STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program

STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program

Program Overview

The 2023 Summer STAR Applications are due at midnight, February 27, 2023. 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 at 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 their experience to the classroom. Opening and closing conferences 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.

STAR Fellows will receive a stipend of $5,000 for the 9-week program.  In addition, Fellows will receive a travel/housing allowance of $1,750 if they live more than 50 miles from SLAC.

Research Opportunities

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a world-renowned laboratory with research opportunities in physics, chemistry, life sciences, materials and environmental sciences, astrophysics, scientific computing, and many engineering fields. SLAC’s summer internship program offers exciting opportunities for students and early career professionals seeking to enter teaching careers.

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.

Key Dates

  • Applications Open: December 1, 2022
  • Applications Close: February 27, 2023
  • Offers Made: February 2023 - April 2023
  • Program dates: June 2023 – August 2023


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)
  • Applicant must be:
    • A California State University (CSU) student, or
    • Heritage University, Southern University and A&M College
    • A current/former member of the NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Program 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
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is preferred; applicants with a GPA below 2.7 will not be considered
  • U.S. citizenship, Lawful Permanent Resident or DACA grant holder

To apply, go to:

For More Information

For further information, please visit the STAR website or contact:

Hillary Freeman

Intern/Education Program Manager


Kaylene Wakeman

Administrative Coordinator

STEM Teacher and Researcher Program (STAR)

Center for Excellence in STEM Education (CESAME)

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo


office: 805-756-2403 - voicemail only

cell: 805-602-0426 - Monday through Friday, 9am to 9pm