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PolarTREC Teacher Grant

Opportunity for USA STEM Educators and Teachers to
Participate in Field Research in the Polar Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

10/07/19 5:00 PM Alaska Daylight Time


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Opportunity for USA STEM educators and teachers from middle and high schools to participate in field research expeditions to the polar regions. Funding is intended to match researchers with informal science educators and teachers on the basis of similar scientific interests and outreach goals, facilitate the growth of this relationship, and provide support for the relationship to become independently sustainable.

The main components of PolarTREC Include:

  • Provide hands-on field research experiences that are implemented in the polar regions,
  • Broadly disseminate teacher/educator experiences to students, professionals, and the public,
  • Develop a sustainable learning community, and
  • Provide clear and appropriate measures of project success.

STEM at the Poles is professional development for educators across all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines connecting them to the polar regions and the research community; developing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) resources; and changing how they teach STEM in both informal and formal learning environments. PolarTREC is funded through awards from the National Science Foundation and administered by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS).

PolarTREC or the NSF logistics providers cover most costs associated with participation in the program. This includes travel, lodging, food, essential field gear, and substitute costs if the expedition is while school is in session. Expenses educators may incur are likely to include personal apparel and gear not provided (long underwear, gloves, socks, etc.), some medical expenses or evacuation insurance if not included in the applicant's present insurance, personal travel or travel related to outreach activities before or after the expedition, and possible salary-related losses depending on school or business and their policies for leave. Items such as medical expenses and evacuation insurance will be reimbursed by ARCUS.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 136270

Number of Grants:

PolarTREC will support approximately 12 projects per year—6 in the Arctic and 6 in the Antarctic.

Term of Contract:

The Arctic field season is usually, but not always, between April and August and the Antarctic field season is usually between September and February.

Most PolarTREC expeditions are at least three weeks and are usually no more than six weeks long.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For 2020-2021, applications are being accepted from both U.S. informal science educators as well as formal U.S. classroom teachers (teaching in grades 6-12). Informal educators should have the primary focus on outreach to middle and high school students and/or professional development for their teachers. U.S. educators teaching abroad should contact PolarTREC Project Managers before applying.

PolarTREC is a program for U.S. educators. Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.

Note: No applications from PolarTREC teacher alumni will be accepted.

PolarTREC is unable to offer stipends or reimburse salaries.

Pre-Application Information:

- Application Submission Deadline is Monday, 7 October 2019 - 5:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time
- Remember that if you submitted an application, it will take several months to review and select the finalists. PolarTREC will email all applicants about the status of their application in December 2019.

Prior to going into the field, all selected participants will participate in two to four online webinars (web conferences) that provide background information about the program and additional training as needed. All selected educators are required to participate in a week-long orientation. In 2020-2021, this training will probably be Colorado. The orientation provides training on journaling, photography, interactive technology tools, field communications, polar science content, education and outreach planning, and safety training. Additional training may be required but will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in pre-field logistic calls with your research team.

Note: Applicants accepted to the PolarTREC program are required to participate in the one-week training orientation tentatively scheduled for March 15-20, 2020. Substitute costs, per diem, travel, and lodging will be provided for successful applicants.

Recording of September 11, 2019 webinar:

About PolarTREC:

Program Requirements:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The online application form can be found at the bottom of the URL for Full Text below.

For more information please contact PolarTREC Support Staff at

3535 College Road, Suite 101
Fairbanks, AK 99709

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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