Independent study is a form of education offered by many high schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. It is sometimes referred to as directed study, and is an educational activity undertaken by an individual with little to no supervision. Typically a student and professor or teacher agree upon a topic for the student to research with guidance from the instructor for an agreed upon amount of credits.
For elementary and junior high, it is sometimes a GATE study where the student must research the topic and formulate and answer questions. At the end, they develop and present a product, although not all GATE systems participate in this.
A program titled "The Research Experiences for Undergraduates" (REU) has been founded by the National Science Foundation which provides funding for undergraduates to engage in different areas of research outside of the classroom. Groups are formed of graduates, undergraduates, and faculty to work on a specific research project. 
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