NECHR: Cultivating research pioneers in Northeast India’s High Schools

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The Northeastern Centre for High School Research (NECHR), a brainchild of passionate collegiate students from Northeast India, is leading the charge in fostering research acumen and entrepreneurial spirit among high schoolers. Started by five young college undergrads, two from Nagaland, and the others from Arunachal, Mizoram and Manipur to promote research among high school students in Northeast India, but later it was expanded to include 12 board members from around the Northeast, four from the rest of mainland India, and 7 others from other countries (Canada, the US, Singapore, South Korea and Mexico).

Research as a field is not widely promoted in India, and NECHR wants to change that by fostering critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and research skills instead of having kids rely solely on rote learning- where you learn everything for a day, and then forget it after exams. While a few opportunities for high school research exposure do exist, most of them come from universities in the US and UK, and they tend to be expensive, often costing upwards of USD 6,000 or more. Therefore, currently, NECHR is not charging any tuition fees for our students.

There are two main types of programs. The first is a mentorship program where current university students assist high schoolers in writing basic literature reviews (scoping, narrative, systematic) and conducting field research (original) on subjects of their interest. The second program allows university students to recruit high schoolers to assist them with their research projects. Understanding the importance of foreign languages, NECHR also offers classes in these languages, such as Korean, Mandarin, German, etc. However, since these classes are taught by volunteers, seats are extremely limited.

Herein these high schoolers are helping the collegiate students with data scraping and finding journal articles from different sets of databases. Appropriate training would be provided for them to work with data, analyze data, create PRISMA flowcharts for medical research, and summarize key findings. Consequently, these students will be mentioned in the footnotes/acknowledgment section of the final manuscript. For students who make major contributions, then they can be mentioned as coauthors.

Although the organization is also working towards having students from different parts of the world, we want to prioritize those from the Northeast. NECHR’s primary goal, as an organization born from the soils of the Northeast, is to improve the state of high school research among students in the region so that they can be at par with students from countries such as the US, UK, and Singapore, where they prioritize Research over rote learning for national examinations. Even India’s new education policy included a research component, in the curriculum, and students need to be involved in this from a young age. Research is what drives innovation, and the next set of scientists, and pioneers should come from the northeast. Therefore, high schoolers are highly encouraged to apply by visiting: or

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