I feel bioinformatics projects broadly fall into three categories.
- Academic project as part of UG or PG course.
- Professional projects for biotech/drug companies
- Hobbyist/personal projects
When you do an academic project it is important to achieve a preset target within a limited time frame. Hence you have to adopt a bottom up approach wherein you know what your final result is going to be and work your way up. It is always better to keep it simple. You always have time to do more complicated things later on.
Professional projects also have a predefined goal. However it has a wider scope but often has the backing of a team. Funding is also available. This is what most of us aspire to do once we become full fledged professionals.
The third type of projects is for people who are not primarily bioinformaticians, but try to explore this nascent specialty, keeping their field as the initial entry point. They often try a top down approach and may not be always successful!
Let me suggest the following topics, categorized based on your area of expertise.
- IT Prepare a database (organism, disease, or any other) and deploy it online
- Microbiology Select an organism and do a comparative genomic study
- Biochemistry Model a pathway using systems biology tools and discuss its clinical significance.
- Pharmacology Docking studies and study of the targets of existing drugs.
- Clinicians Expression profile study of any disease of interest.
- Vet / Agri Functional genomic study of any chosen gene.