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Dear Colleague Letter: Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Supplement Opportunity
February 11, 2022
Directorate for Geosciences
Office of the Assistant Director
SUBJECT: Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Supplement Opportunity for GEO Principal Investigators on New or Renewal Research Proposals or On-going Research Projects
This letter calls your attention to an activity that supports the participation of K-12 educators and two-year college science faculty in research projects funded by the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) activity is designed to enhance the professional development of science educators through participation in new or on-going NSF-funded research projects. GEO strongly encourages its grantees to make special efforts to identify talented teachers for participation in this opportunity.
RET Supplements may be requested in one of two ways: (1) Investigators with an existing NSF research award may submit a request for supplemental funding; or (2) Proposers may include support for RET activities as part of a new (or renewal) research proposal to NSF. For further guidance and inquiries, including due dates, contact the cognizant program officer for the GEO program that is either currently funding the research, or will consider the new (or renewal) research proposal. The duration of the RET activity will generally be one year or less and the project may be carried out during summer months, during the academic year, or both.
Encouraging active participation of teachers in NSF projects is an excellent way to strengthen the science expertise of our nation's educators. RET Supplements should also lead to collaborative relationships between K-12 and two-year college science educators and the NSF research community. GEO is particularly interested in encouraging its researchers to build mutually rewarding partnerships with teachers from schools with either limited resources or that serve students who are members of groups underrepresented or under-served in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. GEO is also interested in supporting partnerships with teachers who are involved with the GLOBE Program. Mainly through encouraging the classroom use of GLOBE protocols or attending GLOBE trainings, workshops or annual meetings.
The RET Supplement request should clearly articulate, in some detail, the form and nature of the prospective teacher's involvement in the Principal Investigator's on-going or proposed research. The teacher should be involved in a significant research experience and should have the opportunity to be involved in several aspects of the scientific process, such as designing new experiments, collecting and analyzing data, conducting a modeling study, synthesizing information or presenting results of the research. Since it is expected that the RET experience will lead to the transfer of new knowledge into classroom activities, the RET Supplement request should indicate what sustained follow-up will be provided to help in translating the teacher research experience into classroom practice. The request should clearly articulate the process that will be used to identify the teacher. The same requirements would apply for supplements to support involvement of two-year college science faculty in research.