Partners in Science Grant Program

MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

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Grant amount: US $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Dec 1, 2020

Applicant type: Faculty College / University

Funding uses: Conference, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

Location of residency: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

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When high school science faculty can grow their skills and experience by participating in advanced research, their students and schools will benefit. The Murdock Trust created the Partners in Science Program to give these teachers this valuable learning opportunity.

This unique program pairs high school science teachers with a mentor doing cutting-edge research in an academic lab or a lab associated with another nonprofit institution. The Trust awards approximately 25 Partners in Science grants each year to fund these teacher-mentor research opportunities in the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help teachers bring knowledge from the research lab directly into the classroom to promote hands-on science education.

Teachers are expected to arrange their own partnerships, although the Trust has provided a list of some potential research projects submitted by scientists from the Pacific Northwest who are willing to serve as mentors in the Partners in Science Program. Additionally, a list of individuals who have agreed to serve as contact persons at their respective institutions for the Partners in Science Program is available on this institutional contact list by state.

Teachers who have completed a regular (two-summer) Partners in Science grant are eligible to apply through their high schools for a Supplemental Partners in Science grant of up to $7000.

Program Goals

Providing high school teachers with opportunities to work at the cutting edge of science, and thus to revitalize their teaching and help them to appreciate the use of inquiry‐based methods in the teaching of science, is a primary goal of the Partners in Science awards.  The program enables teachers and academic scientists to collaborate in the advancement of science, with the goal that both will grow professionally in the process.

High school teachers develop an improved image of themselves as scientists as well as a sense of being an integral part of the scientific community.  Teachers will gain experience at a regional science conference in August and present their research at a national science conference in January after each summer of research.  Faculty mentors benefit not only from research assistance, but from contact with those shaping their future students.   All partners develop a broader understanding of the linkages between high school and college science education.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Partners in Science awards are made to colleges and universities and to other qualified research institutions to enable high school science teachers to participate in full-time research for 8 weeks during the summer.
    • Applications are accepted from researchers in the natural sciences at institutions located in areas where the Partners in Science program is available.
  • Instititution
    • Applications must be submitted through a college or university or other qualified research institution which accepts responsibility for the administration of the award.   
  • Principal Investigators (Mentors)
    • An investigator must have an active research program as evidenced by grants and/or publications and hold an appointment in a natural science department at a college, university, or other qualified institution in the Pacific Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington).
  • High School Teachers (Partners) 
    • High school teachers should possess academic qualifications in appropriate disciplines, in most cases a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in chemistry, physics, biology, or earth science.
    • Applicants must be a full‐time teacher with a high school appointment and be teaching science.
    • The teacher and high school would normally be within convenient commuting distance of the research host institution so that a research partnership may continue beyond the 8‐10 week summer research periods.
  • There are no restrictions with regard to age, rank, or length of service of either teachers or mentors.


  • Preference may be given to teachers:
    • who have not had a previous opportunity to do research
    • who have had three or more years of teaching experience
    • who plan to continue teaching for several years, so the benefits of the program can be transferred back to the classroom.


  •  Indirect costs or overhead and academic year salaries are not allowed.