NSF RET Site Selection Criteria

  • A participant needs to be a middle or high school teacher in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM)
  • A candidate needs to be highly motivated to pursue professional development and innovate classroom curriculum, and be interested in scientific exploration.
  • Each candidate is required to submit a two-page proposal for his/her plan in pursuing research and curriculum development goals, in response to the list of available research projects to be provided by the faculty mentors. The proposed activities by a successful candidate should match his/her scientific interest and available project(s), demonstrate creativity, and have good potential to impact his/her classroom teaching.
  • A successful candidate is required to have strong communication skills, and desired (although not required, especially for junior teachers) to have curriculum development and leadership experiences.

The evaluation will be based on the candidate’s resume, two-page proposal, and recommendations letters from the superior. We will also conduct phone or in-person interviews as needed to make sure the best qualified teachers are brought onboard.

Selection Process

In the description of potential research projects, we have mainly focused on the nature of RET teachers’ involvement, but we recognize the importance of having the role of an RET participand explicitly defined before a project is started. This will be realized in a two-phase procedure during implementation:

a) A faculty mentor and possible project(s) are decided for an RET participant during the recruitment phase, based on the participant’s background and interests;

b) His or her specific role in the project will be finalized during the first week of the 7-week Summer Institute, through close interactions between the RET participant and the faculty mentor and his or her graduate students, taking into account the participant’s experiences, interests, and skills. Lead PI Tan will oversee this process and make sure that the role is decided in time.

Such a procedure will also allow us to identify the level of knowledge and skills of each participant and provide suitable and adequate orientation and training accordingly. For inexperienced participants, extra time and assistance will be provided by the faculty and graduate students to bring them up to speed.