Rennie R&D Lab Application

Does your school have an innovative idea to improve teaching and learning? Have you implemented a successful strategy that needs to be shared? Apply to the K-12 R&D Lab Fellowship! Applications are due October 11, 2023.


Educators are at the forefront of research and development (R&D) designed to create a more equitable and effective education system. Every day, teachers and leaders in Massachusetts schools design and test innovative ideas to benefit their students. But while these ideas often have a positive impact, they are difficult to sustain without structures to measure progress, iterate, and scale effective strategies. 

Through the R&D Lab Fellowship, the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy will equip and champion teams of innovative educators. Teams will receive hands-on support from researchers and continuous improvement experts to develop and test new approaches to learning, measure results, communicate findings, and manage shifts in practice. This support will build on the work that teams are already doing to identify and implement effective instructional strategies. Ultimately, the fellowship will support schools to build sustainable, long-term structures for R&D work. 

Teams of 2-6 educators will receive a stipend of $10,000 to compensate them for their time. 


R&D Lab Priorities

School teams are welcome to apply to the R&D Lab with any idea to improve teaching, learning, or the school experience. These may be new ideas (not yet piloted) or innovative practices that are currently being implemented within the school. Priority will be given to teams with ideas aligned to the following topics:

  • Strategies to ensure that students have access to a highly effective educator team. Ideas may focus on building educator pipelines, promoting retention, creating flexible work environments, and addressing burnout. 
  • Strategies to reimagine where learning happens. This may include ideas to leverage technology, community-based learning, work-based learning, etc. to make learning more relevant, personalized, and flexible. 
  • Strategies to reimagine school schedules and calendars. This may include reconstructing school calendars to provide year-round support, prioritizing learner outcomes over seat time, or creating staffing models that focus teachers’ time on the most impactful tasks.

Although teams apply to the R&D Lab with a specific idea, the Fellowship process will focus on building a sustainable R&D system within the school. Participants will learn to identify challenges, design strategies to address these challenges, test new strategies, analyze results, and sustain change. This process can be applied to any future innovation.

Fellowship Benefits

Teams will receive robust support to launch, iterate, and scale innovations. All teams will receive:

  • Monthly coaching from professionals who specialize in continuous improvement 
  • Access to evidence-based continuous improvement protocols 
  • Support from a trained research team, including an evaluation report on your team’s work
  • Promotion and communications support through public events
  • A $10,000 stipend to compensate team members for their time 

Learn More!

Interested in learning more? Register now for an R&D Lab Info Session on September 27th at 4:00 PM. You may also direct questions to Annelise Buzaid at Or fill out the application form now!

***The application deadline is October 11, 2023***

Fellow Teams will be selected based upon:

  1. Alignment to R&D Lab priorities 
  2. Potential impact 
  3. Demonstrated capacity to invest time in R&D work 

We acknowledge that educators are busy and completing applications takes them away from other work. This application is designed as an initial screener to be completed in about 30 minutes. The Rennie Center will use this screener to identify applicants for a second round interview.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Which schools are eligible to apply?
    Any public school in Massachusetts can apply to the R&D Lab Fellowship. 
  2. What is the time commitment? 
    In addition to the time required to implement the idea, teams will be required to participate in 1 hour monthly coaching sessions with the Rennie Center. There will also be quarterly virtual Community of Practice meetings for all R&D teams throughout the year. 
  3. How many staff members should be on the R&D Lab Team? 
    Teams should include between 2-6 staff members. This should include someone with decision-making authority on behalf of the school, along with staff directly responsible for piloting and testing the idea (teachers, paraprofessionals, etc.). Each team will be required to designate a team lead to coordinate R&D Lab activities. 
  4. How can stipend funds be used? 
    We anticipate that funds will be used to stipend team members for their time. However, teams can determine how they will allocate the funds.