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Summer Research Appointments - TRAC Program

Teacher Research Associates (TRAC) program appointments are available to teachers within commuting distance of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois. Appointments are for a duration of 8-10 weeks during the summer.

The goal of the TRAC program is to provide outstanding science, mathematics, computer science and technology teachers with professional scientific and engineering experiences through summer research opportunities. Teachers join ongoing experimental groups under the guidance of a Fermilab scientist. Each teacher is assigned a research project based on the teacher's educational background and research interest. The increased awareness and understanding of current state-of-the-art science and technology obtained by the teacher is intended be transferred back to the classroom.

The research assignment constitutes the majority of the 40-hour work week, with the remaining time spent attending seminars, lectures and group meetings. Each teacher is asked to submit a final report describing his/her research assignment and instructional materials produced for transferring his/her newly acquired knowledge to the classroom. Graduate credit is available through Aurora University.

Fermilab operates the highest energy particle accelerator in the world as a tool for pursuing "high-energy physics" or "elementary particle physics" research. The goal of this research is to explore the basic structure of matter and to acquire an understanding of the laws of nature at the most fundamental level. Basic research of this type has, in the past, revealed the structure of the atom and then the nucleus of the atom. Present-day research penetrates still deeper into this structure to study the fundamental constituents of which all matter is comprised (quarks and leptons).

Previous TRAC appointments at Fermilab have been to teachers of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, electronics, industrial technology, materials science, mathematics and physics.


The program is open to 7th through 12th grade teachers employed full-time in public, private or parochial schools and whose major teaching assignment is in science, math, computer science or technology education. Teachers must be assigned a full-time teaching load during the academic year prior to the appointment and expect to do the same during the year following the appointment. A bachelor's degree in science or mathematics is preferred.


Selection is based on the applicant's educational and professional qualifications, commitment to teaching, references, compatibility of scientific interests with resources available at Fermilab, and the expected benefits of the research opportunity to the applicant, the applicant's home institution and Fermilab. Additionally, preference shall be given to applicants from schools and districts which emphasize and support the development of this research experience into programs which may be transferred back into the classroom.


The TRAC appointment is for 8-10 weeks during the summer.


The stipend is $550 per week. There is no support for travel or housing.

Application Process

Applications are available during the spring prior to the summer of the appontment. Applications must be returned by March 1. Awards are made by the end of March. Applications should be sent to:

TRAC Program, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, M.S. 122 P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510-0500

To receive an application for the following year or if you have any questions, contact:

Ron Ray Telephone: 630-840-8090, E-mail: rray@fnal.gov Fax: 630-840-3867

Teachers from underrepresented groups and teachers of students from underrepresented groups (in science and mathematics) are especially encouraged to apply.