CIRTL@UR: Teaching-As-Research Fellows Program

Deadline for applications: December 1, 2014 [Note:  the applications require you to a) have considered what question/s you have about teaching and learning that you would like to address as a TAR Fellow; and b) write a short essay about how you believe being a TAR Fellow will advance your professional development. Applications in which either (or both) of these question are omitted will not be considered]

** A collection of TAR research that has been undertaken in the last decade or so can be found here; posters can be found here. Feel free to have a look at these sites to get an idea of the kinds of research that have been done, and that yo can replicate or build on, if you see the potential**

As part of the CIRTL Network activities at the University of Rochester, we offer a CIRTL@UR Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Fellows program for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. These positions come with a $1K stipend to support the TAR Fellow.  CIRTL defines TAR as follows:

“Teaching-as-Research involves the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of students and teachers.”

TAR Fellows will be selected to conduct projects exploring aspects of undergraduate education in the STEM disciplines. Each Fellow will work with a faculty mentor or a mentor from the University of Rochester Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and each project will focus on an undergraduate course.  To get a sense of the scope of TAR projects, see the examples listed here.  These projects do not involve TA-type responsibilities.  Instead, a TAR project is intended to implement, evaluate, assess, or otherwise explore a teaching idea or method, and is much more limited in scope than a teaching assistantship.

During the Spring 2015 semester, TAR Fellows will be provided with training about teaching-as-research as well as other topics pertaining to pedagogy and the implementation of their individual projects.  Additionally, TAR Fellows will participate in monthly gatherings to discuss their ideas and receive feedback and support as they design their projects. During the Fall 2015 semester, TAR Fellows will implement their projects, while continuing the monthly gatherings to discuss the implementation and progress of their TAR projects.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $1000 ($500 in the spring, $500 in the fall).  We expect that the average time commitment to participate in the CIRTL@UR TAR Fellows program will be about 5-8 hours per month.

The goals of the CIRTL@UR TAR Fellows program are as follows:

1)    To provide faculty with resources for designing and assessing curricular innovations.

2)    To provide graduate students and post-doctoral researchers with training and development in the design and assessment of teaching and learning activities.

3)    To benefit the learning of undergraduate students through the development and assessment of curricular innovations.

All selected applicants must commit to the following:

Spring 2015 semester:

  1. Attend an orientation to teaching-as-research seminar.
  2. Meet monthly in a working group facilitated by CETL staff.   The working group will provide fellows with feedback and support as they design their projects.
  3. Submit to CIRTL@UR a proposal for the Fall 2015 TAR project that will be undertaken.

Fall 2015 semester:

  1. Implement the developed TAR project.
  2. Meet monthly in a working group facilitated by CETL staff.  The working group will provide fellows with feedback and support as they implement their projects.
  3. Provide an assessment (write-up) of the TAR project.

Students in STEM fields engaged in the University’s Teaching Programs are encouraged to apply for this support.  TAR Fellows will, by the nature of their engagement in teaching and learning, earn the Foundations in Teaching citation and may also earn (with additional effort) the Advanced Teaching citation.  Please see the Teaching Programs website for more information.

More information about the CIRTL@UR TAR Fellows program can be obtained from Jenny Hadingham or Wendi Heinzelman.