If in doubt about whether to use a capital letter for something, the answer is usually ‘don’t’! In academic writing, where the subject matter seems important, we emphasise the people, institutions or subject matter with capital letters. More often than not, we shouldn’t.
There are clear circumstances in which capitals should be used. We’ve all learned about capitalising proper names like ‘London’ or ‘Edinburgh’. We’re also aware that capitals are used for names of institutions such as ‘Yahoo’ or the ‘Google’ but unless you’re using a proper name for something then it is important not to capitalise. In the same way that you wouldn’t capitalise ‘pig’ or ‘horse’, you wouldn’t capitalise ‘carbon dioxide’, or ‘lieutenant’. There are exceptions such as when one of the terms was part of a name, eg Lieutenant Jim Thompson.
It’s also important to remember that small, insignificant words in a title should not be capitalised. So, in a sub-title ‘Findings from the Study Group’, don’t be tempted into giving ‘from’ and ‘the’ a capital letter.