NSF NeuroRET Project

Research Experiences for Teachers in Neural Science or Neural Engineering (2019-23)

Now seeking applications for Summer 2023 program (six weeks: June-July TBD)

Application deadline: March 5, 2023

An opportunity to collaborate with graduate/undergraduate students in on-going ‘neuro’ research led by leading faculty with a wide range of expertise in neuroscience and neural engineering. These faculty may be in Engineering, Biology, Psychology, Veterinary Medicine or School of Medicine.

  • Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S, residing in schools within driving distance of the Columbia campus. Accommodation is entirely the responsibility of the applicant, and MU will not be involved in any way.

  • A 6-week full-time research experience. Teachers will be on campus, either in mentor labs or attending the technical program etc., from 9 am to 5 pm every day (Mon-Fri) during this 6-week period.

  • Open to teachers from grades 4th to 12th, science, math and technology (have to be within driving distance of the MU campus).

  • Teachers can choose to work in the Labs of faculty working in neuroscience and neural engineering (see list in ‘Project Overview’ below and in the online application form) on research projects of their choice. The biology faculty will have research projects related to neurobiology, while the engineering faculty will have research projects related to neural modeling, software, and also to robotics, control and signal processing. In addition to guidance from mentors in the individual research labs, the teachers will also be assisted in learning about the research process by the PI and his team via twice-a-week 1.5 hour sessions…..and so should have enough support throughout the program.

  • Although team members (typically graduate or undergraduate students) will be available to provide input on the research project, you should be ready for independent work, i.e., to peruse the literature, perform internet searches, etc., with minimal input. This is different from the normal class-room instruction, and is one of the key traits of research, i.e., independent work.

  • In parallel to the research program, teachers will also have to develop curricular modules that they can then use in their classrooms. Templates for these will be provided by the coordinators.

  • Each participant will receive a $7000 stipend. All mileage and meal expenses (and housing expenses, if any) are the responsibility of the teacher. In addition, each participant will receive kits worth $2000 (related to material to be implemented in classrooms based on the RET experience) that they can take back to their school, and $1000 in travel to conferences the subsequent year (to make presentations/exhibits based on the RET experience, including lesson plans). Part of the stipend will be disbursed only after the teacher completes all requirements related to the project, including development and submission of the curricular materials to the TeachEngineeing.org site.

  • Opportunity to work with a cohort of 10 K-12 teachers with similar research interests.

  • Participation in the development of curricular materials related to elementary, middle school and high school neuroscience, that can be used back in your own classrooms. We will work with you to also have these curricular materials submitted to the NSF supported peer-reviewed web portal TeachEngineering.org

  • Priority will be given to teachers from rural and/or title 1 schools.

Additional information is available in the NSF RET Project Overview.