Empower your High School journey with Horizon Research Program

Unlocking opportunities with Horizon research

As an ambitious high school student aiming to get into a top university in the U.S., imagine spending a few weeks of your summer holidays doing college-level research work under the guidance of eminent professors. While the word “research” may send chills down your spine and your immediate reaction is HELP!, we are not asking you to climb a mountain with a blindfold. Agreed, a research project seems daunting, but there are world-class institutions helping students get a glimpse into the precincts of the world of research. The Horizon Academic Research Program is one such exceptional program available to high school students. This will be a welcome break from the regular classwork you are doing throughout your school year. 

The purpose and power of inquiry

Before we discuss the Horizon Academic Research Program, let us first understand the advantages of doing a research program. Your schoolwork’s primary concern is developing your comprehension, and logical thinking, and gaining competencies in numeracy and verbal literacy, which is restrictive due to its focus on achieving high grades. Without undermining the importance of academic rigor, a research project helps you develop specialized skills that are essential for your future success. In a research program, you will be taught to follow a few proven techniques. Your mentor and research coach will teach you how to search for information using both the traditional method of referring to books and journals and the world of the internet, which is a repository of information. You can read about The Value of Research Opportunities | Ivy Central in our previously published blog.

About Horizon Research Academy

Founded in 2016 by three American educators and experienced leaders from NGOs, the program aims to help high-school students do “college research with a cause.” The team introduced classes in Environmental Engineering, International Relations, and Development Economics. Horizon’s guiding philosophy was their united belief that academic research was not the privilege of students possessing personal or family connections but rather should be democratized and governed by a “competitive, merit-based admissions process.” They also recognized the power of technology and, hence, introduced an online research program. Being an online program, Horizon does not hold any physical classes. Instead, their instructors are based at over a dozen universities.

Demographic snapshot of Horizon students.

According to their website, in the summer of 2020, 65% of their students were from the US, China 10%, India 8.3%, Turkey 4%, Canada 2%, and the UAE 2%. This represents a highly diverse student body. 

Program Overview

Horizon offers a diverse array of subjects, and students choose their field of inquiry. Since it is a trimester program, lasting 15 weeks, students take that time to finish their reading, writing, and exploring of the subject before turning in their final 20-page research paper. Horizon not only gives students a chance to showcase their work to universities but also gets letters of recommendation from their professors.

Subjects to choose from:

1 Data Science and Machine Learning
2 Protein Biophysics
3 Neuroscience
4 Gene Editing and CRISPR Technology
5 Formulation Chemistry
6 Psychology
7 Psychology and Emotion Regulation
8 The Philosophy of the Mind
9 Political Theory and Philosophy
10 Machine Learning and Biotechnology
11 Applications of Machine Learning
12 Environmental Engineering
13 Behavioral Economics
14 International Relations
15 Ancient Greco-Roman History
16 Theoretical Mathematics
17 Medical Sociology
18 Organizational Behaviour
19 Critical History
20 Fluid Dynamics and Physics
21 Cybersecurity
22 Neurodegenerative Diseases
23 Algorithms and Data Structures
24 Games, Networks, and Politics
25 Network Science
26 Bio-Industry
27  Computational Neuroscience
28 Machine Learning and Social Media

How to get admission:

The Horizon research project is highly selective, admitting only 30% of applicants worldwide. They are looking for someone who can demonstrate their interest in the chosen field of research, have good grades, and have excellent communication skills. Students must be able to commit 10 hours each week to the program.

Horizon interviews students to assess their preparedness for the program and judge their analytical abilities and personal motivation for the same. On being selected, students declare 3-5 “sub-topics,”  drawn from the list of 300+ pre-approved topics. The mentors and coaches help the students identify the research scope and focus. The guidance of the mentors continues till the students choose their research and the thesis statement, and finally into the culmination of a college-level research paper of 5000 words. The program does not promise publication or any competitive outcomes.

In conclusion, the Horizon Research Program will foster and nurture curiosity while being a guide for students who are venturing into the uncharted territory of Research.

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