Teaching Development Opportunity for STEM Postdocs: Applications Due on November 16th!

In STEM fields, postdoctoral positions are frequently the launching point into the professoriate. However, given the demands of their research commitments, many postdocs have very limited teaching experience when they begin applying for academic jobs. U-M Canvas website featuring the Postdoctoral Short-Course page "EXAMINE: How Do People Learn [in STEM]?" To enable postdocs to build their skills in teaching in the sciences, CRLT and Rackham Graduate School collaborated to create a unique opportunity for U-M postdoctoral scholars: the Postdoctoral Short-Course on College Teaching in Science and Engineering (PSC). The purpose of this short course is to prepare a select group of advanced postdoctoral scholars from a variety of disciplines in the sciences and engineering to teach effectively as future faculty members. This course is offered free of tuition to UM postdocs in STEM fields.

CRLT is currently accepting applications for the winter 2019 course, which runs from January 30 to April 3, 2019. In order to flexibly accommodate the demanding research obligations of U-M’s postdocs, the course uses a hybrid format: five of the nine sessions will be conducted face-to-face, while all course activity for the other four sessions will be conducted online. There will be a one-week break during U-M's spring break. Applications are due by 5:00 pm EST on November 16th, 2019. More information can be found on the PSC webpage.

Feedback from previous participants attests that the PSC can be a transformative experience for postdocs:

  • “I wasn’t planning on teaching as part of my career.  PSC showed me that not only do I enjoy teaching but that I am capable of doing it well. It’s changed the type of job I’m applying for.” (from a postdoc in engineering)

  • “During a campus interview, the search committee chair asked me how I would actively engage students in their introductory courses with over 100 students.  After PSC, I was totally prepared to answer this question and could provide examples from my course design project and practice teaching session.” (from a postdoc in the biomedical sciences)

The PSC uses a “flipped class” model for the face-to-face sessions. Before each of the sessions, participants watch short video podcasts and complete preparatory online assignments to establish basic mastery of teaching and learning concepts.  During face-to-face meetings, the postdocs engage exclusively in hands-on, experiential learning, practice applying the concepts, and participate in reflective discussions. Both online and during class, the instructors model research-based teaching strategies, so that participants can experience these approaches from the perspectives of their future students.  

Postdoctoral Short-course topics include:

  • Science of Learning

  • Course Design

  • Inclusive Teaching in the STEM Classroom

  • Active Learning and Group Work

Applications are due by 5:00 pm EST on November 16th, 2019. In order for an applicant to be considered, the applicant's faculty supervisor MUST e-mail psc.instructors@umich.edu by the application deadline, verifying their support for the applicant's full participation in the program. CRLT emails the faculty supervisor upon receipt of each application. However, if you cannot submit until the very end of the application period, please be aware that you must coordinate with your supervisor to ensure that their approval of your participation reaches CRLT by the deadline.

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