Topic outline

  • Aims

    Make a search on a topic of personal interest that allows to implement the knowledge and to apply a research methodology in an autonomous way, strengthening the critical capacity of the students.

  • Main activities

    Specify an issue, consider a hypothesis, make an observation or experimental work, plan research and activities, select documents, prepare the bibliography, and finally, analyse, interpret and extract the research conclusions.


  • Involved actors

    Students, teachers and tutors, and other related actors as Scientists, professionals, local population, local authorities, etc.

  • Connection with the curriculum

    Depending on the specified RW issue: it can be directly related to the subjects (scientific, technological, social, environmental, etc.) or wider.



  • Where to find the application or case

    Web of RW from the Department of Education (Government of Catalonia):

    Blog of RW (ideas, interesting jobs, resources and virtual lab):

    Additional information or resources:

    Ersilia Foundation has many resources to support the development of RW:


  • Content

    The RW is a brief research that should be performed by all high school students in Catalonia (not in the rest of Spain), which allows implementing the acquired knowledge in different subjects related to research methodology. Leaded by a teacher-tutor the RW lasts for about 70 hours, representing 10% of the final grade school and has a limited scope (30 pages). The theme is open and can be framed within a single subject or interdisciplinary.  In most cases, the subject is chosen by the students, but it can also be proposed by the educational departments of the centres. Generally, it is an individual work and it must be submitted in writing and orally.

    The RW is a great way to learn (especially to develop general skills for research, argumentation and expression) and at the same time, a good resource to assess students, during the research, but also for the written report and the oral presentation. Also, the RW fosters student’s initiative, creativity and critical awareness about the ethical dimension of processes. The RW may also stimulate interdisciplinary research related to environmental matters such as the value of the landscape and biodiversity, the ecological footprint and its consequences in the medium and long term, air quality in the city, the relationship between nature and design, the salinity of the river, the distribution of snails in different habitats, etc.

    Another main objective of RW is to become familiar with the use ICT-tools for research purposes (selecting information, analysing it and making a final presentation of results). In conclusion, RW brings into play many skills that facilitate the development necessary for students to reach the secondary education with procedures and skills acquired, useful also for their respective lives. A well-known Spanish scientist says: "The history of Science is the history of good questions".

  • Relation to a green topic and curriculum

    The RW can be related to the (green) areas of the curriculum or not. Examples:

    • Areas related to curriculum: science (ecology, waste management, sustainable mobility, etc.), technology (a product, design a bioclimatic house, develop an App, etc.) science and society (studying great catastrophes and their political and social impact, studying the relationship between advertising and science, etc..), physical education (studying sports injuries, etc.), language and philology (compare literary works, etc.).
    • Areas not related to the curriculum: comparing a book of science fiction with his film, studying the relationship between cinema and literature, or between literature and science, etc.

  • Being interdisciplinary: Drawing upon many academic disciplines and teaching methods

    The RW can be framed within a subject (as science, literature, technology, etc.) or may be related to different interdisciplinary matters (as ethics, ecology, etc.). The most important thing is that the process of research can be applied to any other area.

    The possible interdisciplinarity of the RW is perfect to achieve the complexity needed for the correct treatment of environmental issues.

  • Relevance to the daily life of students

    Each student chooses the research topic of RW that he wants to work and, if possible, related to the career or academic guidance that he/she wants to follow. In addition tutors can guide students in this selection, proposing issues related to their immediate environment or interests.

  • Based on accurate and factual professional expertise

    Since most of the RW topics are applied, the research has to be directly related to the factual professional expertise in some of its phases (to define the specific research topic, develop the appropriate question, drawing the current status of the subject, make a hypothesis of the research results, apply a methodology, analyse and interpret the main results, and finally, to present and disseminate the RW).