Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Yale Scientific Teaching Course

Course Goals

The overall goal of the Yale Scientific Teaching Course is to improve undergraduate science education by training a new generation of scientific teachers to bring the spirit and rigor of research into the undergraduate classroom. Yale STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) graduate students, postdocs and associate research scientists are invited to apply. 

Fall 2018 Participants and Instructor

The next Scientific Teaching course (BBS 879/PHYS 530) will be offered remotely during the Spring 2021 semester. The course will be co-taught by Rona Ramos (Physics), Beth Luoma (Poorvu Center - Faculty Teaching Initiatives) and Meghan Bathgate (Poorvu Center - Assessment). Interested applicants should return to this page in late 2020 for more information.

Participants will:

  • Learn evidence-based teaching strategies, including engaging students through active learning, incorporating inclusive teaching practices, and developing effective assessments
  • Apply their knowledge of scientific teaching to develop instructional materials that address a teaching/learning challenge in an undergraduate STEM course
  • Learn skills that are valuable for TA positions, lab mentoring, and an academic career
  • Build a community of scientific teachers that is grounded in peer review and maintains high standards of pedagogy, scientific content, presentation, and creativity

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current Yale graduate student, postdoc or associate research scientist 
  • Major field of study is in STEM (or closely related) 
  • Deeply interested in teaching and in developing teaching skills
  • (Graduate students only) Completed at least 1 semester of required Yale teaching (N/A for postdocs)
  • Have approval from your faculty advisor 
  • Note: We recommend physical scientists take PHYS 530 and life scientists take BBS 879 to encounter the most relevant teaching examples, although participants from any STEM discipline will benefit from either course. We also offer cross-listed versions of the course. 

Spring 2018 Scientific Teaching Course Group of Students working

Attendance Expectations

Students are expected to attend all classes and commit to completing the program. Some out of class work is required (reading and brief assignments, plus development of teaching materials if not completed during designated class time). Missing more than 2 classes will require make-up work to complete the course. Classes do not meet during fall or spring breaks or other Yale holidays. 

Benefits to Participants

  • Training in evidence-based teaching strategies for STEM courses
  • Transcript notation (for graduate students) and C.V. language & certificate (for all who successfully complete the course)
  • Academic professional development (e.g. peer-reviewed teaching and diversity statements)
  • Recruitment to teach courses at Yale rooted in evidence-based pedagogy (e.g. BIOL 101-104 intro series)

Feedback from Scientific Teaching Course Alumni

“I thought I’m just going to a class about how to teach science, but turned out it was the other way around - how to “science” teaching!”

“This was one of the best experiences I had while at Yale.”

 

Next Course Offering: Spring 2021 

BBS 879/PHYS 530: Theory & Practice of Scientific Teaching
Weekly Class Meeting Time: TBD - Classes will be held via Zoom. 

How to Apply

Applications will be made available via Qualtrics in late Fall 2020. Applications must include the following four items:

  1. Contact information and advisor information (Faculty advisors must send an email of support.) 
  2. Statement about your graduate/postdoctoral research (1000 characters/approx 100 words maximum): Include a BRIEF description of your research. This statement should be written for a lay person and should be understandable by first-year college students.
  3. Teaching Statement (2 pages maximum): Write a statement about your teaching philosophy and/or experience. Include a closing statement addressing what you hope to gain from participating in this program.
  4. Curriculum Vitae: Include research, teaching and mentoring experience.

Spring 2021 Application Due Date: TBD
Spring 2021 Notification of Acceptance: TBD 

Questions?

For information regarding the Spring 2021 offering of BBS 879/PHYS 530, please contact elizabeth.luoma@yale.edu meghan.bathgate@yale.edu, or contact rona.ramos@yale.edu.

Alumni Materials

Are you an alum of our course? We cordially invite you to join our Scientific Teaching Course Alumni Group on LinkedIn! Our alumni community shares job postings, STEM education articles of interest and more. 

What have Scientific Teachng alumni created during the course? Explore the teaching materials developed by 2016 BBS 879 students.

Spring 2018 Scientific Teaching Students Working