Academic year Teacher Research Sabbatical

The Teacher Research Sabbatical program, in partnership with The University of Maine, with financial support from the Balfour Foundation, offers a one-semester paid research internship at The Jackson Laboratory. All elementary, middle, or high school STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) teachers in Maine and other rural New England states are invited to apply. The Teacher Research Sabbatical program at JAX is presently in its tenth year.

The goals of the Teacher Research Sabbatical are to

  1. give teachers a deeper understanding of the process of science,
  2. enhance science content knowledge,
  3. expose teachers to science careers, and
  4. help teachers develop curricula that emphasize guided inquiry and a culture of science in the classroom.

Research and Course of Study

Teacher Research Interns work full-time for the spring semester in a research laboratory at JAX, working closely with a professional scientist mentor on their own research project. Participants are matched according to their interests and often on a project that advances our knowledge of the genetics of human disease. They will read background literature, write a research proposal, conduct original research, and summarize and present findings during a talk and in a written research paper. In addition to laboratory research, teachers will also participate in a weekly graduate course that helps integrate their research experience into their teaching practice.

Stipend and Housing

Teachers receive a $28,000 stipend for the semester internship, which runs from mid-January to mid-May. Housing is available for a low cost in lab-owned housing near the JAX campus in Bar Harbor, Maine, and each teacher receives a $1,500 housing stipend. Course tuition (see below) is included in this sabbatical program; however, UMaine fees are the responsibility of the teacher.

Course credit

The 3-credit UMaine course (SMT 507) will explore the pedagogical strategies that help students learn to think independently and will provide opportunities to develop inquiry-based curricula and strategies that foster a "culture of science" in their classrooms.

How to apply

All middle or high school science and mathematics teachers in Maine and other rural New England states are invited to apply - expertise in biology is not necessary.

Please submit the following:

  1. A complete online application.
  2. Essay (upload via online application)
  3. Transcript of graduate courses, if applicable (upload via online application)
  4. Two letters of reference, per below.

Letters of reference

Letters of reference should be sent electronically to, with the applicant's last name and the word 'reference' in the subject field. Letters of reference will be kept confidential.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Michelle Smith.


Review of applications for the 2015 Spring semester will begin in September 22, 2014, and will continue until qualified candidates are found.