BESTM Teacher Fellowship

Building Educators for Science, Technology and Mathematics (BESTM)

Teacher Fellowships at HBCSE, TIFR

The BESTM teacher fellow programme is an academic leadership programme in Science, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) education. Its goal is to empower teachers and teacher educators to take up leadership roles in the profession in a variety of roles – design of resources, education research, policy and planning. The main focus of the programme is to expose teachers to the best contemporary ideas and scholarship in the field of STEM education. Teacher fellows will undertake action research projects and develop the capacity to implement evidence based innovations in teaching and learning.

Admission to the Fellowship will be through a nationwide competitive selection process. The fellowship programme will be run in dual mode, with contact periods of 6 to 8 weeks in two phases and a distance mode spread over one academic year.

The teacher fellows are expected to generate a summary document about the work done in form of research reports,  publications,  experimental modules with inputs from classroom trials, curriculum modules etc.   

Announcement for 2019-2020 batch

BESTM is an academic leadership programme for mathematics and science teachers and teacher educators at HBCSE-TIFR with entry through nationwide selection. The broad objective of the programme is to empower teachers to initiate action research projects and evidence based teaching practices/innovations drawing on contemporary research and innovations in science, technology and mathematics education (STME). The fellowship programme will be run in dual mode, with contact periods of about 6 to 8 weeks in two phases and a distance mode spread over one academic year. The overall number of fellowships to be awarded will be around 25. These fellowships will be offered at the following levels: i) elementary, ii) secondary (iii) higher secondary and iv) under-graduate levels.


Science and mathematics teachers, and teacher educators below the age of 45 years as on 1st June 2019 may apply. Candidates should have a minimum of one year of teaching experience. Teachers from Government/Government aided schools and colleges will be given preference. Those not teaching currently may also apply.

How to apply

  1. To apply online, please visit:
  2. or
  3. To apply by Post:
    • Download Application Form PDF
    • Fill the form completely and send by post along with attachments to:
      • Dr. Paresh K. Joshi
        Coordinator, BESTM Fellowship programme,
        Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education – TIFR,
        V. N. Purav Marg, Mankhurd,
        Mumbai – 400088, INDIA
  4. To apply by Email:
    • Download and fill the PDF form above, scan and email along with the writeups as attachment to:
        Add Application Form for 2019-2020 as the subject of the email

Timeline (Program duration: June 2019 to May 2020)

Application deadline 5th April, 2019
Announcement of selected candidates 20th April 2019
Course work at HBCSE (4 weeks) 9th June to 7th July, 2019
Project work in the distance mode July to December, 2019
Second contact at HBCSE for 3 to 4 weeks January to May 2020 (flexible)

Fees and Financial support

There is no application/course fee. Teacher fellows will be provided accommodation and meals during the contact periods at HBCSE. Return train fare (2nd AC) will be reimbursed for their travel to and from HBCSE.

Note: Teachers must make their own arrangements for leave, permission from school authorities, etc.


Teacher fellows who successfully complete course work and project work will receive a certificate of completion. Coursework completion will be based on assignments and presentations. Project work completion will be based on a final project report and presentation.

Although completion of the BESTM teacher fellowship is not directly linked to any specific financial benefit, it is expected to have high academic and professional value.

Course work

The coursework will include the following components

  • Research methodology
  • Leadership development
  • Introduction to STME research
  • Research based teaching practices
  • Handling student diversity
  • Experimental investigations/ mathematical explorations/ basic skills of doing science
  • Authentic assessment
  • Reading and Writing scientific documents
  • Enrichment sessions in history of science, nature of science, sky observations, etc.
  • Use of technology in education

Project work

At the time of application for the teacher fellow programme, teachers will need to indicate their preferences (up to three preferences) for the project groups as listed below. The categories of teachers/teacher educators who may apply for a project are indicated along with the project description.
(E: Elementary school level; S: Secondary level; H: Higher Secondary level; C: Undergraduate college level.)

  1. Development of low-cost science experiments at secondary level: This project will involve the development of formal school experiments using low cost materials, which will be helpful in understanding the basic concepts of science. The experiments will typically integrate different science subjects such as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. ESH

    Project mentor’s webpage:
  2. Student misconceptions, concept inventories and peer learning in physics: Teacher fellow projects will involve (i) the development of diagnostic tools to test students’ understanding of physics concepts at the senior secondary and undergraduate level (ii) designing and implementing peer instruction (iii) Designing effective demonstrations that integrate theoretical derivations. HC

    Project mentors’ webpages:
  3. Experimental physics education projects: Teacher fellows will develop (i) Activity-based experimental modules in physics for interactive learning on a specific concept in physics from their school curriculum and (ii) Low-cost instrumentation for undergraduate laboratories (Undergraduate physics laboratory curriculum is a rich area for research for instrumentation innovation. The project focuses on developing a low-cost alternative to modify or replace some of the existing instrumentation in the physics laboratory.) HC

    Project mentor’s webpage:
  4. Developing resources for biology education: Teacher fellows will (i) develop resources for learning biology through experiments in a collaborative learning environment and citizen science projects (ii) develop/adapt concept inventories to explore/diagnose students’ understanding of biology concepts at the higher secondary and undergraduate levels and (iii) develop teaching-learning modules based on experiments and applying research based teaching practices on one or two core conceptual areas in biology at undergraduate level. HC

    Group webpage:
  5. Essential experimental techniques of current biology: Teacher fellows working with this group will get hands-on training in basic molecular biology experiments. Teacher Fellows may also carry out a short-term research project involving molecular biology techniques at HBCSE. Teacher fellows will be supported to set up biology labs / carry out research projects in their schools/colleges. HC
  6. Development of experimental modules for chemistry laboratory: The experimental modules will be developed using investigatory or inquiry approaches. The project work will involve review of the relevant literature so as to understand the key concepts associated with such approaches and conducting hand-on laboratory trials for the experimental problem. The modules will include questions that will to help learner in a) content enrichment b) identifying important variables c) developing understanding about the likely sources of errors and acceptable variations in the data. As the modules are meant for the regular laboratory set up, developing assessment schemes is an equally important aspect of such work. The standardized modules will need to be field tested at local levels for critical feedback. HC

    Group webpage:
  7. Mathematics education: The Mathematics Education group at HBCSE aims to understand and improve the learning and teaching of mathematics in school. Indicative examples of teacher fellow projects: (i) Developing teaching-learning trajectories for milestone topics in middle/secondary school (ii) Observing and analysing lessons to understand the factors that impact learning in a classroom setting (iii) Exploring how aspects students’ lived experience and knowledge from out-of-school contexts connect to school mathematics learning (iv) How does mathematics empower students to understand and critically analyze social realities. ES

    Group webpage:
  8. Design and Technology Education: The Design and Technology (D&T) Education research at HBCSE is guided by theoretical issues of collaborative design, cognition and action, and concerns about the development of language, quantitative and problem solving skills among school students. Teacher fellows will work on developing, conducting and evaluating modules on design thinking, fundamentals of design and/or guide student projects. ES

    Group webpage:
  9. Environment Education: Teacher fellows will work with a collaborative longitudinal project aimed at improving students’ classroom learning experience of Environmental Studies (EVS), a subject that integrates topics of science and social studies. Teacher fellows will work towards developing and/or trailing lesson plans for EVS and observe lessons to understand the factors that impact learning of EVS. ES

    Group webpage:
  10. Computer simulations and ICT for science and mathematics education: Using Logo, Netlogo, Geogebra etc. SH

    Group webpage:
  11. Tinkering Space: Learning Science, Technology and Mathematics through tinkering/fabricating laboratory instruments SH

    Group webpage:
  12. School Science Research and Development: This is a longitudinal participatory action research program with a school on science and environmental science. Teacher fellows will be involved in designing materials, lesson plans, worksheets and activities for the program and assessing them. ES

    Group webpage: