What is CIRTL?

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an internationally-recognized network of research institutions that helps prepare STEM graduate students and postdocs for future teaching positions in higher ed and introduces them to the field of teaching and learning. Founded in 2003 through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Center for Teaching and Learning, CIRTL (pronounced as sir-tuhl) is now recognized as a leader in developing future faculty and has expanded to over 40 institutions across North America.

The University of Arizona officially joined the network in Fall 2020. Since that time, our local chapter has grown to more than 90 graduate students, postdocs, and faculty in a variety of disciplines, with our highest membership from Nursing, Engineering, and Psychology.

The CIRTL Network is committed to diversity and equity in teaching and bases all of its programming on three core values:

  1. Learning-through-Diversity: Learning-through-diversity draws on the rich experiences and backgrounds of all students to enhance everyone's learning experience.
  2. Teaching-as-Research (TAR): Teaching-as-research involves the deliberate and reflective use of research methods to explore classroom pedagogy and, ultimately, develop teaching practices that improve student learning.
  3. Learning Communities: Learning communities bring people together in the spirit of shared learning, discovery, and new knowledge.

What is CIRTL@UArizona?

As part of the larger CIRTL Network, our local chapter gives graduate students and postdocs the opportunity to participate in professional development courses and workshops locally and across the network and earn three certificate levels of accomplishment (see levels here). Though there are certain requirements to reach each level, members can largely design their own learning path based on their teaching and research interests. Although CIRTL grew out of a need to enhance teaching in STEM fields, we welcome all disciplines and career path interests! 

As you'll see, there are plenty of ways CIRTL can help future faculty reach their future career goals. Our members take pedagogy courses and workshops taught by faculty across the network, participate in local Faculty Learning Communities, co-teach with professors, and design teaching-as-research (TAR) projects for the classroom. Together, these experiences will help you develop deliberate and reflective teaching practices and help you jumpstart a rewarding career in higher education (or wherever your path takes you). Best of all, our local and network opportunities are completely free.

Some of the benefits to participating in CIRTL include:

  • Network with other graduate students, postdocs, and alumni across the CIRTL network
  • Attend local and cross-network events, workshops, and mini-courses
  • Learn evidence-based STEM teaching practices (and how to talk about them)
  • Develop teaching-as-research (TAR) projects that can turn into publications (or become a chapter in your dissertation)
  • Earn certificates that will enhance your online portfolio and/or CV
  • Develop valuable communication skills
  • Mentor a new CIRTL student or teach a class in the network in the future


We are excited to be a part of the CIRTL Network and look forward to helping our future faculty become reflective teacher-scholars. We invite you to look around, ask questions, and join our group of engaged teacher-scholars here at UArizona!