Science Teaching Fellows Course

The Science Teaching Fellows Course is for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career scientists. This 5-month, online development opportunity prepares you for science teaching positions at a variety of non-doctoral institutions, such as, community colleges, minority-serving institutions, regional or state colleges, and primary undergraduate institutes. Fellows in the course take part in a highly focused training experience that combines in-depth webinars, pre- and post-webinar assignments, structured mentoring, and a community of practice. The experience is fast-paced, intense, interactive, and presents practical examples in microbiology education.

The goal of the Science Teaching Fellows Course is to explore student centered teaching and develop the skills needed to succeed in positions that have a significant teaching component.

The course offers professional development opportunities in three significant areas:

  1. Course design and assessment
  2. Student-centered learning and pedagogies of engagement
  3. Developing your teaching philosophy and writing a teaching philosophy statement

Fellows will leave the course with tips for:

  • Implementing best practices in curriculum development, such as backward design
  • Using active learning strategies in the classroom
  • Identifying tools, resources, and connections to enhance classroom practices
  • Developing skill sets that make you a better applicant when applying for academic positions

Application Deadline: November 1, 2016
Course Dates: December 2016 – April 2017

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Program Details

The course is based upon successful ASM professional development models in which participants:

  • Attend interactive webinars presented by experts in the field in order to become familiar with terms, concepts and best practices.
  • Complete pre- and post-webinar assignments, including readings, skill-building activities, and reflections designed to help fellows deepen their understanding, practice emerging skills, and keep on task.
  • Participate in an online community of fellows, mentors and facilitators to share readings and resources and connect fellows with experts.

Participation Requirements   
Upon acceptance into the course, fellows will be required to:

  • Establish an account with the 2016-2017 ASM Science Teaching Fellows Course
  • Participate in six 60-minute webinars
  • Complete all pre- and post-webinar assignments in a timely manner
  • Participate in an online community of practice
  • Participate in surveys for a maximum of 24 months to ascertain the effectiveness of the training
  • Have a personal computer to connect to the webinars, access assignments, and participate in the course's online community

The assignments will provide a solid foundation and practical experience for enhancing the fellows' training, development, and confidence.

Candidates who successfully complete all assignments will be recognized in an ASM Press Release and receive a Certificate of Completion.

Syllabus and Timeline

ASM Science Teaching Fellows Course

2016-2017 Syllabus and Timeline

Upon acceptance to the course, participants will be required to reaffirm the commitment to completing the syllabus below including: 

  • Mandatory participation in a series of six 60-minute webinars
  • Commitment to complete all pre- and post-webinar assignments in a timely manner

November 2016

Applications due

December 2016

Listserv Welcome & Confirmation


Assignment #1: Fellow Introductions & Goals


Winter Break Readings

January 2017

Assignment #2: Pre-webinar assignment – Preparing for Webinar #1


Using Adobe Connect – Mandatory Practice Sessions


Webinar #1: Learner-Centered Teaching: An Introduction


Assignment #3: Post-webinar assignment – Reflecting on Webinar #1


Assignment #4: Pre-webinar assignment – Preparing for Webinar #2

February 2017

Webinar #2: Curriculum Design 1


Assignment #5: Post-webinar assignment – Reflecting on Webinar #2


Assignment #6: Pre-webinar assignment – Preparing for Webinar #3


Webinar #3: Curriculum Design 2


Assignment #7: Post-webinar assignment – Reflecting on Webinar #3


Assignment #8: Pre-webinar assignment – Preparing for Webinar #4

March 2017

Webinar #4: Active Learning 1: Principles


Assignment #9: Post-webinar assignment – Reflecting for Webinar #4


Spring Break


Assignment #10: Pre-webinar assignment – Preparing for Webinar #5


Webinar #5: Active Learning 2: Practice


Assignment #11: Post-webinar assignment – Reflecting on Webinar #5


Assignment #12: Pre-webinar assignment – Preparing for Webinar #6

April 2017

Webinar #6: Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement: Documenting Your Perspective on Teaching and Learning


Assignment #13: Post-webinar assignment – Reflecting on Webinar #6


Assignment #14: Reflections on webinar series


Course Ends: Eligible Fellows Graduate and receive Certificates of Completion


2015-2016 Science Teaching Fellows Course Steering Committee
Chair, Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Kingsborough Community College of the City College of New York
Scott Gabriel, Viterbo University
Byrn (Boots) Quimby, University of Maryland, College Park
Julie Stanton, University of Georgia

Laura MacDonald, Hendrix College (STF Fellow 2012-2013)
Ines Rauschenbach, Rutgers University (STF Fellow 2013-2014)
Veronica Segarra, High Point University (STF Fellow 2012-2013)
Scott Tanner, Limestone College (STF Fellow 2012-2013)
Rachel Horak, American Society for Microbiology

ASM Education Board Liaisons
Mary Sanchez Lanier, Washington State University (Chair, ASM Education Board)

Sponsorship and Credentials
The ASM Science Teaching Fellowship Course is managed by the American Society for Microbiology Education Board. In 2000, President Clinton recognized the ASM Education Board for its contribution to graduate education by presenting it with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education.


Eligibility & Apply

An eligible applicant must be:

  • A graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or early-career scientist (a scientist who has completed his or her postdoctoral studies within the last three years)
  • Studying, conducting research or teaching in the microbiological and related sciences
  • An ASM student, postdoctoral, contributing, or premium member --- not a member? join here
  • Willing to commit time and resources to participate in course activities from December 2016 to April 2017
  • Interested in careers that have a substantial teaching component at a non-doctoral institution

12:00 a.m. ET, November 1, 2016

Applications to this online course should be submitted through ASM’s electronic system. Coming September 2016.

Components of the Application
When applying for the Science Teaching Fellowship you will be asked to provide the information below:

Online Application Profile: Provide your name, name, contact information, ASM Membership status and other demographics about yourself.
Background information: Answer questions regarding your current position, your educational background and teaching experience.
Supporting documents: Upload relevant documents for the application including:

    1. Curriculum vitae (two-page limit). List relevant educational, research, mentoring and teaching experiences as well as any relevant publications, presentations, or awards that you may have received.
    2. Prior teaching, mentoring, and/or research experience (one-page limit).
      • Describe any past or current teaching experiences.
      • Describe any past or current mentoring experiences.
      • Describe your future goals, with respect to teaching, and how you envision the Science Teaching Fellows Course helping you to accomplish these goals.
      • How do you envision using research in your future teaching?
    3. Teaching resources and/or mentors (one-half page limit). If teaching resources or mentors are available at your institution, describe how you have taken advantage of these resources. If no resources are available, state "no resources available."

Selection Criteria
Applicants will be selected based upon four criteria:

  • Academic preparation: The course is aimed at individuals who demonstrate academic achievement in the microbiological & related sciences.
  • Career goals: The course is aimed at individuals who are curious about or pursuing a science teaching career.
  • Resources: The course is aimed at individuals who have limited resources and little access to mentors with information about undergraduate science teaching positions.
  • Readiness to participate: The course is aimed at individuals who have opportunities to utilize the information as it is being presented or as early as spring or summer 2017.

Participants will be chosen with the goal of bringing a broad range of experiences to the course. For example, every effort will be made to select participants representing scientific, geographic, racial, and ethnic diversity.

Final Notification
Applicants will be notified by e-mail about the final status of the selection process. If accepted, fellows will be asked to set up an account for the ASM Science Teaching Fellows Course directory, e-community and e-platform for discussing work.




Once accepted into the course, participants will be required to pay the registration fee of $100 (ASM members only). To become a member, join here. 

Contact Us

Questions about the application process should be directed to Claudia Ratti at (202) 942-9322 or  


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