Dear Colleague Letter: Research Experience for Teachers (RET): Funding Opportunity in the Biological Sciences

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

August 29, 2023

Dear Colleague:

This letter is to call your attention to a long-standing opportunity that enables K-12 science educators to participate in projects funded by the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) activity is to enhance the professional development of K-12 science educators through research experience at the emerging frontiers of science in order to bring new knowledge into the classroom. BIO strongly encourages all its recipients to make special efforts to identify talented teachers who can participate in this RET activity to integrate research and education. This special opportunity is the same as mentioned in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program solicitation.

We believe that encouraging active participation of teachers in on-going NSF projects is an excellent way to strengthen the science expertise of our nation's teachers. Another goal of the RET supplement activity is to build collaborative relationships between K-12 science educators and the NSF research community. BIO is particularly interested in encouraging its researchers to build mutually rewarding partnerships with teachers at urban or rural schools and those at school districts with limited resources. Participation of science educators who reflect the full spectrum of diverse talent that the society has to offer is strongly encouraged.

Before submitting an RET request (as part of a new or renewal NSF proposal or as a supplement to an existing NSF award), we strongly encourage the Principal Investigator to contact the cognizant program director for the program solicitation to which a proposal will be submitted, or the cognizant program director for the existing NSF award.

NSF encourages you to contact K-12 educators in your local school district and region, including those participating in NSF-supported activities [see awards list for the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)], as well as other NSF research and educational projects to help identify participants for this RET supplement opportunity. We trust that your time and efforts will strengthen the teaching of science, mathematics, and engineering and enhance the development of the U.S. science and engineering workforce.




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