STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program

Program Overview

Summer 2020 Term STAR Applications are due February 1, 2020. Apply here.

The STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program is a 9-week summer research internship for aspiring science and mathematics teachers. STAR provides pre-service and early career science and math teachers with paid summer internships in national, independent, and university laboratories thereby allowing participants to pursue a prestigious dual "teacher-researcher" career path. With the guidance of a research mentor, STAR Fellows work full-time on a group or independent research project, and participate in weekly education workshops focused on exploring the nature of science and transferring your experience to the classroom. An opening and closing conference provide context and opportunities for STAR Fellows to consider how the "doing of science" may be translated into the "teaching of science." At the closing conference STAR Fellows present their research in a poster session or oral presentation. The ultimate goals of the STAR program are to enhance the recruitment, preparation, and retention of quality science and math teachers. STAR is offered by the California Polytechnic State University in partnership with the US Department of Energy National Research Laboratories, NSF, NASA, federal agencies, and private research organizations.

Research Opportunities

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a world-renowned laboratory with research opportunities in physics, chemistry, materials and environmental sciences, scientific computing, and many engineering fields.

During the program, each STAR Fellow works with a mentor on a project related to the Laboratory’s research program. Projects range from solar-cell technology to astrophysics, from cancer drug research to particle physics and accelerator design, and from biocompatibility of medical devices to ultrafast (femtosecond) phenomena.


STAR applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements in order to apply for the program:

  • At least 18 years of age at the start of the program
  • A demonstrated interest in becoming a science or mathematics teacher at the secondary level (grades 6-12)
  • Either a California State University (CSU) student OR an NSF Noyce Scholar in the United States OR a STAR Alum with two or fewer years of participation
  • Major or undergraduate coursework in science, engineering or mathematics
  • At least junior standing with strong science and mathematics course background
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is preferred, applicants below 2.7 will not be considered
  • U.S. citizenship, Permanent Resident Alien or DACA grant holder

Key Dates

  • Applications Open: October 15, 2019
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2020
  • Offers Made: February 2020 - April 2020
  • First Day of STAR: June 8, 2020
  • Last Day of STAR: August 7, 2020

For More Information

For further information, please visit the website.

SLAC Contact: Enrique Cuellar