Research, Publish, Apply! Charting a Path from Publication to College with Indigo Mentorships

23/02/202418 minute read
Research, Publish, Apply! Charting a Path from Publication to College with Indigo Mentorships

Are you ready to take the dive and explore what it would be like to do publishable research?

Do you know publishable research can transform your college journey?

In this blog post we’ll explain why a publishable research paper takes your extracurriculars to the next level and show you how Indigo can help you succeed. Not sure this kind of endeavor is right for you? We'll help you figure out if you’re ready to take this on. You'll also discover all the ways a research paper will expand your opportunities for college, and how you can thrive as a new researcher, even beyond your expectations — especially with Indigo mentors guiding your research success!

I. Why Publishable Research Is a Game Changer

As a high schooler you'll need lots of passion, initiative, and perseverance, to research and write a publishable paper, so you need to decide if it’s right for you. However, a well executed research paper is a winning strategy for elevating your intellectual passions and academic aptitudes while positioning yourself to score points on your college apps.

Put another way, if you’re aiming for a top university, this extracurricular can have outsized benefits — going a long way in helping you get noticed by admissions officers at your top-choice schools while providing a one-of-a-kind foundation for thriving after you enroll in college.

Best of all perhaps, as a new researcher you don't have to figure out what to do on your own. By partnering with Indigo Research, you can get connected to an exceptionally qualified mentor, get additional support for learning how to be truly skilled researcher along the way, have fun meeting other new researchers, and even earn university credits for your accomplishments.

Your research extracurricular encapsulates your college journey!

A polished and published research paper is proof that you already know how to navigate university learning, well beyond ordinary study skills and classroom performance.

Your Research ExtracurricularYour College Journey
Picking a subject area for your research, such as arts, politics, chemistry, biology, business, law, environmental science, or economics…Encapsulates mature introspection that translates into a passion for learning
Developing a research topic and thesisEncapsulates academic initiative well beyond what’s required for your regular high school classes and a readiness to turn your passions into action as a scholar, leader, or advocate
Doing formal academic researchEncapsulates readiness to start off running when you enter college and aptitudes that are practical and valuable in the eyes of future professors
Working closely with an academic mentor, advisor, and publication reviewerPrepares you to successfully navigate faculty mentorships integral to thriving in college, both as an undergraduate student, and in postgraduate programs

Researcher qualities prized by admissions officers at top colleges:

  • readiness for disciplined academic inquiry and critical thinking
  • commitment to the hard work of turning your intellectual passions into action
  • accomplishments in terms of demonstrating the perseverance, courage, and confidence needed to continually refine your ideas and publish them, subjecting them to scrutiny from other readers and scholars

Publishing your own first research paper, as you can see, will not only make for a thrilling personal adventure, it's guaranteed to equip you with skills and confidence most students acquire later in college.

In fact, once in college, you're likely to see more doors open as well... Doors to:

  • honors research programs
  • research assistant jobs and internships
  • paid tutoring roles

You'll also be well equipped to take on research papers assigned by your professors!

As you can see, publishable research — if you’re up to the challenge — is a high-octane extracurricular for sure.

That said, some people ask me,

What if I'm already passionate about some other extracurriculars, like music, sports, club activities, etc.?

I like to remind those students that creating publishable research will add an outstanding and uniquely academic complement to their college apps, and with help from Indigo, you'll have expert support and guidance, including an experienced researcher for 1:1 mentoring!

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II. What Aptitudes & Skills Are Required?

While publishable research will put a distinct shine on your college applications, this kind of extracurricular typically requires commitments and motivations that aren’t for everyone. Here's a list of qualities students should ideally possess (or be eager to develop!) before taking on a formal research paper:

1. Curiosity and Initiative: Curiosity drives your desire to explore and understand deeper aspects of your topic, which is really what will make your research paper more compelling. And, even with mentoring support, a researcher's work requires you have the initiative and work ethic needed to complete each phase of the process.

2. Organizational Skills: Vital for keeping track of research materials, research notes, managing drafts and revisions, and adhering to timelines over an extended period of work.

3. Critical Thinking and Analytical Skills: Having the ability to critically analyze information, evaluate sources for credibility, and synthesize data from various inputs will help, but skilled mentors can support your growth here too, as you develop your paper.

4. Persistence and Resilience: Research often involves encountering challenges such as finding the right information, facing unexpected results, or revising drafts — all true, even for seasoned researchers!

5. Attention to Detail: Researchers benefit from big picture thinking, for sure, but during the process of drafting, revising, and proofreading a research paper, you’ll have lots of details to review, especially when polishing your paper for publication.

Obviously these qualities are one more reminder of why publishable research is a slam dunk in the world of extracurriculars — these qualities not only contribute to the success of a research paper but foster tremendous personal and academic growth in high school students. Keep reading to learn exactly how you can make the whole experience more fun and valuable with expert Indigo mentorships, designed precisely for high schoolers taking on their first big research paper.

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III. Elevating Your Research Experience with Indigo

Despite the challenges, commitments, and follow through you need to bring this kind of project to fruition, you really don’t need to go it alone, nor should you, and you don’t need to have command of all these skills before you start.

If you're motivated, a good mentor will help you succeed.

Indigo Research has a mentor network and other well-established features designed specifically for high schoolers who want to take on this kind of extracurricular.

While you remain in the driver’s seat on a journey fueled by your curiosity and initiative, Indigo is carefully designed to provide robust guidance and support, with knowledgeable mentors ensuring your effort and dedication deliver a memorable and meaningful learning experience.

What Is Indigo?

At Indigo, the emphasis is on serving high school students with the support of highly qualified academic researchers across all common fields of study.

Indigo scholars and educators have their own amazing scholarly credentials.

Indigo mentors inspire and transform the academic journeys of motivated students, providing flexible, supportive, and academically sound guidance to students creating their own authentic research papers.

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Why Research with Indigo?

Perhaps the biggest advantage of partnering with Indigo — instead of venturing into the research wilderness with no guide — is simply having far better odds for success. After all, creating publishable research will involve cultivating and applying skills that many young scholars only acquire during one or more years in college!

Setting yourself on a path to fulfillment and success is just a better plan, and that’s what Indigo’s designed for; going solo only increases the odds that your adventure could end way off course, mired in confusion and frustration!

What Are Prominent Advantages of Your Indigo Mentorship?

Supports and Enriches Your Research Endeavor: Thanks to Indigo you won’t be left to “wing it” as a novice researcher. Indigo is carefully designed to let motivated students follow their own passions and interests, while enjoying mentor support — a connection that turns a challenging process into an eye-opening and fulfilling learning adventure.

Elevates What’s Achievable: With Indigo as your research journey outfitter, you may scale a higher mountain than you thought possible.

Indigo’s small group intensives, well-honed mentoring curriculum, and exceptionally qualified mentor guides won’t limit your exploration, but they will keep you focused on your destination at each critical stage, from developing an engaging and credible research topic and thesis, to navigating your wide-ranging research, and crafting an intellectually sound draft and polished final paper.

Publishing Support: With Indigo, you’ll also benefit from seasoned insights for navigating the publishing process as you reach the finish line.

How Will You Benefit After Finishing?

Indigo provides high school students with a comprehensive roadmap and mentoring structure, ensuring you have every opportunity to turn you dedication, effort, and perseverance into meaningful long-term outcomes.

  • Learn underlying fundamentals, including, key theoretical concepts, and core ethical and academic principles that equip you for college success.
  • With your passion at the helm, complete your journey more intellectually excited, confident, and curious than ever before.
  • Boost your college admissions profile with distinctive honors and accomplishments.
  • Enjoy a new network of engaged scholars — both like-minded peers, as well as seasoned academic scholars.
  • Participate in a real academic conference, if you’re interested, presenting your research in the company of other inspiring young scholars while enjoying additional mentoring and networking perks.
  • NEW: Earn 2 college credits from UC Santa Barbara for your efforts! Credits are broadly transferable to a wide range of universities.

“I can hardly think of any extracurricular as valuable as Indigo Research when it comes to benefits for college apps. Indigo students readily check virtually all the the boxes for impressing admissions officers. This includes demonstrating intellectual curiosity, intellectual risk taking, an ability to refine and test their own ideas, and exemplary evidence of academic aptitude and serious future potential to thrive in college.”

- Sonam A. Former Admissions Officer, Duke University

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How Qualified Are Indigo Research Mentors?

Indigo Mentors are leading scholars from prominent universities, many doing cutting edge research themselves, making them exceptionally qualified as mentors.

These mentors possess or are earning postgraduate degrees themselves, including many who hold lectureships or postdoc research positions at distinguished institutions, such as Stanford, Columbia, and MIT.

Indigo mentors also adhere to stringent codes of research ethics, passing on their knowledge of effective and ethical research practices to the young scholars they support.

Do All Research Papers Get Published?

Educators at Indigo can't pretend to know ahead of time who will produce papers that get accepted for publication, nor in what journals, so they don't make promises to individual students.

Generally, keep in mind that greater opportunities for publication typically require more student commitment, to produce a research paper of sufficient caliber.

While some high schoolers have exceptional success, there are flexible avenues for publishing, including self-publishing, placement on a blog, or in a prominent high school academic journal, if not placement in an academic competition or a respected scholarly publication.

To make the experience accessible to more students, Indigo students can opt for different levels of commitment, such as Explorer, Researcher, and Innovator. With some exceptions the level of commitment will align with different publishing aspirations.

Level of Student CommitmentPublication Aspirations
Explorer CommitmentSelf-Publish, Blog, or Publish in a High School Journal
Researcher CommitmentPublish in a High School Journal or Better
Innovator CommitmentPlace in a Competition or Publish in a Leading Journal

Student Success Stories

While student commitments provide a gauge of publishing outcomes, it’s important to keep in mind that Indigo encourages all students, regardless of commitments, to aim high.

A snapshot of past publication success stories...

Nathan N.Summer S.Pi Rey L.
Mentor: James K., Postdoctoral Researcher at Yale Mentor: Rhiannon P., Teaching Fellow and PhD Candidate at Princeton UniversityMentor: Eric S., Associate Professor, PhD from Cornell University
"Applications of Australian Native Aquatic Plants on Purifying Wastewater Sources""Women’s Roles in Greek Tragedy""Revisiting the Classical Strategy of Trend Following in More Volatile Trading Environments"
IJHSR (International Journal of Health Sciences & Research)Concord ReviewJSR (Journal of Student Research)
Accepted to Princeton UniversityAccepted to Amherst CollegeAccepted to Carnegie Mellon University

IV. Next Steps

If you believe you're up to the challenge of creating your own publishable research paper, here are some helpful next steps to think about:

Timelines and Other Practical Considerations:

  • Are you ready to get started or planning ahead for next term, next summer, or next school year?
  • Do you have a realistic measure of the time commitment involved in getting the most out of this extracurricular opportunity?
  • Are you ready to explore areas of research or begin your search for a specific research topic, or are you at least eager and interested in exploring those questions now?

Go Solo or Partner with Indigo?

  • Consider the pros and cons of both options and get input from teachers, guardians, and/or school counselors.
  • Learn more about Indigo Research for better decision making.
  • Book a free consultation to learn more about Indigo Research in the context of other admission planning services and resources.

Reflect on Your Level of Commitment

  • Consider the scope and quality of research you want to pursue in light of time commitments and your overall aspirations.
  • Check in with yourself during the decision-making process: do you have the passion, curiosity, and self-discipline to enjoy and learn from this kind of extracurricular?
  • Keep in mind that Indigo students can opt to engage for shorter and longer periods of time, and with varying levels of commitment.
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IV. Final Thoughts

If you are a self-motivated individual excited about crafting your own research proposal and learning fundamental research skills, a publishable research paper could be a great extracurricular project for adding distinction to your college apps. Your accomplishments should also open up additional opportunities in college, making this kind of extracurricular something to seriously consider.

Keep in mind that with Indigo there may be some scheduled activities for new students, as well as fully flexible scheduling options, so it’s always wise to communicate with Indigo early on about any interests you may have.

If you want the freedom to explore and choose your own research field and topic along with 1:1 mentoring from graduate students, PhDs, postdoctoral researchers, and professors, and support for publishing your research in academic journals, Indigo provides all these in one place.

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