Frequently Asked Questions for Teachers

Program runs June 29-August 7, 2015

Q. What is the structure of the program?
A. During the summer, participants will develop a research plan for a project at their home institution, to be carried out during the following academic year. They will be expected to report on their progress and findings midway through the year and in the summer of 2016.

Q. I am interested in designing a new classroom experience for my students. Is SEER the right program for me?
A. The SEER program focuses on research that improves the STEM educational experience.  You may develop a research project that focuses on the outcomes of a curriculum design or redesign.  However, developing a new classroom experience for your students should not be the purpose of your participation in the SEER program.

Q. I am not an engineering teacher. Should I apply for SEER?
A. The SEER RET program is designed for teachers who are teaching engineering or a closely related field. However, you may send us an e-mail at to tell us a bit about yourself and why you’d like to participate, and we can discuss whether it makes sense for you to apply.

Q. I am an international teacher working on a visa. Can I apply for SEER?
A. Our funding sources allow us to offer fellowships only to US citizens or permanent residents.

Q. How many letters of reference do I need? How do I submit them? 
A. Two letters of reference must be submitted for your application to be complete. Please follow the directions on the RET Application page for submitting your letters of reference. Remember, they need to be emailed to directly from those who are recommending you.

Q. Who should I ask to send reference letters for me?
A. RET applicants should request at least one letter from a school administrator. The other may be from someone who knows you in an academic or professional capacity. Contact both your references well in advance of the application deadline. A well-prepared recommendation should tell us about your background, especially what you would bring to the program and how you and your school would benefit from your SEER experience.  It should also include professional achievements, communicate information about any relevant skills, and address your general character and work ethic. Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure the letters of reference are submitted by the application deadline.

Q. How are teachers selected to participate in SEER?
A. Admission to SEER is based on a number of factors. RET applicants are selected on the basis of the fit of their background, interests, goals and objectives and those of the RET program. As part of the selection process, applicants may be asked to participate in an interview.

Q. What are my chances of being accepted to SEER?
A. There are two RET fellowships available. Your chances of being accepted depend much more on how good a fit you are for the program than on how many people apply. 

Q. When will I find out if I’ve been accepted to SEER?
A. Accepted teachers will be notified on a rolling basis of their acceptance to SEER, but final decisions are expected by May 1, 2015.

Q. How much is the stipend for SEER?
A. RET participants will receive a stipend of $6000 for the six-week SEER summer program. They will receive additional honoraria of $500 at the midyear reporting meeting and again when they present their findings in the summer of 2016 (for a total of $7000 over the project).

Q. What type of housing is offered?
A. The RET is structured as a non-residential program, so no housing is offered to participants.

Q. How do I commute to campus? 
A. Free parking is available on the Olin College campus. The nearest commuter rail stations to campus are approximately two miles away and the nearest subway station (on the Green Line to Boston) is approximately five miles away.

Q. I have a question that is not answered here. How can I get an answer?
A. We will gladly address any questions you might have. The best way to contact us is to send an email to

Click here for the Summer 2015 Olin SEER RET Application.