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Competition Prep

Explore these HeadStart Pathways that offer myriad academic competition opportunities:


Step 1: Watch this video about the importance of research experience in college admission.

Step 2: In 9th – 10th grade, enroll in FRMC to learn about key research methodologies and develop the research skills necessary to draft a research paper.

Step 3: In 10th – 11th grade, enroll in FRMP to work with a university professor and delve into the research process including posing effective research questions, devising research plans, synthesizing existing research, and honing analytic and academic writing skills.

See below for detailed information about FRMC and FRMP.

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FRMC offers three unique tracks:

  • Health Sciences
  • Business / Economics
  • Humanities

FRMC Course Description:

  • Learn key research methodologies through video lectures from UNC Professor, Ethan Hutt
  • Attend weekly live Zoom TA sessions to apply research skills to your research track and develop a literature review to present at the Research Symposium

FLEX Research Methodologies Course (FRMC):

Open to 9th-10th graders, FRMC helps students develop valuable research skills while gaining a competitive advantage when applying to future summer research programs and when applying to and succeeding in college!

What will FRMC students achieve?

  • Complete a 3-5 page research paper
  • Present research and findings to an academic committee
  • Receive a certificate of completion for the course
  • Use research paper as the proposal for future research inquiry

What FRMC participants say:

  • 100% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied.
  • “It was a great experience! Thanks so much for all your help and support!”

FRMP Course Deliverables:

  • Research abstract
  • 2-3 page research proposal
  • 10-15 page research paper
  • Certificate of completion for college applications

Achievements of FLEX FRMP students:

  • College admissions: Stanford, Princeton, U Chicago, Johns Hopkins
  • First Place in MIT Inspire (#1 humanities competition)
  • Admission to Simons Summer Research Program (top 3 summer program)

FLEX Research Mentorship Program (FRMP):

FRMP is an exciting opportunity for motivated 10th-11th grade students to work 1 on 1 (virtually) with a professor to develop a research project from start to finish. The goal is for students to complete either a detailed research / conference proposal or an original research paper suitable for submission for publication.

FRMP research topics are as unique as each student’s interests. Sample topics include:

  • Economics: Effectiveness of Social Entrepreneurship Versus Traditional Philanthropy
  • Neuroscience: Alzheimer’s Disease, Caregiver Burden in U.S. and Korea 
  • Data Analysis with Python: Examining The Decomposition of Methanol on Ni(111)
  • Food Insecurity in the College Student Population 
  • A Review of Racial Disparities in Healthcare