Robert F. Tinker Fellows Program

Bob TinkerThe Robert F. Tinker Fellows program aims to promote innovation, creativity, and cross-disciplinary conversations in educational technology for STEM teaching and learning. Originally organized as a residency program, the fellowship was designed to bring individuals to the Concord Consortium to spark new ideas, tinker with novel technologies, cultivate outside perspectives, and provide opportunities for reflection on our work.

Many visitors, including international researchers, visited Bob at the Concord Consortium to share ideas, work elbow to elbow on new grants, and turn early design concepts into prototypes. It is in this spirit that the Fellows Program was created.


The Concord Consortium typically hosts one fellow per year. We expect that the 2024 fellowship will be in person, though specific arrangements for an in-person or virtual “residency” will be coordinated with the fellow.

If possible, the fellow should plan to be in residence at the Concord Consortium’s Concord, Massachusetts, and/or Emeryville, California, offices for an extended visit of two consecutive weeks or up to 12 days in successive visits of several days. If the fellowship is virtual, the fellow must plan to meet with our staff via video conference meetings for a comparable time period. The timing is flexible and based on mutual agreement between the fellow and the Concord Consortium.

Fellows contribute and participate in the following ways:

  1. Engage in work that either extends or enriches a current Concord Consortium project or develops the possibility of future collaborative work related to our mission.
  2. Produce something to leave behind at the Concord Consortium (paper, proposal, lesson idea, tabletop exhibit, model, or other artifact).
  3. Spend meaningful amounts of time interacting with Concord Consortium staff.
  4. Write a reflection on their residency and provide feedback on their experiences with the Concord Consortium’s approaches, platforms, research, materials, OERs, designs, and/or processes.
  5. Host a presentation about their work, insights, and discoveries during their residency.

Fellowship themes

Robert F. (Bob) Tinker founded the Concord Consortium in 1994 and served as its dynamic and passionate president until 2009. He saw in technology the power to revolutionize how people learn and teach. And he continually pushed the limits of educational technology and pedagogies, pursuing ever more innovative ideas with new collaborators and partners. Bob’s earliest and enduring passion was a belief that education could open opportunities for all students. Bob passed away on June 21, 2017. With this fellowship, we remember his legacy and his unique personal qualities.

This year’s theme focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM education. Proposals should address educational technology-related approaches in one or more of the following topics, or similar areas of research and scholarship:

  • Designing culturally relevant pedagogy
  • Leveraging learners’ funds of knowledge
  • Increasing learner agency, engagement, and/or STEM identity
  • Designing place- or project-based learning in STEM or interdisciplinary topics
  • Connecting STEM or data science learning with social justice
  • Using technology to promote equitable and just STEM learning


The Tinker Fellows Program includes a total honorarium of $5,000.

Selection process

Fellows will be selected by an application and review process. To apply please send the following materials to

  • CV or resume
  • Two letters of references (include them with your application or ask them to be sent separately by the deadline)
  • A proposal of what you plan to do during your fellowship (no more than 2,000 words)
  • A list of the people and/or projects at the Concord Consortium with whom/which you intend to collaborate

Application deadline: December 15, 2023
Fellows will be notified by January 15, 2024

The committee to review applications includes members of the Board of Directors and staff.

Past Tinker Fellows

2023 Tinker Fellow Colby Tofel-Grehl
2023 Tinker Fellow Cristián Rizzi Iribarren
2022 Tinker Fellow Heather Barker
2022 Tinker Fellow Terrance Burgess
2021 Tinker Fellow Stephen Callahan
2020 Tinker Fellow Nicholas Horton
2019 Tinker Fellow Amy Hammett