Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) is the quantum field theory describing the strong interaction, which binds quarks and gluons into hadrons, the “atoms” of QCD. Due to a property known as confinement, quarks and gluons can never be observed in isolation but rather only in bound states, adding challenge but also rich complexity to the study of QCD. The Aidala group’s research focuses on the internal structure of the proton, in particular on spin-spin and spin-momentum correlations within the proton, and recently extended their work to study additionally the mechanisms by which scattered quarks and gluons form new hadronic bound states. The group’s activities on the PHENIX and sPHENIX experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and as part of the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider will be discussed. Prospects for the future Electron-Ion Collider to be built at Brookhaven National Lab will furthermore be presented.