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. Organized as a residency program, the fellowship is intended 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 hosts one fellow per year. Fellows must agree to be in residence at the Concord Consortium’s Concord, Massachusetts, and/or Emeryville, California, offices for an extended visit of at least two consecutive weeks or up to 21 days in successive visits of several days.

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 passing on June 21, 2017, is a source of sadness for us all, but it’s also a reason to remember his legacy and his unique personal qualities.

The themes below reflect Bob’s many interests and contributions to the field of educational technology. Fellows with synergistic work in the following broad themes are invited to apply:

Theme 1: Tools for inquiry
Theme 2: Learning and collaboration
Theme 3: Data explorations
Theme 4: Sustainability and the environment
Theme 5: Tinkering with models; playful experimentation
Theme 6: Online learning
Theme 7: Learning everywhere

Honoraria and travel

The Tinker Fellows Program includes a total honorarium of $5,000 for travel to the Concord Consortium offices in Concord, MA, and/or Emeryville, CA. Fellows will have access to computers and tablets, GoPro cameras, large-scale printer (at the Concord, MA, office), laser cutters, basic machine tools, and digital tool suites — and an amazing group of innovators dedicated to igniting large-scale improvements in teaching and learning through technology.

Selection process

Fellows will be selected by an application and review process. Fellows can be nominated or self-nominate. To apply please send the following materials to

  • CV, resume, or portfolio
  • Two references
  • A proposal of what you plan to do during your time at the Concord Consortium (no more than 2,500 words)
  • A list of the people and/or projects at the Concord Consortium with whom/which you intend to collaborate

Application deadline: October 15, 2019
Fellows will be notified by December 1, 2019

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

Past Tinker Fellows

Learn about our inaugural Tinker Fellow, Amy Hammett