Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the RET Program:
What does RET stand for?
RET stands for Research Experience for Teachers and is a wonderful professional development opportunity for math and science teachers funded by the National Science Foundation.
When is the RET program?
The Team-RET program runs for six weeks during the summer. For 2022, the proposed dates are July 6 – August 12, with the daily schedule being from about 9am-4:00pm, Monday through Thursday and about 9am-2pm on Friday.
The Independent-RET program will also be held in 2020 and will run on the same dates.
What is the difference between the Team-RET and Independent-RET programs?
In the Team-RET program (sometimes referred to as RET I), teachers work as a team to learn the fundamentals of materials research and gain hands-on laboratory experience primarily in CCMR’s Shared Experimental Facilities. In the Independent-RET program (sometimes referred to as RET II), teachers are matched with a Cornell faculty member to investigate an independent research topic.
Who is eligible for the Team-RET program?
To be eligible for the Team-RET program you must be a US citizen or permanent resident and teach math, science or technology in in a US middle school, high school or community college.
Who is eligible for the Independent-RET program?
Only teachers who have completed the CCMR Team-RET program are eligible for the Independent-RET program.
How do I apply?
To apply to the Team-RET program you must complete an online application and submit required documentation. Directions for applying can be found on our How to Apply page.
Where is the RET program held?
The Team-RET program is held at the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York.
How much does it cost?
The RET program does not cost you anything. In fact, we pay you a stipend.
How much is the stipend?
The 2021 RET stipend will be $3,900, which requires residency at Cornell campus, attendance of all program sessions, and completion of assigned projects.
Is housing available?
Yes, for teachers who require housing, CCMR will pay for on-campus housing for the duration of the program.
Is college credit available for participation in the program?
No, we’re sorry to say that college credit is not available; however we now offer a certificate for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education professional development for New York State teachers. For out of state teachers, a letter can be sent to your school administrator detailing the number of hours you participated in the program, upon request.
What research facilities will the Team RET program cover?
Teachers in the Team-RET program will spend time in the following CCMR facilities as well as other research facilities across campus:
- X-Ray Diffraction Facility
- Integrated Advanced Microscopy Facilities
- Materials Research Support Facility
- Polymer Characterization Facility
Are there other RET programs?
Yes, there are many RET programs across the country, focusing on a wide range of topics. You can go to the NSF MRSEC site (www.mrsec.org/education) to find out which centers offer an RET program.