Frequently Asked Questions
Does the program accept middle or high school teachers?
This RET program is focused on elementary grades with an emphasis on those who teach upper elementary (3-5th grade). However, we encourage applications from other levels, as we are aiming to demonstrate interest to continue/expand the RET program. We also consider successive applications favorable in future decisions.
Do I need to be in Montana?
Yes -- this program prioritizes participants who are teaching or enrolled in an educator preparation program in Montana. If you are from another state but interested in RET programs like this, please visit the National Science Foundation's ETAP page at https://www.nsfetap.org/ for other opportunities. You can also send an email to Paul Gannon - [email protected] - to register your interest. We can pass on your information to the National Science Foundation so they understand the importance of these types of programs for teachers.
Do funds for travel and housing come out of the $6,000 stipend? What about classroom supplies?
No -- travel, housing and all program expenses are covered separately. The entirety of the $6,000 stipend goes to each participant as income. You will also receive additional funding at the conclusion of the program to support the purchase of classroom supplies.
Do I need to be in Bozeman for the program?
Yes. This is a Monday-Friday program that lasts for six weeks (Monday, July 1 through Friday, Aug. 9 in 2024) and participants are expected to be present at MSU-Bozeman. Campus housing is provided through the program.
However, in 2024, due to the Fourth of July holiday, Week 1 will be virtual. Participants should expect to be available online each day from July 1-3. On-campus housing check-in is Sunday, July 7 and in-person programming begins Monday, July 8.
Participants who live in campus housing may return home on weekends if they wish. Local residents who choose not to live on campus may commute each day; we will assist with parking.
What are the hours each day? (I live locally and want to commute)
The research experience program will be considered “full-time” during the 6 weeks, so--in general--you can expect something close to traditional work day hours (8am to 5pm). However, since each teacher will be working with a research mentor, the exact hours will be determined through agreement with the research mentors and participants.
What if I have a schedule conflict?
Daily/weekly schedules will be determined collectively by the research mentors, participants and program directors, and with an understanding of complex summer obligations. While the expectation is that each participant is present for five days a week for six weeks, we can work with individuals to accommodate occasional schedule conflicts.
Is this a commitment for more than one summer?
No -- you are applying to participate for just one summer. While the program runs for three years, and there MAY be the opportunity for participants to return, you are only applying to participate for one summer.
What if I don't have a resume or CV?
That's OK -- please use the application to describe your experiences, how you would be a good fit for the program, and why you are interested.
When will I be notified if I am accepted?
We aim to notify applicants of their acceptance in March each year.
Will participants receive academic credits / OPI renewal units?
Yes. In-service teachers can earn 3 graduate credits or OPI renewal units. Pre-service teachers are not eligible to earn graduate credits as they have not yet received a bachelor's degree.
How do I submit my letter of recommendation and other documents? What should be in the letter?
Electronic copies of these documents are preferred, and you can upload them directly as attachments when you submit your application. [Note that you cannot return to your application once it is submitted, so you should have all your documemts in one place]. However, if you only have hard copies and are unable to scan them, please contact us to make arrangements.
This is a competitive program and personal recommendations are valuable to the selection committee in choosing participants. The letter does not have to follow a specific template but should include how the person knows you, your strengths as an educator (or future educator), and why they believe you would benefit from and contribute to the RET program.
I accidentally submitted my application without the attachments. Do I need to start over?
No -- please just let us know by email and attach your documents. Paul Gannon: [email protected]
Please email Paul Gannon at [email protected]