For toxicologist Laura Maurer, it means finding out if the tiny silver particles used to keep socks and running shirts from getting smelly might be harmful to your health.
For physics researcher Andres Aragoneses, it means using lasers to stop hackers and make telecommunications more secure.
And for evolutionary anthropologist Noah Snyder-Mackler, it means handling a lot of monkey poop.
The end result is a series of short video interviews filmed and edited by 5th-8th graders in Durham, North Carolina. Read more about the project and the people behind it at http://sites.duke.edu/pdocs/, or watch the videos below: