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National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22230


NSF 03 - 056

September 8, 2003



Dear Colleague:

This letter is to call your attention to a new activity that will support active participation by K-12 teachers of science in projects funded by the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) at the National Science Foundation. The intent of this endeavor is to facilitate professional development of K-12 science teachers through research experience at the cutting edge of science. OCE encourages all its grantees to make special efforts to identify talented teachers for participation in this RET-supplement opportunity.

We believe that encouraging active participation of teachers in on-going NSF projects is an excellent way to reach broadly into the teacher talent pool of our nation. The goal of the RET-supplement is to help build long-term collaborative relationships between K-12 teachers of science and the NSF research community. OCE is particularly interested in encouraging its researchers to build mutually rewarding partnerships with teachers at inner city schools and less well endowed school districts.

A request for funding of a RET-supplement should be made under an existing NSF award or within a proposal for a new or renewal NSF award. The description of the RET-supplement activity should clearly articulate in some detail the form and nature of the prospective teacher’s involvement in the Principal Investigator’s ongoing or proposed research. Since it is expected that the RET-supplement experience will also lead to transfer of new knowledge to classroom activities, the RET-supplement description should also indicate what sustained follow-up would be provided to help in translating the teacher’s research experience into classroom practice. A brief biographical sketch of the teacher should also be included.

The duration of the RET-supplement will generally be one year and the project may be carried out during summer months, during the academic year, or both. For guidance and inquiries concerning the RET-supplement, including the application due date, the Principal Investigator should consult with Lisa Rom, ( or 703-292-8582) and the Program Director of his/her particular NSF award.

A proposal for the RET supplement to an existing NSF award should be submitted via the FastLane. After logging in to Proposals, Awards & Status, the Principal Investigator(PI)/Co-Principal Investigator(Co-PI) Management, What Do You Want To Work On?" Screen will appear. Click on "Award and Reporting Functions", then click "Supplemental Funding Request". The procedure is the same as described in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplement (NSF 03-577 at The Principal Investigator enters the description of the proposed RET-Supplement activity (limited to 3 pages, under Summary of Proposed Work), a 2 page biographical sketch of each teacher (submitted in the Supplementary Docs section), a budget, and a budget justification. The budget may include a teacher’s stipend, teacher’s travel, and up to $1,000 for the cost of materials, equipment, software and other supplies for developing classroom instructions and experiments. An administrative allowance (limited to 25% of the teacher’s stipend only) is allowed in lieu of indirect costs (enter at Line I of supplement budget). The total cost of the supplement is limited to $10,000 per teacher. Normally funds may be available for up to two teachers, but exceptions will be considered. Participation of teachers who are members of underrepresented groups (minorities, and persons with disabilities) is strongly encouraged. An award decision will be based on internal review by the Program Director and availability of funds in a particular program.

The National Science Foundation encourages you to visit K-12 teachers in your local school district and region, including those from NSF supported urban efforts, to make them aware of this RET-supplement opportunity as well as other NSF research and educational projects. Information on current NSF awards is readily available on We trust that your time and efforts will open and facilitate new avenues for innovations in the teaching of science, mathematics, and engineering and enhance the development of the U.S. science and engineering workforce.


James Yoder
Division Director


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF, although some programs may have special requirements that limit eligibility.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the GPG Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at

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