The GROWBY Scholarship and Research Fund

We here at GROWBY would like to promote life-long education. What better way it is to achieve our goal than to offer scholarship and research funding in satisfying our curiosity and expanding our knowledge? So, if you are a struggling student in need of financial aids, consider researching a topic and writing a scholarly paper, with a "Reader Digest" version which would be interesting and understandable to laymen. Get ready for the day when GROWBY has amassed enough funding to offer our promised scholarship...

There are many, many, many areas we want to explore. But we will, for the time being, propose to start with some of the followings:

Serial Killers

Are all serial killers sociopath who are simply too smart for their own good? Have they all experienced some sort of traumatic experiences, consciously or subconsciously, during early childhood?

Recycle Old Data

Are there still old data files around which can be re-analyzed using computers and modern technology?

Gender and Sexuality

Gay Gene

One or more genes located on the X Chromosome (inherited from the mother) may predispose some men toward homosexuality. Under what circumstances would the mother pass such a gene? Can homosexuality be fixed through gene therapy?
(ref: "Report Suggests Homosexuality is Linked to Genes" by Natalie Angier, July 1993 NYT)

Women Trapped in Men's Bodies

A region of the hypothalamus is about 50% larger in men than in women, and almost 60% larger in men than in male-to-female transsexuals. How does that happen?
(ref: "Study Links Brain to Transsexuality" by Natalie Angier, Nov.1995 NYT)

Brain Difference

There are strong research evidences of brain differences between the sexes. What does it mean? And why?
(ref: "Man's World, Woman's World? Brain Studies Point to Differences" by Gina Kolata, Feb.1995 NYT)

Tomboys and Sissies

Are their brain functioning more similar to that of the opposite sex?

Seasonal Differences

Plot graphs of seasonal birth rate and compare them across historical periods. Find explanation for any differences.

Brain and Neurons

Smarter Genes

We can now genetically engineer smarter mice. What's installed in the future?
(ref: "Scientist at Work: Joe Z. Tsien; Of Smart Mice and an Even Smarter Man" by Nicholas Wade, Sept.1999, NYT)

Adaptable Brain

Instead of resorting to stem cells, can we re-adapt neurons in the brain (replacing the damaged ones) to serve a different function?

Color Blindness

Can one retrain the brain to correct such impairment?

Thinking Machine

Can we some day create a machine that can really think?
(ref: "The Conscious Mind is Still Baffling to Experts of All Stripes" by Sandra Blakeslee, Apr.1996, NYT)

Study Dreaming to Understand Madness

Are madmen simply sickly people who do not know how to wake up from their dreams?
(ref: Clues to the Irrational Nature of Dreams" by Sandra Blakeslee, July 1994, NYT)

Sleep Rhythms

"All night long, the colon's walls are flooded by churning bacteria in rhythms lasting 90 to 120 minutes - which matches exactly the interval between the sleep stages seen in the brain." Explore and explain the relationship, causes and effects, etc.
(ref: "Mystery of Sleep Yields as Studies Reveal Immune Tie" by Sandra Blakeslee, Aug.1993 NYT)

Animal Talks

Dr. Noam Chomsky, a well respected linguist of MIT, theorized that teaching linguistic skills to animals is irrational. How would he explain why parrots can be taught to "talk"?
(ref: "Chimp Talk Debate: Is It Really Language?" by George Johnson, June 1995 NYT)


Teacher Training

Design a training program to coach teachers how to recognize signs and to distinguish symptoms of hyperactivity, attention deficit, autism, auditory or visual impairment, hyper-sensitivity, neurological dysfunction, stress, depression, physical or emotional abuse, etc., so that some unfortunate children may not be condemned, due to misdiagnosis, from seeking the correct cure or therapy.

School Program

Design an educational program as part of the high school curriculum, to prepare students for their essential life skills in:

Health and Dis-Ease

Hide and Seek

Exercise and Fitness

How much exercise does one need to do to maintain certain level of fitness and health? How much can it be attributed to nature, how much to nurture?

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Before the days of HRT, how did Western women deal with hot flushes? Or is it only modern women with very different diet that are afflicted with such symptoms?

Oriental Dyslexics

Since their language is in characters, not alphabets, can Chinese be dyslexic? What about Koreans, with their phonic characters? Or the Japanese? If they learn English as a second language, can they become dyslexic?

Gravitational Pulls

Each microsecond in time is defined by the gravitational pulls of gigzillion stars in our galaxy. Could the time a life is conceived or is born affect:

Taste Buds

Does a mother's diet during pregnancy, or emotional mood while ingesting food, affect the child's like and dislike of certain food?

Diet and ADHD

Is it possible that a mother's diet (such as deficiency in EFA) during pregnancy increases the baby's chance of developing ADHD?

Chemical and Autism

Is it possible that the chemicals a mother has ingested or is exposed to during pregnancy (MSG, preservatives, coloring agents, amalgam fillings, flu shot, antibiotics, medication, alcohol, drug, fume from paint, etc.) increases the baby's chance of being autistic?

Autism and Birth Control

Is there a correlation between autism and mothers previously on birth control pills or other drugs for extended period before pregnancy? What about X-ray or ultrasound?

Folk Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine has been passed down for thousands of years. Scientists venture into the Amazon jungles to study herbal cures. Does the Western civilization have any more effective folk medicine besides chicken soup?

Stressful Exposure

Is it possible that the environment a mother (such as trauma, stress, depression, etc.) is exposed to during pregnancy predisposes the baby to psychopathic behavior?


As the dentist explains it, even little children grind their teeth, so you cannot attribute bruxism to stress. Well, maybe those kids are experiencing stress subconsciously: e.g. high achievers not making their grades, middle children desperate for Moms' attention, students with too many extra-curricular activities... Check it out, after dismissing the possibilities of calcium deficiency, jaw misalignment, etc.!

Stress Types

Does different type of stress affect different organ in the body?

Stress and Laughter

Can one really laugh off stress? Can one think of something funny when one is upset?

Modern Life Style

Does our modern life style of fast food, rushed schedule, financial stress, wonder drugs, etc. contribute to more incidence of mental illness than the past historical averages?

Complex Formula

Develop a formula to define how the following variables pre-dispose a person to certain diseases:

Other Areas to Explore

Please also explore our Forum and Philosophers' Corner for more ideas for study and research.

A Note from Our G.I.

At the very least, you have found an outlet for your pent-up energy. Who knows, you may even get fame and recognition, should your paper be selected for our online publication. Besides, you may even get a job or your career receives a boost due to the publicity. And for the ultimate, you may even earn yourself a scholarship, if we find enough willing sponsors.

Now that I've gone through graduate school, I learn first hand some of the dull and uninspiring topics people work on for their thesis. I pity myself for being so ignorant and desperate. So ignorant as not to explore the possibilities of breaking out of the moldy mold, away from the confines of not only what was being offered, but more what were not in the offerings. So desperate to escape from the constricting establishment which stifled my potentials that I committed myself in the confines in order to graduate ASAP.

Maybe my plight was unique. But just to prevent others from suffering the same fate, I am proposing a list of R&D topics which might have inspired me. Should one of these topics inspire you too, I hope you can contribute a research paper.

Well, I have already confessed to ignorance. So you cannot blame me for suggesting topics which have already been researched. But please do send me URL links to materials on the topics, so they may be shared by all.

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Disclaimer: GROWBY© is as yet an idealistic concept to be implemented. Any program and entity mentioned on our site are but proposals, not concrete deliverables. We need your generous support to make it a reality.   
Updated: 02/11/11
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