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Mortar board hatEducator Training Path


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

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 job interview that requests a demonstration of teaching.

Instructor: Distinguished Prof. Diane Ebert-May, Michigan State University

Dates: EachTuesday evening from January 22 – March 19, 2019

Time: 4–6 PM

Location: Bonner Hall, Room 2130 (except February 19 and March 19 when in Pacific Hall 3500)

Registration required: Pathways to Scientific Teaching*

Individuals will earn a Certificate in Scientific Teaching from the UC San Diego Vice Chancellor of Research Affairs (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 Heather Dillon ( 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.

Distinguished Prof. Diane Ebert-May

Diane Ebert-May provides international leadership for discipline-based biology education research that integrates life sciences and cognitive science. She promotes professional development, assessment and improvement of faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students who actively participate in creative research about teaching and learning in the context of their scientific discipline. She is an AAAS Fellow in the Biological Sciences. Her recent awards include the US Professor of the Year Award for Michigan from the Carnegie Foundation/CASE (2011) and the Education Award from the American Association for Biological Science (2012). (Learn more) 

Introduction to College Teaching (Core Training: Option 2)

Looking to be Future Faculty? Ready to consider the art and science of teaching? Develop expertise in evidence-based effective teaching practices and create a lesson plan to use in your discipline.

This free course from the Teaching + Learning Commons (2 hours/week for 9 weeks) is open to UC San Diego graduate students and postdocs preparing to be future faculty. 

Location: Center for Engaged Teaching, Literature Building Room 210

Register here for Introduction to College Teaching.

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



Writing for the Academic Job Market

Need to write a Teaching and/or Diversity Statement for an academic job application in the near future? Looking to get over your procrastination and get started, or to improve on an existing draft?

Join the Teaching + Learning Commons at these statement writing workshops, which will provide guidance and structured work time, plus the opportunity to share and receive feedback with peers.

Bring an in-progress draft of your statement--or at least some notes and a willingness to write!

Teaching Statement

Develop skills and insights for writing effective teaching statements, including dedicated time to write and/or receive peer feedback on a draft.

Diversity Statement

Develop skills and insights for writing effective diversity statements, including dedicated time to write and/or receive peer feedback on a draft.



Faculty Life at a Liberal Arts College

Interested in teaching at a liberal arts college, but not sure what to expect? Join us for a morning panel discussion and networking lunch with faculty and administrators from top liberal arts colleges across the country who represent LADO (Liberal Arts Diversity Officers), a consortium of 24 liberal arts colleges and universities. This is an opportunity to learn about careers at liberal arts colleges and to get a review of your CV and cover letter by LADO faculty in preparation for applying to faculty positions at these colleges.



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 is looking for enthusiastic, committed UCSD postdocs to teach a three-week course for high achieving high school students for summer 2018. This pre-college summer academic and residential experience is targeted to motivated, college-bound high school students. The goal of this exciting program is to connect select high school students with UCSD by providing hands-on college subject matter courses. Program participation provides students with the opportunity to experience life and learning at a top-ranked research university.


      Please visit our website: for information on courses offered in the summer of 2017.

      Academic Connections is currently accepting instructor applications and courses for summer 2018.  This is a wonderful opportunity for postdocs to gain additional teaching experience, have an impact on the education of college bound university students, while earning extra money this money this Summer.


      If you are interested in this exciting program, please contact Robin Wittman at: for more information. (Flyer)

    • 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.

Postdoctoral Course Design Studio

UC San Diego's The Center for Engaged Teaching (CET) would like to invite Postdoctoral scholars to join us for an enjoyable, comprehensive Studio on Course Design. We offer support for all stages of the planning, creating, or course updating process and adapt our offerings to best serve participant needs. After completion of this studio, you will be able to:

  • design a course integrating Backward Design by writing measurable, active Learning Outcomes (LO) and identifying Evidence aligned with LO using an analytic rubric;
  • pilot, critique and organize one of 228 Learning Experiences based on empirical research of effective practices to enhance their course; and
  • implement Boyer’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) model as a method for examining, reflecting and improving effective teaching and learning; and identify appropriate, relevant and meaningful (ARM) instructional technologies to empower student engagement. 

Postdoc Fellowship Forum

Do you have questions about applying for postdoctoral fellowships?  Are you looking for resources for finding relevant opportunities to which you can apply?  Would you like feedback or guidance on writing your fellowship applications?

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 Scholar Affairs (OPSA) has created a platform for postdoctoral scholars and UC San Diego faculty to connect through a fellowship forum in the Leichtag building once a month.

For more information, see Postdoc Fellowship Forum.


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.