about FloodAdapt and teach interested users how to effectively use it to enhance their communities’ resilience to flood events.”

In the coming year, the team will implement two new FloodAdapt capabilities to address technical gaps identified during recent user engagements: the ability to evaluate accessibility impacts (like access to a hospital) when roads are flooded and the ability to evaluate the damage-reduction effectiveness of coastal nature-based solutions (like coral reefs and coastal wetlands that serve as buffers from waves and high-tides).

Findings from the Charleston pilot will be documented in a peer-reviewed paper. The team is also creating and disseminating a series of FloodAdapt tutorial videos and technical manuals.

“The paper will serve as another means of spreading the word about FloodAdapt and its utility, while the videos and manuals will be valuable resources to anyone who is interested in accessing and using FloodAdapt,” explained Langhelm.

Each video will provide a brief overview of a specific functionality and demonstrate how it can be used, while the online technical manuals, which can be accessed directly from within FloodAdapt, will offer complementary written instruction.

S&T and Deltares plan to make FloodAdapt available to the public this October and will continue to expand upon, enhance, and promote it based on continual feedback from stakeholders in the flood research community.

For related media requests, please contact [email protected] . Visit S&T’s Community and Infrastructure Resilience page to learn more about our ongoing flood-related research and development efforts.

  • Science and Technology

9 Undergraduate Research Projects That Wowed Us This Year

The telegraph. The polio vaccine. The bar code. Light beer. Throughout its history, NYU has been known for innovation, with faculty and alumni in every generation contributing to some of the most notable inventions and scientific breakthroughs of their time. But you don’t wind up in the history books—or peer-reviewed journals—by accident; academic research, like any specialized discipline, takes hard work and lots of practice. 

And at NYU, for students who are interested, that training can start early—including during an undergraduate's first years on campus. Whether through assistantships in faculty labs, summer internships, senior capstones, or independent projects inspired by coursework, undergrad students have many opportunities to take what they’re learning in the classroom and apply it to create original scholarship throughout their time at NYU. Many present their work at research conferences, and some even co-author work with faculty and graduate students that leads to publication. 

As 2023-2024 drew to a close, the NYU News team coordinated with the Office of the Provost to pull together a snapshot of the research efforts that students undertook during this school year. The nine featured here represent just a small fraction of the impressive work we encountered in fields ranging from biology, chemistry, and engineering to the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. 

These projects were presented at NYU research conferences for undergrads, including Migration and Im/Mobility , Pathways for Discovery: Undergraduate Research and Writing Symposium , Social Impact: NYU’s Applied Undergraduate Research Conference , Arts-Based Undergraduate Research Conference , Gallatin Student Research Conference ,  Dreammaker’s Summit , Tandon’s Research Excellence Exhibit , and Global Engagement Symposium . Learn more about these undergrad research opportunities and others.

Jordan Janowski (CAS '24)

Sade Chaffatt (NYU Abu Dhabi '24)

Elsa Nyongesa (GPH, CAS ’24 )

Anthony Offiah (Gallatin ’26)

Kimberly Sinchi (Tandon ’24) and Sarah Moughal (Tandon ’25)

Rohan Bajaj (Stern '24)

Lizette Saucedo (Liberal Studies ’24)

Eva Fuentes (CAS '24)

Andrea Durham (Tandon ’26)

Jordan Janowski (CAS ’24) Major: Biochemistry Thesis title: “Engineering Chirality for Functionality in Crystalline DNA”

Jordan Janowski (CAS '24). Photo by Tracey Friedman

I work in the Structural DNA Nanotechnology Lab, which was founded by the late NYU professor Ned Seeman, who is known as the father of the field. My current projects are manipulating DNA sequences to self-assemble into high order structures.

Essentially, we’re using DNA as a building material, instead of just analyzing it for its biological functions. It constantly amazes me that this is possible.

I came in as a pre-med student, but when I started working in the lab I realized that I was really interested in continuing my research there. I co-wrote a paper with postdoc Dr. Simon Vecchioni who has been a mentor to me and helped me navigate applying to grad school. I’m headed to Scripps Research in the fall. This research experience has led me to explore some of the molecules that make up life and how they could be engineered into truly unnatural curiosities and technologies.

My PI, Prof. Yoel Ohayon , has been super supportive of my place on the  NYU women’s basketball team, which I’m a  member of. He’s been coming to my games since sophomore year, and he’ll text me with the score and “great game!”— it’s been so nice to have that support for my interests beyond the lab.

Anthony Offiah (Gallatin ’26) Concentration: Fashion design and business administration MLK Scholars research project title: “project: DREAMER”

Anthony Offiah (Gallatin '26). Photo by Tracey Friedman

In “project: DREAMER,” I explored how much a person’s sense of fashion is a result of their environment or societal pressures based on their identity. Certain groups are pressured or engineered to present a certain way, and I wanted to see how much of the opposing force—their character, their personality—affected their sense of style. 

This was a summer research project through the MLK Scholars Program . I did ethnographic interviews with a few people, and asked them to co-design their ideal garments with me. They told me who they are, how they identify, and what they like in fashion, and we synthesized that into their dream garments. And then we had a photo shoot where they were empowered to make artistic choices. 

Some people told me they had a hard time conveying their sense of style because they were apprehensive about being the center of attention or of being dissimilar to the people around them. So they chose to conform to protect themselves. And then others spoke about wanting to safeguard the artistic or vulnerable—or one person used the word “feminine”—side of them so they consciously didn’t dress how they ideally would. 

We ended the interviews by stating an objective about how this co-designing process didn’t end with them just getting new clothes—it was about approaching fashion differently than how they started and unlearning how society might put them in a certain box without their approval.  

My concentration in Gallatin is fashion design and business administration. In the industry some clothing is critiqued and some clothing is praised—and navigating that is challenging, because what you like might not be well received. So doing bespoke fashion for just one person is freeing in a sense because you don’t have to worry about all that extra stuff. It’s just the art. And I like being an artist first and thinking about the business second.

Lizette Saucedo (Global Liberal Studies ’24) Major: Politics, rights, and development Thesis title: “Acknowledging and Remembering Deceased Migrants Crossing the U.S.-Mexican Border”

Lizette Saucedo (Global Liberal Studies '24). Photo by Tracey Friedman

My thesis project is on commemorating migrants who are dying on their journey north to cross the U.S.–Mexican border. I look at it through different theoretical lenses, and one of the terms is necropolitics—how politics shapes the way the State governs life and especially death. And then of the main issues aside from the deaths is that a lot of people in the U.S. don’t know about them, due to the government trying to eschew responsibility for migrant suffering. In the final portion of the thesis, I argue for presenting what some researchers call “migrant artifacts”—the personal belongings left behind by people trying to cross over—to the public, so that people can become aware and have more of a human understanding of what’s going on. 

This is my senior thesis for Liberal Studies, but the idea for it started in an International Human Rights course I took with professor Joyce Apsel . We read a book by Jason De León called The Land of the Open Graves , which I kept in the back of my mind. And then when I studied abroad in Germany during my junior year, I noticed all the different memorials and museums, and wondered why we didn’t have the equivalent in the U.S. My family comes from Mexico—my parents migrated—and ultimately all of these interests came together.

I came into NYU through the Liberal Studies program and I loved it. It’s transdisciplinary, which shaped how I view my studies. My major is politics, rights, and development and my minor is social work, but I’ve also studied museum studies, and I’ve always loved the arts. The experience of getting to work one-on-one on this thesis has really fortified my belief that I can combine all those things.

Sade Chaffatt (Abu Dhabi ’24) Major: Biology Thesis title: “The Polycomb repressive component, EED in mouse hepatocytes regulates liver homeostasis and survival following partial hepatectomy.”

Sade Chaffatt (NYU Abu Dhabi '24). Photo courtesy of NYUAD

Imagine your liver as a room. Within the liver there are epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression. Imagine these epigenetic mechanisms as a dimmer switch, so that you could adjust the light in the room. If we remove a protein that is involved in regulating these mechanisms, there might be dysregulation—as though the light is too bright or too dim. One such protein, EED, plays a crucial role in regulating gene expression. And so my project focuses on investigating whether EED is required in mouse hepatocytes to regulate liver homeostasis and to regulate survival following surgical resection.

Stepping into the field of research is very intimidating when you’re an undergraduate student and know nothing. But my capstone mentor, Dr. Kirsten Sadler , encourages students to present their data at lab meetings and to speak with scientists. Even though this is nerve-wracking, it helps to promote your confidence in communicating science to others in the field.

If you’d asked 16-year-old me, I never would’ve imagined that I’d be doing research at this point. Representation matters a lot, and you often don't see women—especially not Black women—in research. Being at NYUAD has really allowed me to see more women in these spaces. Having had some experience in the medical field through internships, I can now say I’m more interested in research and hope to pursue a PhD in the future.

Kimberly Sinchi (Tandon ’24) Major: Computer Science Sarah Moughal (Tandon ’25) Major: Computer Science Project: Robotic Design Team's TITAN

Sarah Moughal (Tandon '25, left) and Kimberly Sinchi (Tandon '24). Photo by Tracey Friedman

Kimberly: The Robotic Design Team has been active at NYU for at least five years. We’re 60-plus undergrad and grad students majoring in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and integrated design. We’ve named our current project TITAN because of how huge it is. TITAN stands for “Tandon’s innovation in terraforming and autonomous navigation.”

Sarah: We compete in NASA’s lunatics competition every year, which means we build a robot from scratch to be able to compete in lunar excavation and construction. We make pretty much everything in house in the Tandon MakerSpace, and everyone gets a little experience with machining, even if you're not mechanical. A lot of it is about learning how to work with other people—communicating across majors and disciplines and learning how to explain our needs to someone who may not be as well versed in particular technologies as we are. 

Kimberly: With NYU’s Vertically Integrated Project I’ve been able to take what I was interested in and actually have a real world impact with it. NASA takes notes on every Rover that enters this competition. What worked and what didn’t actually influences their designs for rovers they send to the moon and to Mars.

Eva Fuentes (CAS ’24) Major: Anthropology Thesis title: “Examining the relationship between pelvic shape and numbers of lumbar vertebrae in primates”

Eva Fuentes (CAS '24). Photo by Tracey Friedman

I came into NYU thinking I wanted to be an art history major with maybe an archeology minor. To do the archeology minor, you have to take the core classes in anthropology, and so I had to take an intro to human evolution course. I was like, this is the coolest thing I’ve learned—ever. So I emailed people in the department to see if I could get involved. 

Since my sophomore year, I’ve been working in the Evolutionary Morphology Lab with Scott Williams, who is primarily interested in the vertebral column of primates in the fossil record because of how it can inform the evolution of posture and locomotion in humans.

For my senior thesis, I’m looking at the number of lumbar vertebrae—the vertebrae that are in the lower back specifically—and aspects of pelvic shape to see if it is possible to make inferences about the number of lumbar vertebrae a fossil may have had. The bones of the lower back are important because they tell us about posture and locomotion.

I committed to a PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis a few weeks ago to study biological anthropology. I never anticipated being super immersed in the academic world. I don’t come from an academic family. I had no idea what I was doing when I started, but Scott Williams, and everyone in the lab, is extremely welcoming and easy to talk to. It wasn't intimidating to come into this lab at all.

Elsa Nyongesa (GPH, CAS ’24 ) Major: Global Public Health and Biology Project: “Diversity in Breast Oncological Studies: Impacts on Black Women’s Health Outcomes”

Elsa Nyongesa (GPH, CAS '24). Photo by Tracey Friedman

I interned at Weill Cornell Medicine through their Travelers Summer Research Fellowship Program where I worked with my mentor, Dr. Lisa Newman, who is the head of the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes. I analyzed data on the frequency of different types of breast cancer across racial and ethnic groups in New York. At the same time, I was also working with Dr. Rachel Kowolsky to study minority underrepresentation in clinical research. 

In an experiential learning course taught by Professor Joyce Moon Howard in the GPH department, I created a research question based on my internship experience. I thought about how I could combine my experiences from the program which led to my exploration of the correlation between minority underrepresentation in breast oncological studies, and how it affects the health outcomes of Black women with breast cancer.

In my major, we learn about the large scope of health disparities across different groups. This opportunity allowed me to learn more about these disparities in the context of breast cancer research. As a premedical student, this experience broadened my perspective on health. I learned more about the social, economic, and environmental factors influencing health outcomes. It also encouraged me to examine literature more critically to find gaps in knowledge and to think about potential solutions to health problems. Overall, this experience deepened my philosophy of service, emphasizing the importance of health equity and advocacy at the research and clinical level.

Rohan Bajaj (Stern ’24) Major: Finance and statistics Thesis title: “Measuring Socioeconomic Changes and Investor Attitude in Chicago’s Post-Covid Economic Recovery”

Rohan Bajaj (Stern '24). Photo by Tracey Friedman

My thesis is focused on understanding the effects of community-proposed infrastructure on both the socioeconomic demographics of cities and on fiscal health. I’m originally from Chicago, so it made a lot of sense to pay tribute back to the place that raised me. I’m compiling a list of characteristics of infrastructure that has been developed since 2021 as a part of the Chicago Recovery Plan and then assessing how neighborhoods have changed geographically and economically. 

I’m looking at municipal bond yields in Chicago as a way of evaluating the fiscal health of the city. Turns out a lot of community-proposed infrastructure is focused in lower income areas within Chicago rather than higher income areas. So that makes the research question interesting, to see if there’s a correlation between the proposed and developed infrastructure projects, and if these neighborhoods are being gentrified alongside development.

I kind of stumbled into the impact investing industry accidentally from an internship I had during my time at NYU. I started working at a renewable energies brokerage in midtown, where my main job was collecting a lot of market research trends and delivering insights on how these different energy markets would come into play. I then worked with the New York State Insurance Fund, where I helped construct and execute their sustainable investment strategy from the ground up. 

I also took a class called “Design with Climate Change” with Peter Anker in Gallatin during my junior year, and a lot of that class was focused on how to have climate resilient and publicly developed infrastructure, and understanding the effects it has on society. It made me start thinking about the vital role that physical surroundings play in steering communities.

In the short term I want to continue diving into impact-focused investing and help identify urban planners and city government to develop their communities responsibly and effectively.

Andrea Durham (Tandon, ’26)  Major: Biomolecular science Research essay title: “The Rise and Fall of Aduhelm”

Andrea Durham (Tandon '26). Photo by Tracey Friedman

This is an essay I wrote last year in an advanced college essay writing class with Professor Lorraine Doran on the approval of a drug for Alzheimer’s disease called Aduhelm—a monoclonal antibody therapy developed by Biogen in 2021, which was described as being momentous and groundbreaking. But there were irregularities ranging from the design of its clinical trials to government involvement that led to the resignation of three scientists on an advisory panel, because not everybody in the scientific community agreed that it should be approved.

When I was six years old, my grandmother was diagnosed. Seeing the impact that it had over the years broke my heart and ignited a passion in me to pursue research. 

When I started at NYU, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do in the future, or what opportunities I would go after. This writing class really gave me an opportunity to reflect on the things that were important to me in my life. The September after I wrote this paper, I started volunteering in a lab at Mount Sinai for Alzheimer's disease research, and that’s what I’m doing now—working as a volunteer at the Center for Molecular Integrative Neuroresilience under Dr. Giulio Pasinetti. I have this opportunity to be at the forefront, and because of the work I did in my writing class I feel prepared going into these settings with an understanding of the importance of conducting ethical research and working with integrity.

Economic Budgeting for Endowment-Dependent Universities

To understand their financial position, universities need to understand the long-term implications of their operating revenues and costs in relation to the financial assets they have available. Standard budgeting procedures that focus on one or two years at a time and use generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) do not do this. We present an alternative framework that discounts cash flow forecasts over the infinite future and compares the present value of operating obligations to the value of the university’s endowment net of any debt it has issued. We illustrate the potential of this framework using recent data from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

This paper was presented at the NBER Conference on the Financing of Higher Education, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, on April 4-5, 2024, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We are grateful to Jay Herlihy, Scott Jordan, Susan Duda and the financial staff of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences for their consistent support of this project, and to Antoinette Schoar for her discussion at the conference. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Outside Activities

Jeremy C. Stein

Outside (Non-Harvard) Activities Since 2006

A. Compensated Activities*

Speaking Engagements

I have given paid talks for a number of financial firms, investor groups, academic institutions, and central banks.

Key Square Capital Management: consultant, July 2016-December 2019.

BlueMountain Capital Management: consultant, 2015.

Guggenheim Partners: consultant, 2005-2007.

Commissioned Research

The Clearing House Association: “An Analysis of the Impact of ‘Substantially Heightened’ Capital Requirements on Large Financial Institutions,” unpublished paper with Anil Kashyap and Samuel Hanson, 2010.

Honoraria for Papers

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, for “Rethinking Capital Regulation,” with Anil Kashyap and Raghuram Rajan, 2008.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, for “The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet as a Financial Stability Tool,” with Robin Greenwood and Sam Hanson, 2016.

Brookings Institution, for “Strengthening and Streamlining Bank Capital Regulation,” with Robin Greenwood, Sam Hanson and Adi Sunderam, 2017.

Public Service

Federal Reserve Board: Governor, May 2012-May 2014.

U.S. Treasury Department: Senior Advisor to the Secretary and concurrently, staff of National Economic Council, February-July 2009.

Quarterly Journal of Economics: co-editor, 2011-2012.

Journal of Economic Perspectives: co-editor, 2007-2008.

Study Center, Gerzensee, Switzerland: summer-school course, 2011.

Northwestern University: visiting scholar, 2009.

B. Significant Non-Compensated Activities

Harvard Management Company: Board of Directors, 2015-present.

American Finance Association: President, 2008 President-Elect, 2007 Vice-President, 2006 Board of Directors, 2009-2011.

Financial Advisory Roundtable, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2006-2012, 2019-present

Squam Lake Group, 2008-2012.

_________________________ *Excludes honoraria from non-profit institutions, government agencies, and academic journals of $3,000 or less in a given year, and payments from for-profit firms of $500 or less in a given year.

MARC RIS BibTeΧ

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15th Annual Feldstein Lecture, Mario Draghi, "The Next Flight of the Bumblebee: The Path to Common Fiscal Policy in the Eurozone cover slide

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