Collaborative Around Research Experiences for Teachers (CARET)

Core Leadership

John Keller, California State University System; Bruce Johnson, University of Arizona; Jordan Gerton, the University of Utah; and Elisa Stone, University of California, Berkeley

For more information, visit: Teachers Industry


January 2020

CARET has a newly published review article on research experiences. This paper provides a comprehensive review of 307 papers published between 2007 and 2017 that include course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), undergraduate research experiences (UREs), and teacher research experiences (TREs) programs, with a special focus on research experiences for K–12 teachers. The field of biology was the predominant scientific disciplinary focus. Findings suggest a lack of studies explicitly targeting 1) participation and outcomes related to learners from underrepresented populations, 2) a theoretical framework that guides program design and analysis, and, for TREs, 3) methods for translation of research experiences into K–12 instructional practices, and 4) measurement of impact on K–12 instructional practices.

Krim, J. S., Coté, L. E., Schwartz, R. S., Stone, E. M., Cleeves, J. J., Barry, K. J., ... & Keller, J. M. (2019). Models and Impacts of Science Research Experiences: A Review of the Literature of CUREs, UREs, and TREs. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 18(4), ar65. Available at .

Type of Project

Research and Implementation

Original Proposal

Studies have demonstrated the value of undergraduate research as a high impact practice for both retention in STEM and addressing achievement gap issues (Eagan, et al., 2013; Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, 2011). A number of NSEC institutions are engaged in providing research experiences for undergraduates and graduate students pursuing careers in K-12 teaching. Limited research exists to demonstrate the generalizable impacts of these programs on teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention, in part because of limited cohort sizes of individual programs. In addition, opportunities do not widely exist to bring together coordinators of teacher-researcher programs for sharing of programmatic goals and structures or developing collaborative research investigations into the impacts these types of programs. This proposal will promote cross-institutional collaboration involving research and assessment into commonalities, differences, and impacts of teacher-researcher programs, and will also contribute to the body of knowledge around research experiences for undergraduates.

Proposed Deliverables

  • Logic model to guide the work in designing and coordinating evaluation of the various teacher-researcher programs.
  • White paper which synthesizes the previous literature on outcomes from teacher-research projects and identifies the outstanding questions and next steps in evaluating teacher-research impacts on classroom teaching and retention.
  • Advance preliminary work into common metrics that can be used across teacher-researcher programs for cross-institutional research into the impact of research experiences on current and future teachers and their classroom practice during student-teaching or further experiences. The broad focus will be how teachers' participation in research can impact students' experiences.
  • Identification of potential funding sources and develop a template for one or more proposals for a collaborative grant and/or foundation support to grow and sustain the efforts of CARET beyond its current budding stage of development.

Results from Year 1-2 of the RAC

CARET promotes cross-institutional collaboration involving research and assessment into commonalities, differences, and impacts of teacher-researcher programs, and contributes to the body of knowledge around research experiences for undergraduates. Through the efforts of this RAC, we have created several products to propel the work; a Theory of Change diagram, an accompanying Theory of Change description, a logic model, the coding guide that governed our literature review, and the common assessment framework that built our shared assessment instrument. These products were outlined at a 2.5-day, in-person meeting in January, 2017, and finalized at a full-day, in-person meeting in June 2017.

The shared assessment instrument was administered to 130 participants in four programs at the beginning of Summer 2017 and to 190 participants in six programs at the end of Summer 2017. The results from this pilot administration were analyzed at a CARET Meeting held in San Diego California in January 2018. Minor modifications were made to the instrument which has been re-administered to 120 participants in four programs at the beginning of Summer 2018 and to 115 participants in four programs at the end of Summer 2018.

Between April 2017 and January 2018, CARET completed coding of 320 unique papers related to teacher research experiences (TREs), undergraduate research experiences (UREs), and course undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). After careful consideration, 308 of these were selected for inclusion in a literature review about TREs, UREs, and CUREs. During spring and summer 2018, three CARET representatives have been working to synthesize results from this coding effort and have completed a first draft of the literature review manuscript for internal review by other CARET members. We aim to submit this literature review to Science Education by October 2018.

With regards to funding and sustaining CARET, UC Berkeley team members were invited by their NSF RET Program Officer to submit a supplement request on the order of $50K to support CARET efforts during the 2018-19 academic year. The supplement request was submitted and discussions are underway to finalize details. In addition, CARET is aiming to submit a DRK12 proposal in Fall 2018.

NSEC Centers Participating in CARET RAC

Institution, STEM Center, & Research Program


Cal Poly San Luis Obispo*
Center for Engineering, Science, and Math Education
STEM Teacher and Researcher Program (STAR)

John Keller & Stamatis Vokos

STAR Executive Director

Georgia State University*
Center for STEM Education Initiatives

Renee Schwartz
Associate Professor, Middle and Secondary Ed

San Francisco State University
Center for Science and Math Education (CSME)

Larry Horvath, Eric Hsu, & Jamie Chan
Associate Professor, Science Education

University of Arizona*
UA STEM Learning Center Teachers in Industry

Bruce Johnson, Sanlyn Buxner, & Lisa Elfring
Co-Director, UA STEM Learning Center

University of Oregon
STEM Careers through Outreach, Research, & Education (STEM CORE)

Bryan Rebar
Associate Director, STEM CORE

University of Utah
Center for Science and Mathematics Education
Teacher Research Fellows Program

Jordan Gerton & Jessica Dwyer
Director, Center for Science and Mathematics Education

University of California, Berkeley*
Berkeley Science and Math Initiative (BSMI)
Cal Teach & BERET +C

Elisa Stone, Edward Ham, & Laleh Cote
Executive Director, BSMI, Cal Teach Program Director

Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas
STEM Initiative, College of Education & Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education

Mara Alagic, S.L. Lee, G. Novacek, & S. Lefever
Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator

Kansas State University
Center for Science Education
College of Education

Kimberly Staples
Associate Professor Science Education

Towson University
Center for STEM Excellence

Mary Stapleton
Director of Bioscience Education and Outreach

Center for Teaching, Learning & Outreach

Julius Su & James Maloney
Program Managers, Community Science Academy;

Purdue University
Discovery Learning Research Center

Willie Burgess
Managing Director

Southern Illinois University
Center for STEM

Sharon Locke, Jessica Krim, & Kelly Barry

North Carolina State University*

Kathy Cabe Trundle
Department Head, STEM Education

* Organizations that participated in 100Kin10 CARET Meetup in January 2015. Names in boldface are campus points of contact.


Auchincloss, L.C., Laursen, S.L., Branchaw, J.L., Eagan, K., Graham, M., Hanauer, D.I., Lawrie, G., McLinn, C.M., Pelaez, N., Rowland, S., Towns, M., Trautmann, N.M., Varma-Nelson, P., Weston, T.J., and Dolan, E.L. (2014) Assessment of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences: A Meeting Report. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2014 Spring; 13(1): 29–40. doi: 10.1187/cbe.14-01-0004.
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy. (2011). Expanding Underrepresented
Minority Participation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Eagan, Jr., M.K., Hurtado, S., Chang, M.J., Garcia, G.A., Herrera, F.A., and Garibay, J.C. (2013). Making a difference in science education: The impact of undergraduate research programs American Educational Research Journal, 50, 683-713.
Linn, M.C., Palmer, E., Baranger, A., Gerard, E., and E. Stone. (2015). Undergraduate research experiences: Impacts and opportunities. Science 347, 627
Sadler, T.D., Burgin, S., McKinney, L., Ponjuan, L. (2010) Learning science through research apprenticeships: A critical review of the literature. J. Res. Sci. Teach. 47, 235 (2010). doi: