Independent Study and Research Opportunities

The programs below build on content acquired within King’s curriculum to investigate topics or undertake projects that advance deeper and/or further than King’s formal course offerings. Guided by a mentor(s) from the appropriate academic department(s) - and sometimes by outside experts - students are responsible for the work and research required to master a topic and/or design and implement a project. Projects may be completely driven by an individual student’s interest or may be offered and directed by instructors working with small groups of students.

At King, we believe our students should see themselves as having the capacity to tackle real-world challenges with real-time research and solutions.

Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE)

The ASPIRE course focuses on math and science research techniques, providing methods to help students further understand how research is conducted. In conjunction with the class, students attend an internship at an R01-level research laboratory to get hands-on experience in the field of modern scientific research.

Established in 2018 by Margharet, Frank, Bea '15 and William '17 Nash, the Advanced Mathematics and Science Study Program endowed fund supports select students with demonstrated ability and interest in achieving true excellence within science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics in global competition preparation, and/or laboratory research experiences.

Read all about the students who are involved in this program by viewing the “Research in Action” below.

If you’re a student who’s interested in applying for this program please contact Victoria Schulman at

If you are interested in supporting this opportunity for students, please contact the development office to discuss how your gift can help.


Ashley Xu '19 is interning with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.

"Even though this is my first year in the research course, I feel very comfortable with what I am working on and everyone in the lab has been extremely helpful in guiding me through my project. In particular, Hassan, Dr. Fuchs, and the lab manager, Christina Virgo, have all been very understanding and supportive of the progression of my project. I am looking forward to continuing our work throughout this school year. I feel very fortunate to have gained this experience in performing scientific research; it will be something that will stay with me for many years into the future."


The Tom Main Liberal Arts Fellowship is a prestigious award honoring former Head of School, Tom Main. This annual summer research project is awarded to a team of two outstanding sophomore students who, working with a faculty mentor, will research, write, and present a paper on a liberal arts topic of major global interest. Proposals this year will focus either on climate change, the rise of nationalism, or healthcare models in developed countries. The project will include a trip abroad with the mentor for interviews and other research. Domestic travel may also be done.  Each recipient of the Fellowship will receive $1,500 towards travel expenses incurred during the research.

If you’re a student interested in applying for this program, click here for the application.

In the video below, hear Head of Upper School Marnie Sadlowsky and Head of School Karen Eshoo describe this incredible academic opportunity.


Every student who graduates with a distinction must complete a capstone project. Students can graduate with distinctions in STEM, global education, leadership and world languages. The requirements to earn the distinction vary depending on the focus, but all of them include deep research with a presentation on a topic relating to their distinction. Some even include participation in a conference and/or internship. For detailed descriptions of our distinctions, please see our curriculum guide. Examples of past projects are included in the "Research in Action" section below.

Research in Action

Two King Students Place in the Top Five at the 2021 CT STEM Fair

Juniors John Russell '22 and Giovanna Armetta '22 placed 2nd and 4th, respectively, in the 2021 Connecticut State STEM Fair (CT-STEM Fair) last weekend. 

The CT-STEM Fair is a statewide science research competition that began in 2001 with a mission of providing students with an opportunity to present their research work to like-minded scientists and professionals who currently work in the field. 

ASPIRE Students Among the Top Ten in at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair!

The week-long fair was slated to occur on March 9-14 at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT, but the global coronavirus pandemic forced fair directors to convert the fair from a traditional in-person event to a virtual science fair for the students' safety. Collectively, King students had a Top 10 finisher in every category in which we competed and King School occupied 10% of the finalist positions – a truly impressive showing!

ASPIRE Students Shine as King Competes in its First Ever Statewide Science Research Competition!

Ryan Heaton '21 earned second place in the Health & Medical category for his Computer Science-based cancer research project for which he wrote code and taught a computer to discern detailed differences between subtypes of renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer). Alex Lim '21 was chosen as a finalist for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Specialty Award for his drone-based automated security system for schools and other brick-and-mortar establishments that will deter armed assailants without putting the human life of a security guard in harm's way.

Harry Amadeo '20 and Alex Lim '21 reach for the stars (literally) in the 2019-2020 ASPIRE program

Congratulations to nine students who have been accepted into the 2019-2020 Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE) program, which is supported by the Advanced Mathematics and Science Study Program fund. This post highlights Harry Amadeo '20 and Alex Lim '21. Both students are reaching for the stars (literally) as they work on designing and building things that fly. For Harry, it's rockets and rocket fuel and for Alex, it's a drone. 

Nine US students are accepted into the 2019-2020 ASPIRE program

Congratulations to nine students who have been accepted into the 2019-2020 Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE) program, which is supported by the Advanced Mathematics and Science Study Program fund. This year's group includes Harry Amadeo '20 (second year in the program), Jacob Boyar '21, Ryan Heaton '21, Sam Hillenmeyer '21, Nadia Kucher '21, Alex Lim '21, Wafa Nomani '21, Olivia Sheridan '20, and Joseph Winterlich '21.