M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust


Partnering secondary school science teachers with research mentors to expand their scientific horizons

Partners in Science Logo

This unique program engages secondary science teachers (in-service and pre-service) in authentic and innovative research experiences in a university lab or other research institution, enabling them to more effectively guide their students through the processes of science and foster new knowledge. The program enables teachers (partners) and academic scientists (mentors) to collaborate in the advancement of science, with the goal that both will grow professionally in the process.

Since 1990, $12M+ given in grants | 600+ teachers | 300+ scientists | 50+ research institutions

Program Basics

Quick Resources & Important Dates

In June 2023, the Murdock Trust approved the transition to a different program delivery model, similar to the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Sites grant. The program includes renewable three-year grants to universities (or other qualified research institutions) awarded by the Murdock Trust, Science teachers and pre-service science teachers (partners) selected to participate in scientific research by the institutions, and two annual conferences for teachers. Teachers are assigned to a coach, a previous Partners in Science participant who offers pedagogy and research support throughout the program.

What to Expect


Institutions (individually or collaboratively with other nearby institutions) can apply for a renewable three-year grant to run the research experience for 3-6 partnerships each year. Grantee institutions are responsible for recruiting, supporting the partnerships through providing research opportunities and professional development (research-focused), and administering the grant. While institutions do not have to participate in the conferences, mentors are highly encouraged to join their partner teacher in attendance at the Research Symposium in January.

Teacher presenting science research to a conference participant
Teacher presenting their research at the January Research Symposium

Teachers (Partners)

Partners in the program will conduct research over the course of two summers with guidance from a research mentor. Teachers will also have an assigned Partners in Science coach who will be a support throughout their time as a partner.  

Each year, partners participate in two conferences – the Partners in Science Teaching Practices Conference in August and the Partners in Science Research Symposium in January. All first and second-year partners come together in August to learn best practices in translating their research experience into teaching science inquiry effectively in the classroom. In January, first-year partners develop a research poster showing their findings, and second-year partners will deliver an oral presentation showcasing what they’ve learned over the past two summers of research. 

How to Apply

Institutions are invited to apply directly through the Murdock Trust. Teachers can apply through the institutions that have received the grant.

After reading the program guidelines and instructions, the Lead Principal Investigator from the institution will begin the application process through the grants portal. The completed application must be submitted by the PI’s institution.

Our five Partners in Science grantees (recruiting partners 2024 – 2026) include:

For more information on Partners in Science, please email the program director, Angela Little at angelal@murdocktrust.org.

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