Examples of Big iDeas Projects
As a major metropolitan area, Dallas presents numerous complex, multifaceted problems that require insight from many disciplines. Big iDeas project proposals should be aimed at addressing topics relating to such problems, with a team of at least two students from different disciplines.
You can view previous Big iDea student research proposals that received grants, as well as their updates and related documents, in the Big iDeas Student Research digital repository.
For a sense of successful project ideas, consider project topics that received Big iDeas grants.
“Health Literacy Dallas”
Student investigators: Matthew C. Gayer (Junior, Public Policy, Political Science); Mary C. Corey (Junior, Mechanical Engineering); Austin Prentice (Junior, Biology, Chemistry); Michael G. Hammack (Junior, Finance, Economics); Stephen T. Armstrong (Junior, Engineering); Vanessa Mavec (Junior, Anthropology); Patrick Probst (Junior, Biology); Vincent J. Rossi (Junior, Biology)
Proposal: “Health literacy can be defined as a patient’s ability to obtain, understand, and use medical information correctly that is given to them by their doctors, nurses, or other sources. Health literacy affects over 47 million American adults, and costs the United States between $78-247 billion annually… We are currently conducting two research projects. The first is a survey of medical professionals to determine their attitude and beliefs about health communication. We are currently working to secure a partnership with UT Southwestern for this provider research project. We have completed a pilot test of this survey with three local hospitals. From this survey, we hope to have a better idea of if medical professionals are aware of the issue, how it relates to them, and if they have been trained on this topic before. Beyond that… HLD hopes to participate in local health fairs and health events this year. This is meant… to raise awareness of the issue and advance our public research. HLD will be partnering with various professional organizations and local non-profits in order to improve health communication environments.” Learn More >>
“Boxed In: The untold Story of the Undocumented Student”
Student investigators: Daniela Balderas (Junior, Marketing, Spanish); Erik Burgos-Soto (Junior, Engineering); Elena Harding (Senior, Journalism); Nyddia Hannah (Senior, Anthropology)
Proposal: “Immigration is at the heart of a much heated debate as current legislation stands. There is no simple black and white solution, and it is not the intent of the Boxed In team to endorse one view over another. The goal is to bring attention to and promote discussion about a growing concern within the education system. Through the immigration debate the position of undocumented college students has been uncovered. Texas houses the second largest population of undocumented students in the United States, second only to California. [The first part of the project was to] create a ten minute film addressing the educational issue of undocumented college students in the Dallas, Texas area. The students plan to create a second part of the film to address undocumented students and the economy, border security and politics.” Learn More >>
“Tale of One City”
Student investigators: Drake Konow (Junior, Religious Studies, Foreign Languages and Literatures); Rebecca Quinn (Art history, Spanish, French)
Proposal:“Problem: De facto segregation coupled with widespread misunderstanding and miscommunication between the different socioeconomic and ethnic groups in Dallas. Objective: To publish a literary magazine from submissions of Dallas-area high school students from all walks of life. Submissions of poetry, prose, and art will be accepted that address prompts such as ‘What is Dallas?’, ‘Who lives in Dallas?’, and ‘What is it like to live in Dallas?’ We plan to distribute the magazine in print and online across the city and host a coffee house event on campus during which authors and artists of winning submissions can showcase their work. The grand prizewinner will be awarded a scholarship. Anticipated Result: To open a dialogue between otherwise separated citizens of Dallas and foster inter-communication among area youth.”
Learn More >>
Student investigators:Amrita Vir (Junior, Finance); Sean Zech (Senior, Finance); Lorena Lenth (First Year, Accounting); Trigg Burrage (Junior, Management, Theatre); Weston Richter (Junior, Finance)
Proposal:“Communities have always relied on the contributions of their small businesspersons in order to prosper; so when small enterprise suffers, we all suffer. Our team proposes to empower small enterprises in DFW, particularly in Vickery Meadow, through microloans ranging anywhere from $250 to $750. Using our connections in the community, we will find qualified loan recipients and tailor our clientele’s loans and repayment methods to individual needs. Through microloans, private enterprisers will have the power to better both themselves and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.” Learn More >>
What is your Big iDea?