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CSATS 2023 Summer Research Experience for STEM Teachers

CSATS Summer Research Experiences for STEM Teachers Program

Dates: June 20 - August 4, 2023
Location: Online (In-person available depending on the placement)
Application closed - Check back January 2024!

To hear from a former RET teacher and his research mentors, check out our informational RET webinar recording. Note: The program begins June 20, 2023 - not June 19, 2023.


The Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Program is a seven-week summer program for middle and high school STEM teachers. RETs conduct research with a host laboratory for the first six weeks of the program and prepare for the summer research symposium during the seventh week. For Summer 2023, the RET programs will be offered online or in-person depending on the placement. Please see the descriptions under "Additional Information" on the left for more information. Teachers selected for the program will participate in ongoing research projects with university science or engineering faculty and work with CSATS science education faculty to develop a classroom research project based on their research experience.

RET programs for the Summer of 2023:

  • Agricultural and Energy Engineering Research
  • Bioinformatics Research
  • Biomedical Engineering Research
  • Computer Science Research
  • Meteorology Research

Applicants Must:

  • Be a middle school or high school STEM teacher at a school within the United States with 3 years of classroom teaching experience.
  • Have a teaching appointment for the 202-2024 school year, and use the curriculum materials developed during the RET program in your classroom during the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Have a device that is capable of running computer programs and support virtual meetings.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Devote 40 hours per week to the program during the seven-week session. 32 hours a week will be spent in the research lab working on a research project and 8 hours a week will be spent at Penn State University Park participating in professional development conducted by CSATS faculty. This is considered a full-time commitment and you may not enroll in classes or hold other jobs during the day. Participants will be paid a stipend for the research experience. We will make every attempt to accommodate reasonable requests for schedule flexibility, while maintaining the program effectiveness. Please note that failure to complete requirements to program standards may result in removal from the program.
  • Use materials from your research experience to develop a grade-level-appropriate classroom research project.

Participant Benefits:

  • Teachers will receive a $6000 stipend for completing the summer research and developing a classroom research project.
  • Teachers will receive a $1,500 stipend for conducting action research on the implementation of their classroom research project.  Online meetings will support completion of the action research during the academic year.
  • Opportunity to receive up to 3 graduate credits (SCIED 597) from Penn State University (must enroll in the course prior to May 14, 2023).
  • Teachers will have the opportunity to present their research and classroom research projects (CLRP) at the MJ Murdock Partners in Science Conference in San Diego in January 2024. Teachers will receive a limited travel stipend to attend the conference.

Application process:

The application requires general contact information, direct supervisor information, 3 professional references, 3 essay questions, a support letter from your immediate supervisor, and a sample lesson plan.