Find inspiration and discover a research topic that makes a difference.

How to choose a research topic

Below are some research directions that we think have high potential to significantly improve the world. By working on one of these directions during your thesis you could contribute to making the world better directly through your research, and also by building expertise which will increase your chances of making progress on the problem later in your career.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a thesis topic, such as:

  • how much it would improve the world if the problem you're considering was solved.
  • how realistic it is to make progress on the problem and how many people are already trying to do so.
  • whether you are suited to doing research in this area and would find it interesting.
  • the stage of your education you're at and your future career plans.

Generally, if you're studying for an undergraduate or master's degree we recommend prioritising developing your skills and building knowledge, whereas if you are a PhD student you may need to give more consideration to building your reputation in academia and to whether your topic will 'lock you in' to that area in the long-term — the more likely this is, the more important it is that you choose an impactful topic which is also a good fit for you! 

Check out our key ideas for more detail on how to choose a research topic. If you find a topic that you're interested in pursuing further, get in touch — we can help you make progress.

Explore and get interested

Check out all our recommended research directions here or click the disciplines below to see our profiles for your field of study.

If you get interested in any of these topics, let us know. We can:

  • Connect you with researchers working in these fields who can provide feedback on your ideas
  • Help you develop more specific topic ideas
  • Connect you with other students working on the same questions
  • Help you with publishing your thesis

This service is free and paid for by grants from charitable foundations. There are no terms and conditions connected with this service. We only want to help talented students have more impact with their research and support research on the most important problems.