• Internal: 06/19/2018
  • Proposal: 09/19/2018


  • Amount: $10,000 - $600,000
  • Duration: 1-3 years


The Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) in Engineering and Computer Science program encourages the active participation of both in-service and pre-service (education majors who are still pursuing their degrees) K-12 science, technology, engineering, computer science and mathematics (STEM) teachers and full-time community college faculty in ongoing engineering and computer science research activities through Site awards and Supplements. Encouraging active participation of teachers and community college faculty in NSF projects is an excellent way to reach broadly into the teacher talent pool of the U.S. facilitating the ability of teachers to teach engineering and computer science concepts to their students in a compelling way and inspiring more students to pursue engineering and computer science careers. ENG and CISE strongly encourage all their grantees, including grantees from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, to make special efforts to identify talented teachers and community college faculty for participation in this RET opportunity.

RET in Engineering and Computer Science Supplement: A request for funding of a RET in Engineering and Computer Science Supplement should be made under an existing ENG or CISE award or within a proposal for a new or renewed ENG or CISE award. The description of the RET activity must clearly articulate in some detail the form and nature of the prospective K-12 STEM teacher and/or full -time community college faculty member’s involvement in the PI’s ongoing or proposed research.

RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site Project: A RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site project is an independent proposal, submitted under this solicitation at an annual deadline date, to provide groups of in-service and pre-service K-12 STEM teachers and/or full-time community college faculty with discovery and technology-based research experiences in engineering and/or computer science laboratories and facilities, which will then be incorporated into their classroom activities during the school year. A RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site project may be conducted during the summer, academic year, or both, and each must have a well-defined research focus, with clearly articulated projects and activities for 10 or more teachers and/or community college faculty per year.

The maximum total request for a Site is $600,000 for a duration of up to three years. Supplements are limited to a maximum of $10,000 per teacher and/or community college faculty for a duration of one year subject to the availability of funds.


This RET Site solicitation has been revised to:

  • Change the due date.
  • Strengthen language requiring a coherent intellectual focus related to ENG or CISE in the proposed research projects.
  • Require community college faculty who participate be full-time faculty.
  • Strengthen language to require that a lead PI be a tenure-track ENG or CISE discipline faculty member whose primary responsibilities are research and teaching and not administration or outreach.
  • Add requirement that proposals contain samples of research projects with clearly labelled sections on the components appropriate for teachers.
  • Expand language about including specific plans for activities to prepare the RET participants for the research activities. Specified that these activities cannot include significant pre-site studies and cannot include enrollment in on-line or on-site courses.
  • Add language that requires letters of collaboration to be from persons at the school district level. Letters from individual teachers are not allowed.
  • Add items to the Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria to cover the main components of the program.
  • Add language on expectations about prior Site results for Sites submitting for renewal.
  • Add language about expectations for academic year follow-up activities and expectations of school visits by PIs and graduate students.
  • Add requirement for an explanation of how a cohort with mixed grade level groups of teachers (middle and high school, high school and community college) will be managed as a cohort.
  • Add language about providing scientific professional development opportunities for the teachers, particularly opportunities for presentations of plans, methods, and results to various groups.

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

Three Site proposals may be submitted per competition by a U.S. academic institution, including a College/Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology, or Computer and/or Information Science as the lead institution. No more than two of the three proposals may have an engineering focus and only one of the three proposals may have a computer and/or information science focus.

If you are interested submitting, please contact Karen Drew (x 4824) by June 19, 2018 and submit a 2-page pre-proposal following the NU Procedure for Programs with Limited Submissions.

  • The principal investigator of a RET in Engineering and Computer Science Site proposal must have a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty appointment within a College/Department of Engineering or Engineering Technology or a College/Department of Computer and/or Information Science broadly defined [including e.g., Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Software Engineering, Networking Science, Informatics] within the submitting U.S. academic institution.
  • The PI must be a full-time Engineering and/or Computer Science faculty member whose primary job responsibilities are research and teaching and not a faculty member who is involved in an administrative capacity such as a dean or outreach coordinator.

Contact Information

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.

  • Mary F. Poats, Program Manager, Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), 585N, telephone: (703) 292-5357, fax: 703-292-9051, email:
  • Harriet G. Taylor, Program Director, Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS), 1175N, telephone: (703) 292-8950, email: