Bipolar disorder is the seventh leading cause of disability worldwide and affects one to two percent of the United States population, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Past psychological research has linked mood disorders to individual differences in reward-sensitivity, indicating that bipolar disorder is associated with high sensitivity to reward (Nusslock et. al), whereas unipolar depression (without mania) is associated with low sensitivity to reward (Pizzagalli, Jahn, O’Shea, 2005). However, the neurophysiology of reward-sensitivity has been studied more extensively for depressive than bipolar symptoms. For my summer project, I would like to investigate the relationship between individual differences in bipolar symptoms and the neurophysiological profiles of reward-sensitivity. Examining this relationship has the potential to elucidate the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, identify biological markers that differentiate between this disorder and unipolar depression, and develop treatments. With the Undergraduate Research Grant (URG), I would be able to begin research this summer that I will develop into a high-impact, and ideally, publishable study in the upcoming year for my senior honors thesis.
What impact does the recent rise in antagonism between Russia and the United States have on the Russian immigrant community living in Los Angeles? This often-ignored subculture, which identifies as both Russian and American, provides a unique lens through which to compare traditional Russian ideologies with more progressive Western perspectives. Specifically, the diverse neighborhood of West Hollywood is home to a majority of Los Angeles' Russian immigrant population, and through a series of interviews, meetings, and data collection about the area, I plan to compile research into a screenplay about unique underbelly of Los Angeles. By employing universally recognized narrative tropes for a typical 'dysfunctional family' that owns a Russian bookstore on Santa Monica Boulevard, I hope to create a fictional narrative that catalogues my research in both a critical and empathetic way. The final screenplay should provide an unbiased, humanizing representation of differing, Russian-American perspectives on what is becoming known as Cold War II.
What if the items and animals left behind in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat could tell us what happened when the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded on April 26, 1986? I want to use research on the nuclear accident paired with contemporary scientific studies of wildlife regeneration in the surrounding marshlands to creatively investigate the endurance of life in the face of disaster. I will imbue objects, animals, and human characters with the unique stories of Chernobyl in a play to be performed on campus during the 2014-2015 school year. Through the research and adaptation of this play—activities with which I hope to build a professional career after graduation—I will explore the universality of life and the power of the survival instinct in an unpredictable world.
Anemia is currently recognized as one of the most widespread public health concerns globally. Iron-Deficiency Anemia (IDA) is the most common type. In Southeast Asia alone, 65.5% of preschool age children, 48.2% of pregnant women, and 45.7% of non-pregnant women are affected by anemia. Addressing childhood anemia early is essential to avoid abnormalities in cognitive and psychomotor development. Maternal anemia prevention will combat increases in maternal mortality, low birth weight, and preterm delivery. Iron/Folic-Acid (IFA) supplementation programs are generally utilized to address anemia. However, these initiatives are effective only in the short-term due to issues with compliance, accessibility, and delivery systems1. To institute a sustainable difference, research has shown that community participation is necessary. Thus, the focus of this research is to investigate the methods of sustainably mitigating anemia rates in rural north India through community health worker (also known as health promoter) programs. In Sept. 2013, we led the implementation of an IFA and health promoter system in the village of Charnia, Haryana, India. IFA regimens are typically 90-100 days in length. Therefore, the combined efficacy of IFA and health promoter program will be assessed in Dec. 2013 through follow-up hemoglobin data collection, clinical diagnoses, and surveys. This research will significantly add to anemia studies in rural North India. In addition, [Student A] is writing her Anthropology senior honors thesis on this project, and [Student B] aims to pursue a career in economic development in the future and this project will help him gain the necessary research skills.
Note: This proposal is several years old and is formatted in a way that is not necessarily a good model for current proposals. I.e., it does not include citations and is not a full two pages single spaced with one inch margins. It is included, however, as an example of research in a creative major.