Research Experience for Teachers

Applications are open for RTNN’s Summer 2024 RET Program. Each summer, the RTNN welcomes middle and high school teachers as well as community college educators to participate in this program, “Atomic Scale Design and Engineering.” Applications will be considered until all positions are filled. It is recommended that all materials be submitted by May 1, 2024. Note: program is contingent on funding. 

Up to ten teachers will be selected to participate in research in nanotechnology labs at NC State, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, or the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T University partnership). Participants will work in small teams to conduct research in atomic scale design and engineering. Teachers will also gain hands-on experience in the cutting edge techniques and tools used in nanoscale science and engineering within RTNN facilities. All participants will conduct a research study; example projects are listed below. Teachers will also spend time designing curricular materials to use in their classroom and will share these teaching materials during the program and after they return to their home institution. Participants will have weekly seminars focused on nanotechnology from RTNN faculty and industry leaders. Join us for an interesting summer learning about advances in research, getting involved in your own study, and thinking about new ways to teach science and engineering. Please visit RTNN’s RET Lesson Plan page to see examples of lesson plans created by previous participants in the program.

The program lasts for 5 weeks (Tentative 2024 Dates: June 17 – July 19, 2024) with follow up during the academic year. Teachers will receive a $6,000 stipend for their work as an RET with additional funding available for curricular materials and travel for lesson plan/curriculum dissemination. The program is for US citizens only and teachers must participate for the entire period of the program.  Participants are required to attend all daily and weekly meetings, seminars, field trips, and workshops.

Questions?  Please Contact: Dr. Maude Cuchiara ( or Dr. Gail Jones (

RET Projects

Last summer (2023 teachers worked in the research labs listed below. We expect similar placements during the summer of 2024.

  1. Jacque Cole (UNC-Chapel Hill) 
  2. Nina Balke (NC State)
  3. Jacob Jones (NC State)
  4. Jillian Dempsey (UNC-Chapel Hill)