Research Experience for Teachers (RET)

Response to the COVID-19

Update (1/10/2022): Adhering to public health and university guidelines, proof of full COVID vaccination will be required before the start of the program. We will also require masking in all of our indoor spaces, regardless of the distance between individuals. Should any guidelines change, we will adhere to them to keep all participants as safe as possible.

Update (9/16/2021): We are planning to run this as an in-person program. We are staying vigilant and monitoring all communications regarding health risks pertaining to COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants so that we can make informed decisions that do not jeopardize the well-being of anyone involved. We will provide any updates using this website based on the information we receive.

click for Application (preferred)

A program for Research Experience for Teachers from schools in the Delaware Valley was started in 1999. Teachers spend 6 weeks working on an individual research project under the supervision of a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of an LRSM -associated faculty member. At the end of the program the teacher must make an oral presentation of his/her findings and also submit a research paper before leaving the program.

Research Experience for Teachers 2022

With support from the National Science Foundation, this program seeks up to five high school science teachers from the greater Philadelphia region (within a daily commuting distance). The teachers will undertake a research program for six weeks from June 21 through July 29, 2022. Each teacher will be assigned to a senior investigator within the PENN MRSEC and paired with a mentor (typically a graduate student or post-doc). Each teacher will become embedded in this research group and conduct a short research project pertinent to the goals of the group Teachers will also participate in seminars on materials science, academic research skills, and tools and techniques for incorporating materials science and engineering into their classroom. This will include pre-summer assignments to prepare teachers to begin their research project as soon as possible. During the last week of the program, each teacher will be expected to present on his/her research and submit a short, written report. Teachers will be expected to return to the LRSM at the start of the following summer to informally discuss their experience with the incoming class of teachers.

Teachers will be selected mainly from public, charter, and private schools in the greater Philadelphia region that are within commuting distance of the PENN MRSEC. Application to the program is available through the link below. We will provide a stipend of $5,000, of which $4,500 will be paid this summer. The remaining $500 will be disbursed when you return next year to meet our incoming class of RET teachers to give us a report on how you used the experience in your class/school during the year.

The review team will begin to make decisions on April 15th, 2022.  Applications submitted after this date will still be accepted and considered if there are spots left.

Applications will become available January 2022


more information:

Mark Licurse, Director of Education
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter
University of Pennsylvania
3231 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6202

Tel. (215) 573-4759