Advanced Materials Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)

The University of California San Diego MRSEC Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program is aimed at providing K-12 and junior/community college educators with a summer experience in a MRSEC research lab. The participants are attached to one of the MRSEC RIMSE Summer Schools, where they receive an introduction to research in the materials science focus area of that particular RIMSE.  As part of the experience, the RET participants will work on projects and modules that they can translate to their classroom back home. Our team of education experts in the RIMSE program work with them on materials science content, demonstrations, and course materials that dovetail with the current California Science Education Standards.

NSF-RET MRSEC trainees will be:

• exposed to the grand challenges in the field of materials science;
• trained in computational, nanotechnological, and /or biological methods aimed at making new materials;
• provided mentoring and academic/professional development opportunities, including the potential to produce publishable research and participate in professional conferences.

Applications are due by February 15, 2023.

Program Details:

Duration: June 19 - Aug. 12 (8 weeks). Housing check-in opens June 19; orientation activities begin on June 20; main activities commence on June 21. Trainees will have the option to extend their paid laboratory research participation by up to 2 weeks (10 weeks total).
Programming: Extensive training and mentoring (by faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students) in cutting-edge materials science research is accompanied by weekly research seminars, industrial field trips, professional development workshops (safety and research ethics, science communication, information literacy, graduate school preparation), and networking/recreation. RET trainees will assist with development of one or more of the MRSEC materials science educational modules.
Expectations: Full-time commitment to extensive lab work and engagement in program activities, including presentation at UC San Diego’s Summer Research Conference in mid-August.
Support: $900/week stipend (stipend includes allowance for meals*). The program additionally provides on-campus housing and reimbursement of travel expenses up to $500.


This research program is open to K-12 and junior/community college educators with programmatic focus on STEM who are citizens or permanent residents of the US or US territories, as stipulated by the NSF.

UC San Diego and our MRSEC are committed to the achievement of excellence and diversity among faculty, staff, and students. Women and minority applicants, veterans and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply to our NSF RET program.

Note:  No prior research experience is necessary.


Participants will be asked to state a preferred Faculty mentor from our our faculty page. The list of faculty participating in the REU program is subject to change each year.

* On-campus meal plans will be available for purchase, for more information, visit