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Ananya Lukhi I
High School: Welham Girls’ School, India
Pioneer Research Paper: Social Energy Leads to Better Health

“Pioneer has been a life changing experience for me, it has given so much more context and meaning to my life. Pioneer has taught me the true sense of research, understanding the context of every word in which is being spoken or read. ”




Pioneer Academics is respected for its rigorous academic standards which apply to both our faculty mentors and students. Succeeding at Pioneer requires a strong commitment and dedication to producing authentic research.

About Pioneer

Pioneer Academics’ research program is the only fully-accredited online research program for high school students. Our scholars are proud to achieve high level research meeting Pioneer’s standards.

The Pioneer Research Program is respected for its selectivity and its rigorous academic system. In this system, selected students are mentored first in small international groups and then in one-on-one research by faculty of the leading colleges and universities, culminating in a full-length research paper.

Pioneer offers full institutional research resources including digital libraries, methodology seminars, writing center tutors, and cohort advisors to support scholars and create a consummate learning experience.

World map Pioneer alumni

5,657 students from 77 countries and regions have participated in the program since 2012.

2020 Pioneer alumni create a video to welcome 2021 scholars to the Pioneer community

23 Pioneer alumni, from 14 countries across six continents, came together on their own to create a film that shares the Pioneer spirit with incoming 2021 Pioneer scholars.

2020 Pioneer alumni Catherine Kwon, from the U.S., and Reymajan Jumaniyazova, from Turkmenistan, initiated the project. They wanted to capture the vibrant, global, passionate atmosphere of the Pioneer community and welcome the newest scholars to the program. 


Pioneer Academic Oversight

Pioneer collaborates with Oberlin’s Educational Plans and Policies Committee to conduct academic quality control. Pioneer upholds rigorous policies and procedures that include:

  • Screening of faculty mentors
  • Uniform faculty guidelines
  • Accurate description of professorship roles and responsibilities
  • Development and evaluation of pedagogical rubrics
  • Review of research product quality and evaluation criteria
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Pioneer's Rigorous Academic Operations in collaboration with Oberlin College

Graph illustrating how Pioneer and Oberlin co-conduct oversight


20201019 Pioneer terms for website correct

Pioneer 2021 Statistics

Terms of the program:
Spring-through-Summer term and Summer-Only term

2021: 4256 Students applied; 1178 Students enrolled

Countries and regions represented in 2021: 48

Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, China, Columbia, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, China-Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, China-Taiwan, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe




High school year:


Pioneer research scholars attend high schools in countries around the world. Below is a list that highlights a few of them:

Pioneer Scholars' high schools

2021 Program Grades:
Pioneer Research Program grade distribution for 2021 (program grade and number of
students who received it):

Pioneer Standards & College Credits

The Pioneer Research Program is the world’s only fully-accredited online research program for high school students. It offers research opportunities in STEM, social sciences, and humanities disciplines with 30 research areas.

Students selected into Pioneer will receive two college credits if they pass the program. The ground breaking collaboration between Pioneer Academics and Oberlin College ensures that the quality of the research mentorship is held to the highest standards.

Oberlin Review

Pioneer’s credibility allows its scholars to demonstrate their genuine passion and true intellectual skill through Pioneer’s rigorous academic system.


Completion of the Pioneer Research Program is listed on college applications as a college course, not an activity or camp, because of its rigorous academic system.

Pioneer Scholars can contact their school counselors or Pioneer’s administrative team to learn more about documenting participation in Pioneer for college and university applications.

Pioneer’s college credits granted by Oberlin College are readily transferable to other colleges. Pioneer alumni need to ask Oberlin College to send the Pioneer transcript to the destination institution. The registrar’s office of the receiving institution will decide if the credits will be accepted.

Mary Heltage

Pioneer’s credibility is highly respected by top universities and colleges because of its unique academic system, exemplary standards, and proven integrity.

Learn more

Research resources

Female Pioneer scholar at laptop

The Pioneer alumni network is a powerful resource for intellectually curious high school students. Since 2012 Pioneer scholars have moved on to the best colleges and universities and then became engineers, computer scientists, business leaders, entrepreneurs and PHds.

Pioneer scholars benefit from the support of this network throughout their research journey with Pioneer, during college and after graduation while pursuing careers.

We organize a variety of alumni events each year. Make sure you stay in touch with the community and sign up for the ones you are interested in.

Pioneer alumni support each other while they are in colleges and universities, Check Pioneer-on-campus program.

Prospective Pioneer scholars can also enjoy some of the open events. Follow Pioneer’s social media and receive event notifications.

Pioneer undergraduate library resources

Pioneer grants scholars extensive access to undergraduate digital libraries, including academic journals, academic databases, digital music and art libraries, and over 100,000 e-books.

Research Faculty

Pioneer qualifies its mentoring faculty based on academic excellence and passion for teaching.

Institutions at which Pioneer faculty are employed:

Amherst College

Brown University

Bowdoin College

California Institute of Technology

Carleton College

Carnegie Mellon University

Claremont McKenna College

Columbia University

Davidson College

Emory University

Georgetown University

Hamilton College

Harvard University

Johns Hopkins University

New York University

Northwestern University

University of Pennsylvania

Pomona College

Princeton University

Rice University

Vassar College

Washington and Lee University

Wellesley College

Wesleyan University

The United States Military Academy at West Point

Professor 2
1 1
mark jones

The material I deliver to these high school students is exactly the same as in my college classes. For example, we use Arend Lijphart’s Patterns of Democracy, the same text I use in my comparable upper-division Rice seminar. I take a subset of the modules from my Rice course for juniors and seniors and use it with my high schoolers.

Professor of Political ScienceRice University
Shannon Heh video

Research Support

Pioneer’s research methodology training courses support students’ research progress.

Pioneer’s academic department actively supports students’ development through a variety of educational resources. We are continually improving those research support resources:

  • Methodology curriculum
  • Writing center
  • Training on research tools

Pioneer Research Journal

The Pioneer Research Journal, an annual publication, selects the best papers nominated by faculty research mentors each year.

Papers are selected by a blind review conducted by our Pioneer Research Journal reading committee. This committee is composed of over 40 senior college faculty representing over 30 research areas.

Blind review means that the faculty who review nominated papers do not know who the student author or mentoring professors are. In the last issue, the top 2.7% of the papers were selected for publication in the Pioneer Research Journal.

Journal Selection Rates
Journal Selection Rates

Pioneer never promises academic journal publication to students. This is important to note as predatory open access publishing has become a toxic issue that threatens the integrity of valid academic scholarship.

Pioneer’s academics staff may give students an orientation on how to search for peer-reviewed reputable journals, such as those listed in the Scientific Journal Rankings (SJR) for publishing possibilities. If a professor-mentor believes a student’s research is of publishable quality, the professor may choose to invite the student to collaborate on co-authorship. In such cases, Pioneer supervises this process and does not allow a student to be listed as a co-author without material contribution.

Schools Are Proud of Their Students Taking on the Pioneer Challenge

High School Four Pioneer Scholars
Screencap of Pine Crest School article
Pine Crest student announcement screenshot
cis university
cis university
York School Pioneer listing screenshot
Duke TIP Pioneer listing Screeenshot
Davidson Institute Pioneer Listing screenshot

Highlights and Tuition

Click to learn about Pioneer’s unique program and tuition details.

Past Programs and Events

You are welcome to glance at Pioneer’s past programs and events. There will be more exciting opportunities offered by Pioneer in the future. If you are looking for current and upcoming events, they can be found on our Updates Page.

Because of the novel coronavirus, we are facing a time of unprecedented challenge. Life in so many ways has come to a near halt. Students nearing college, however, can’t stop working towards their academic goals, and educators must guide them in spite of the hardships and difficulties the virus has imposed.

Pioneer therefore put together a new program — the Pioneer Open Summer Study (POSS) — for every student who is interested and committed. Pioneer’s academic panel launched four exciting study themes that Pioneer faculty hosted through recorded workshops, and which students were able to take on as independent summer projects.

Pioneer History

Pioneer Academics, a public benefit corporation, created a structured research mentorship model for high school students in 2012. The model provides undergraduate-level research opportunities to intellectually motivated high school students from around the world.

It has become the only fully-accredited online research program for high school students, highly respected by the higher education community.

Highlights and Tuition

  • Pioneer Privilege
    Pioneer Prestige
    • Research papers validated by Pioneer Academics & accredited by Oberlin College
    • Competitiveness evidenced by Pioneer’s selectivity
  • Accredited College Credits
    Accredited & College Credits
    • Pioneer is a fully accredited research institute.
      • Students with passing grades earn two college credits,
      • ensuring the rigor of their work is recognized.
    • NO extra classes. NO extra fees. NO question.
  • Institutional Resources
    Institutional Resources
    • Undergraduate digital libraries: journals, databases and 100k+ ebooks.
    • Institutional review board (IRB) for human subject research.
    • Institutional oversight and review of academic quality by Oberlin’s multidisciplinary committee
    • Official college transcripts
Tuition Need Based Scholarships
Tuition & need-based scholarships
  • Pioneer’s tuition is 6,850 US dollars.
    • In certain cases a laboratory equipment/materials fee not exceeding 2% of tuition may be required
  • As part of its social mission, Pioneer Academics dedicates funds every year to provide need-based scholarships to enable student participation in the Pioneer Research Program.
    These funds are limited and restricted to cases in which the financial need of students’ families can be reliably verified. Students are eligible for these scholarships in countries where need can be assessed or if they are affiliated with a non-profit organization or educational institution that assesses need.