Postdoc Pathways Program

About the Program

The CIRTL Postdoc Pathways Program is a new CIRTL@UArizona program that combines the benefits of the Associate and Practitioner levels into an accelerated postdoctoral CIRTL certificate that can be completed in one year. This one-year, fast-track program combines training in evidence-based teaching and an intensive, short-term co-teaching project with a faculty mentor (3-4 weeks) to practice these skills in a collaborative, helpful environment. All postdoctoral scholars at UArizona are eligible to apply. The program runs from September - May each year, and we begin recruitment for the new cohort in August.

In the three years since the program's inception, we have graduated 31 fellows. Many of our fellows have gone on to take research and teaching positions as well as jobs in industry and training. Read about some of last year's fellows and their work in the Spring 2023 CIRTL@UArizona newsletter.

End-of-semester holiday celebration

Holiday celebration for the 2022-2023 Postdoc Pathways fellows at The Graduate hotel.

In the first semester, CIRTL postdoc fellows will learn the basic theory and skills necessary to be an effective teacher by taking an online course and working with our team to find a suitable teaching mentor. The teaching mentor may, in some cases, be the postdoc's PI, but in many cases, it will be a professor on campus working in a similar or related area of expertise! In the second semester, fellows will participate in a short-term intensive teaching partnership (equivalent to one unit or module) with a faculty member and participate in a learning community with the other postdoc fellows. The expected time commitment for this program is 1-2 hours per week during the fall semester and 7-10 hours per week during the co-teaching portion (with some pre- and post- partnership planning/reflection).

I am so happy that I decided to join the Postdoc Pathway Program. I have no words to say how happy and satisfied I am, in every way. Not only with the co-teaching and professional development, but also about finding support, making new friends, sharing good and bad moments, reflecting as individuals and as a team. It is such an inclusive and receptive environment! - Bianca (2022-2023 fellow)

Benefits to Postdocs:

  • Learn and apply strategies in active learning and evidence-based teaching
  • Develop practical skills in working with a syllabus, planning and delivering lessons, co-teaching with a faculty mentor, and interacting with students
  • Network with other postdocs on campus who are interested in teaching
  • Gain valuable communication skills
  • Work on your professional job materials

Benefits to Faculty Teaching Mentors:

  • Mentor a postdoctoral scholar and offer valuable insights in teaching
  • Gain experience in co-teaching methods and collaborative teaching
  • Receive a formal letter of appreciation from CIRTL for evidence of continued professional development and university service
  • Have your course featured on our CIRTL website and in future CIRTL publications

This co-teaching experience has been a really wonderful exchange of ideas…my postdoc brought a modern take to my course that will change the way I teach forever. - Dr. Ed Prather, Department of Astronomy (2022-2023 faculty mentor)