Defining the research process at Pioneer: how scholars move from selecting research areas to developing their own research paper topic

Pioneer Academics > News > Defining the research process at Pioneer: how scholars move from selecting research areas to developing their own research paper topic

Defining the research process at Pioneer: how scholars move from selecting research areas to developing their own research paper topic

Research process

Research process at Pioneer

Confused about the difference between a research concentration, research area, or research paper topic? We’re here to help!

At Pioneer, the research journey moves from research area to research concentration, and finally to research paper topic. Writing an undergraduate-level research paper as a high school student is a challenge, and everything about the Pioneer Research Program is intentionally designed to support students in this journey. Learn more below about each stage of the research process at Pioneer:

First, students apply to up to four research areas, and describe their interest in each in their application. Pioneer offers 30 different research areas, from neuroscience to literature; from Science, Technology, and Society to philosophy.

Second, the Pioneer admissions team uses information about the student’s interest, as demonstrated in essays and the interview, to determine the best research concentration.

Third, Pioneer scholars build foundational knowledge in their cohort sessions and conduct initial research, all with the support of their faculty mentor and Pioneer’s academic system. Pioneer scholars attend five group sessions with a cohort of 3-5 peers from around the world and their faculty mentor.

Finally, each Pioneer scholar works with their faculty mentor to form and develop their own research paper topic. Faculty mentors can guide the student, but cannot directly give a topic to the student, as the research paper topic should come from the researcher’s own creativity and insight. The student’s research paper topic generally is related to the foundational learning in the cohort sessions, but many students also integrate other interests or aspects. The cohort sessions are best understood as a platform for creating a research paper topic, not a constraint. Students are encouraged to connect the foundational learning in the cohort sessions to their own experiences and interests to create a unique and meaningful topic that will allow them to explore their interests and demonstrate their creativity, analytical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Dear educator friend,

In the critical process of preparing students to transition to college, you are key. The
ramifications of your guidance are far-reaching.

The Pioneer Research Program believes that it, too, has a role to play in preparing students of special potential and passion for learning. This is a role we trust you will appreciate knowing about. Our mission is to offer a deep and otherwise unavailable opportunity to exceptionally motivated young scholars who want to learn and research at the college level and to explore their potential for innovation.

What makes Pioneer a unique deep-dive learning experience is not just the mentorship of distinguished professors. It is the rigorous quality controls developed conjointly by Pioneer and Oberlin College. Professors (must) adhere to rubrics for

1) setting learning goals;

2) syllabus development;

3) oversight, feedback and evaluation, and

4) grading standardization.

This rigorous academic system is supported by thorough admission process and a high-minded ethics code. The combination gives students an exceptional learning experience that is brought to fruition in a college-level research paper documenting their findings.

You can follow this link Pioneer’s concrete academic system to learn more about the academic system. Academic quality control and academic oversight assure Pioneer’s focus is on learning and learners, and therefore all of our practices were built upon the following principles:

No conflict of interests Pioneer’s academic ethical standards
Because of its high academic and ethical standards, the Pioneer program has earned the trust of college admissions departments and formed the basis for the ground-breaking collaboration with Oberlin College. Pioneer scholars get two college credits upon completing their Pioneer research.

Click to learn about Pioneer and Oberlin College's groundbreaking academic collaboration.

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. Students who have genuine academic interests and are highly motivated are a good fit with Pioneer’s values. Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and correct priorities. Consequently, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities. Professor-blind admission policy
On this page is the critical information needed to meet your needs.

If you have additional questions, feel free to let us know how we can help you by emailing or calling 855-572-8863.


Matthew Jaskol

Founder & Program Director