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 the classroom at their institution. Our team of education experts in the RIMSE program will provide guidance on developing 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 Monday, May 1, 2023 (11.59am Eastern Time)

Program Details:

Duration: June 26 - Aug. 18 (8 weeks). Participants may be able to adjust the duration of their participation, to accommodate their schedule at their home academic institution; contact Janka at with questions. Participants 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.
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 UC San Diego 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.


Submit your application on NSF ETAP application portal HERE. In addition to completing a registration form, you will be asked to select a potential MRSEC faculty mentor that best fits your interests, and to submit the following application materials:

  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of Interest including a description of 1) Your targeted student population, 2) The proposed research activities, and 3) How this experience will translate into the classroom environment
  • 1 or more letters of reference

If you have questions, please contact

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

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