STEP

Science Teaching Experience for Postdocs

formerly called the Future Faculty Fellows Apprenticeship

Program Description

Our mission is to engage a diverse pool of postdoctoral fellows at the University of Washington and affiliate institutions in a closely mentored apprenticeship to learn how to teach scientifically with inclusive, demonstrably effective, student-centered pedagogies.

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 2011, over 50 postdocs from different UW departments and affiliate institutions have participated in this teaching apprenticeship. The postdocs design and teach innovative seminar courses for undergraduates at the UW Bothell and UW Seattle campuses. These seminars enrich our undergraduate curricula and provide opportunities for students to learn about cutting edge research and to benefit from highly interactive discussions with their instructors and peers.

The Executive Director of STEP Dr. Becca Price, and the Director is Dr. Jeff Jensen.

Previous seminars

An evolutionary arms race: Pathogens, cancers, and our immune system battling for our bodies (biology majors) Drs. Orr Ashenberg , Sheila Ganti, and Sara Murray

An Unforgettable Class: The Neuroscience of Memory (multiple majors) Drs. Adam Lesiak, Miriam Meister, and Abigail Schindler

Hope or Hype? Success and Challenges of Stem Cell Biology (biology majors) Drs. Fabiola Merriam, Alexandre Neves, and Kim Williams

Stem Cells and Gene Therapy (biology majors) Drs. Rhishikesh Bargaje, Christopher Burtner, and Aric Colunga

Sweet! How sugars and artificial sweeteners impact our body and mind (multiple majors) Drs. Tyson Edwards, Rachael Norris, and Jennifer Rojas

Sowing the seeds for wound repair: Inflammation, cell communication, and fibrosis (biology majors) Drs. Will Driscoll, Bob Kao, and Matthew Pawlus

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

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

Molecules To Memories: Intercellular Communication in the Nervous System (biology 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. (biology majors) Drs. Daniel Nickerson, Fabio Parmeggiani, and Jing Shang