Educator Training Path


To be eligible for the certificate in this path, the postdoctoral scholars will need to complete:

  • EPIC Bootcamp (9 hours)
  • Introduction to the Ethical Challenges of Research (2 hours)
  • Core Training (12-16 hours)
  • 2 sessions of electives (at least 2 hours)
    • 25-29 hours total

Core Training

Pathways to Scientific Teaching (Core Training: Option 1)

In this course, postdoctoral scholars will learn to develop and implement state-of-the-art learner-centered instructional materials and teaching strategies for both large and small enrollment undergraduate biology courses. During this course, we will use scientific teaching to actively engage participants in evidence-based instructional methods shown to be effective in helping students learn core disciplinary ideas by using science practices -- so it is not only what students learn, but how they use that knowledge. Importantly, the pathway to scientific teaching integrates the biological research model into a teaching approach by using science practices desired for all students, such as working with data, creating and using models, reasoning analytically, developing arguments, and working cooperatively. Participants will gain experience in developing materials, instructional methods, and assessments directed at improving and assessing students’ understanding of biology. Participants will identify one or two core scientific concepts established by the faculty in the discipline, and develop an instructional module that is suitable for implementation in an introductory biology course taught at the freshman or sophomore level), and/or in a job interview that requests a demonstration of teaching.

Class meetings on Tuesday afternoons 12 – 2 PM from January 10 – February 28, 2017.

Registration required: Pathways to Scientific Teaching*

Individuals will earn a Certificate in Scientific Teaching from the Division of Biological Sciences UCSD (citable)

*Only those in UC San Diego postdoctoral scholar title codes are eligible to register for this course through UC Learning.  If you are interested in participating and not in a postdoc title code, please contact Ginger Hazen ( to register, room permitting.

For more information, see course syllabus.

At the end of the course, participants are able to:

  • Demonstrate how and why to create learner-centered classrooms.
  • Practice how to actively engage students in cooperative work and inquiry-based activities in all types of learning environments.
  • Construct a unit/module in which objectives, assessments and instruction are aligned and that promote learner-centered instruction by engaging all students in science practices during each class meeting.
  • Create learning goals and assessments for a course that enable students to demonstrate deep understanding of core ideas and concepts by using science practices (e.g., modeling, arguments).
  • Use and evaluate instructional resources, technology and literature.
  • Create, analyze and use assessments  to inform and improve instruction.
  • Develop a pathway for integrating teaching and research into your profession.

Teaching + Learning at the College Level (Core Training: Option 2)

Previously titled the College Classroom From the Teaching + Learning Commons, this course is a non-credit workshop series aimed at graduate students and postdocs who already have experience as teaching assistants and are interested in making the leap from grading, running discussion sessions, or leading labs to being the instructor-of-record at UC San Diego and beyond. The program (80 minutes per week) is offered in the Fall and Winter Quarters. This training will serve as the core component of this specialized path.

The application form for this free course is open and must be submitted by December 7th.

For more information, see the Teaching + Learning website or contact Erilynn Heinrichsen (


Academic Job Search Panels

Two panels featuring UC San Diego professors will focus on preparing application materials and interviewing for academic positions in Humanities and Social Sciences and STEM fields.  Each panel will share tips and best practices to help you succeed in transitioning to the professoriate.

Both panel sessions will take place in the Horizon Room, in the Career Services Center from 1-2:30 pm.

Please register by visiting:

Humanities and Social Sciences Academic Jobs - October 18, 2016

Prof. Simeon Man - History

Prof. Danielle Raudenbush - Sociology

This event is for postdoctoral scholars and graduate students.  If you are a graduate student, please register by visiting:

STEM Academic Jobs - October 27, 2016

Prof. Shirley Meng - Nanoengineering

Prof. Brian Zid – Chemistry & Biochemistry

This event is for postdoctoral scholars and graduate students.  If you are a graduate student, please register by visiting:

Sponsored by Career Services Center & Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs

Faculty Life at a Liberal Arts College

Join us for a discussion and networking lunch with faculty and administration from Middlebury College and Williams College who represent LADO (Liberal Arts Diversity Officers), a consortium of 24 liberal arts colleges. Faculty will talk about their careers and give specific advice about preparing applications for these types of institutions. Networking lunch included. This event is hosted by Career Services Center, Graduate Division and the Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs.

May 9, 2017

Time: 9 am - 1 pm

Location: Career Center, Horizon Room


Instructor through Extension

UC San Diego Extension offers a variety of options for postdocs to be an instructor of record for college level courses taught to high school students as well as mentored lab training and other summer programs for as young as middle school students.

    • UCSD Academic Connections - Geared toward high school students and is a three-week residential program.  Academic Connections courses are offered Monday through Friday, 5 hours per day for the three week period (75 hours total).  You can either teach an existing course or create one of your own.  To see the courses offered last year, please go to:
    • Instructors for full college credit courses - Courses approved by the Academic Senate for high school students in one of our San Diego Unified School District hub schools. 
    • Sally Ride Jr. Academy – Summer program geared towards middle and high school students.  Sally Ride Science Jr. Academy can be a combination – the Jr. Academy runs for three weeks, but the courses are either am and/or pm and only last for a week, but can be repeated for a two or three week period.  The courses offered last year can be found at: 
  • UC San Diego Teaching Considerations for Postdoc Title Codes
    • Postdoc-employee: Compensation is calculated by percent of effort. The postdoc will have an appointment of 100% effort.  If the postdoc is teaching at UCSD, then the percentage of effort on the appointment needs to be decreased to account for the increase of effort in teaching (typically 33% will be covered for teaching; for example 1 class over the summer).  Rate of compensation can be increased, but not percentage of effort.
    • Postdoc-fellow and –paid-direct: As compensation is not based on effort, then appointment effort does not need to be changed.  Instead, the postdoc must confirm with the funding agency, program officer and/or program director/coordinator to see if fellowship allows for teaching.

Postdoc Table Talk

Postdoctoral scholars rely on a network of mentors and advisors for success during their training and beyond.  Some postdoctoral scholars may not have the opportunity, contacts or venue to broaden this network, especially with academics in another field. To address this, the and Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs (OPVSA) and the Postdoctoral Association (PDA) have collaborated to create a platform for postdoctoral scholars and UC San Diego faculty to connect over an informal lunch at the Faculty Club once per quarter.

“What Can You Be with a PhD?” STEM Career Symposium

Organized by Postdoctoral Association (PDA), this unique event is designed to help postdoctoral scholars explore a wide range of career opportunities, including those outside the traditional research one academic career track. 


Center for Engaged Teaching

Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

The Center for Engaged Teaching is a member of the nationwide CIRTL Network. The CIRTL mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers.  CIRTL offers many online resources, such as workshops, courses, learning communities and more.

Center for Advancing Mathematics, Science and Engineering Education (CAMSEE)

CAMSEE is a research, teaching and learning community that unites individuals across science, mathematics and engineering departments and divisions to advance undergraduate instruction and learning in these disciplines and to produce scholarly education research. A network that welcomes participation from all members of UC San Diego who wish to contribute their experience and expertise to advance pedagogy and discipline-based educational research, while improving STEM education.

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