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I'm a research mathematician, probably soon to be tenured, and I've been wondering what 'non-traditional' summer employment options are out there, involving either teaching or research. (I enjoy both!)

Programs like PROMYS would be fun and rewarding, but it appears that they are looking to hire students rather than faculty. Duke TIP seems to be one possibility.

In a different direction, I know that IDA hires mathematicians, although I am rather ambivalent about government surveillance and am not sure I would want to work in such a position.

What other opportunities are out there? I am especially interested in established programs that attract a relatively large community of other researchers and/or students, and am quite happy to travel. For the moment I don't think I would be effective in a leadership role, or in creating an opportunity from scratch.

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  • My impression of Duke TIP, from years ago, was that it is all about promoting Duke. Commented May 10, 2015 at 17:27
  • Some foreign governments offer funding for short term visiting researchers. Commented May 10, 2015 at 17:29
  • Mathematical institutes like IPAM, IMA, ICERM, etc. have long programs, some of which are during the summer. Commented May 17, 2015 at 6:25

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Have you thought about NASA?

I personally know a fair number of faculty who have spent summers working at Langley and Kennedy, and I can pull up a quick application form for JPL's summer faculty research program. A lot of people, faculty and researchers included, put NASA on a very high pedestal, but it is definitely an attainable position. I am not very knowledgeable of the limitations placed upon you, but I do know fairly valuable work is done, perhaps even outside of your comfort zone -- I know of a fluid dynamicist who worked at skunkworks in Kennedy, for one.

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