STEP

Science Teaching Experience for Postdocs

formerly called the Future Faculty Fellows Apprenticeship

Program Description

This apprenticeship provides teaching experiences for postdocs who have 100% research appointments. Postdocs attend short training sessions that efficiently introduce state-of-the-art teaching strategies that are effective for students and time-saving for instructors. The postdocs work in teams of three to co-design and co-teach their courses. Each team delivers a 10-week, special topics seminar course. The program directors observe class meetings and meet regularly with the postdocs to discuss the strengths of their teaching and to brainstorm on strategies to addressing areas that need improvement. Some of the seminars target biology majors, and are held at either UW Bothell or UW Seattle; other seminars are for nonmajors at UW Bothell. All of the postdocs come together at the end of the academic year to share experiences and improve their teaching philosophies and dossiers.These program features allow the postdocs to set and meet reasonable training and teaching goals without disrupting their research progress.

Since 2004, postdocs from over 30 different UW and FHCRC departments have participated in this teaching apprenticeship. The postdocs design and teach innovative seminar courses for UW undergraduates at the UW Bothell and UW Seattle campuses. These seminars enrich our undergraduate curriculum and provide opportunities for students to learn about cutting edge research and to benefit from highly interactive discussions with their instructors and peers.

STEP is directed by Becca Price and Jeff Jensen.

Previous seminars

Genetically modified organisms: seeds of death or seeds of hope? (nonmajors) Drs. Ferhat Ay, William Conrad, and Michael Phelps

Making sense of your senses. (nonmajors) Drs. Tamara Stawicki, Lin Tang, and Adrienne Wang

“Can you hear me now?” The importance of cellular communication in the nervous system. (majors) Drs. Mike Bindschadler, Angela Katsuyama, and Melissa Strong

Cellular Engineering in Context: how targeted control of genes and proteins can change a cell, an organism or an ecosystem. (majors) Drs. Daniel Nickerson, Fabio Parmeggiani, and Jing Shang

Biological signaling and multicellularity: how organisms form flash mobs, front lines and forearms. (majors) Drs. Nathan Ahlgren, Cort Bouldin, Hilario Ramos

The $1000 Genome, Disease and You! (majors) Drs. Elaine Frawley, Hayley Mattison, Thomas Stoklasek

The language of cells: from human physiology and disease to ecosystems. (majors) Drs. Erik Eide, Charlotte Majerczyk, S. Brook Peterson

Aliens vs. Predators: Pathogens, Drugs, and Us. (majors) Drs. Martin Melcher, Brianne Raccor, Vasudha Sundaravaradan

Fins, Fur and Wings: Model Organisms in Neuroscience. (nonmajors) Drs. Jodi Downs, Eva Ma, Ruth Thomas