Duration - spring and summer terms
The Pioneer Academics research program has two different scheduling configurations from which to
• The spring term runs 25 weeks, starting in mid-February and running through July.
• The summer term is 12 weeks long, beginning in early June and running through early September.
• Both terms have the same number of meetings and content, however , the meeting times of the
spring term are more flexible and the work intensity is lower due to the term’s longer duration.
Program duration and time commitment
In either term, students meet with their professors for 10 sessions or more as the professor sees
necessary. Time between meetings is at least one week.
• Over the first four to six sessions, a maximum of four students meet together as a group. In these 1.5-hour sessions, professors provide background in the academic area being studied in preparation for research.
• These sessions are similar to a seminar.
• After the introductory sessions, students develop their independent research projects one-on-one with their professor over four to six sessions.
• Working with their professor, students formulate their own topics that they will develop into a final project.
• In each one-on-one session, students will meet with their professor for 45 minutes to one hour to discuss and receive feedback on their progress.
Logistics and learning
• All online sessions are conducted with video-conferencing software that has advanced features specially customized for Pioneer.
• The software provides an experience similar to a face-to-face seminar, providing the means for students and professors to see, speak, and text-chat with each other online.
• It also allows professors to share computer screen content with students so they can view PowerPoint presentations, videos, and other multimedia tools during the lesson.
• Students do not need to download new software for the program. However, students do need a working microphone, web camera, and high-speed (preferably wired) Internet connection.
What kinds of projects can students pursue?
Students apply to study a broad subject discipline, such as math or literature, with the expectation that their professor will focus on a specific area within the discipline.
Topics in the program cover the range of disciplines offered by most American undergraduate programs.
These include the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences and humanities. Many topics are also interdisciplinary in nature.
Specific program topics are designed by the professors for this program. Depending on the research and academic interests of participating professors, some programs may cover general topic, while others delve deeply into specialized niche areas.
Examples of past projects in the program
• Combinatorics and Graph Theory
• Cross-Cultural Conflict in the Middle East
• Biological science topic
• International Political Economy
• Literature or Art
• Statistical Analysis of Psychological Trends
• Social Transformation in Europe since the Enlightenment
• Computer-Based Modeling for Engineers