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.


The AMSR 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

Advanced Mathematics and Science Research (AMSR) Program: Spotlight on Portia Cummings '19

Portia's project last summer involved investigating LDH inhibition and how it affects the growth of cancer cells and she is working to identify a reporter gene with specific features that will allow for easier imaging of cancer cells. She is currently working in the Blasberg Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. Portia is one of four students taking part in the new Advanced Math & Science Research (AMSR) Program at the King this year.


Advanced Mathematics and Science Research (AMSR) Program: Spotlight on Ashley Xu '19

Ashley Xu '19 is one of four students selected this year to participate in the new Advanced Math and Science Research (AMSR) Program, which includes an off-campus internship in an R01-level research laboratory and an accompanying course on the fundamentals of scientific research. Ashley, who started King in PreKindergarten, was accepted EDI to Northwestern University and plans to pursue this field of research in college.

Advanced Mathematics and Science Research (AMSR) Program: Spotlight on Mallory Ehlers '19

Mallory Ehlers '19 is one of four students in the Advanced Mathematics and Science Research (AMSR) Program and she is very excited to have been given this opportunity. Each year, a small group of students who clearly demonstrate an ability and interest in achieving true excellence within science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics will be selected for independent study and competition preparation, and/or a laboratory research experience, based on the rigorous standards of AMSR.

STEM Distinction 2018 Graduates

Elena Gribelyuk '18, Ali Wheeler '18, and Max Helman '18 earned a STEM Distinction and presented their Capstone work to US students, Faculty, and parents at King's annual STEM Colloquium. Dr. Thomas Castonguay, Chair of the Science Department and Director of STEM, underscores the value of a Capstone experience by explaining, "In effect, students are provided an authentic experience that is characteristic of STEM conducted on a professional level."

STEM Distinction 2016 Graduates Class

Nisha Chandra '17 always knew she wanted to be a doctor, but it wasn't until she spent time designing medical drugs with a group of scientists at New York University that she really knew what that entailed.