Teaching Fellow Program (TFP)

An experiential hands-on teaching practicum where graduate students and post-doctoral research associates co-instruct a course with UVA Engineering faculty and learn fundamental pedagogical skills.


Overview of the Timeline and Resources

  • Application details - TFP opportunities are available for both the Fall and Spring semesters each year.
    • An announcement is made each semester for applications to teach a course in the following semester (e.g. apply in Spring to teach a course in Fall).
    • Recipients of the fellowship will be informed of the decision within a month of the application deadline.
    • The program is open to graduate students and post-doctoral research associates.
    • The application package typically includes a statement from the applicant, the course proposed to be co-taught through the program, and supporting documents from the teaching mentor.

 

  • Eligibility –
    • Graduate students -  Only SEAS Ph.D. students who have passed their qualifying exam are eligible for the TFP program.
    • Post-doctoral research associates - SEAS research associates funded on SEAS grants and contracts for the duration of the program are eligible. Postdocs funded on external fellowships are not eligible for this program.

 

  • Program Design - To participate in the UVA Engineering TFP Program, the Teaching Fellow and Teaching Mentor (a UVA Engineering faculty member) will…
    • Identify a course that will be co-designed and co-taught by the pair
    • Attend a facilitated version of CTE’s c3Design program or the Course Design Institute together
    • Meet with other Fellow-Mentor pairs before, during, and after the semester teaching, and
    •  Co-teaching or team teaching can involve sharing the responsibilities of designing, instructing, and assessing a course. Effective co-teaching requires collaborative planning such that individual efforts are reinforced and integrated by the other co-teacher(s). Teaching fellows cannot be assigned to teach a few guest lectures in the class or help as a Teaching assistant. The Fellow-Mentor pairs have to contribute equally to the teaching and design of the course.

 

  • Benefits - The UVA Engineering Teaching Fellow program offers the opportunity to develop and hone teaching skills beyond a teaching assistantship, better preparing students and postdocs for future careers in academia and beyond. Fellows will….
    • Gain knowledge in learning-focused pedagogical strategies and student-centered course design.
    • Work closely with their teaching mentor and learn from a cooperative teaching experience.
    • Gain confidence in designing and teaching a new course.
    • Network with members of the UVA teaching community.

 

  • Compensation – This varies based on whether you are a graduate student or a post-doc. Usually covers a wage payment for the semester of the program, Research-only tuition, Student fees, and Health insurance if you are a graduate student. For postdocs, it provides salary support (plus fringe benefits) in the semester of the program. It also covers the cost for graduate students and postdocs to attend a facilitated version of CTE’s c3Design program or Course Design Institute (CDI).

 

  • Application - The call for applications is distributed to the faculty, graduate student, and post-doctoral research associate mailing list every semester. It includes detailed application requirements and procedures.

 

 

Teaching Fellowship Program FAQ

  • What are the benefits of participating in TFP?

    The funding provided by the TFP enables graduate teaching fellows to be authentically immersed in the rich and multifaceted work of teaching. They work closely with a faculty mentor to design (or redesign) and teach a course. Since its inception, more than 60 Ph.D. students have participated in TFP, with several of these students have gone on to tenure-track faculty positions and citing their experiences in TFP as instrumental to their success in the job search process. One fellow wrote, “After completing this graduate teaching fellowship I can say with confidence that this experience has been the highlight of my graduate education at UVa.” Another notes “...Teaching Fellowship has allowed me the hands-on opportunity to learn in a holistic manner what it takes to conduct a university-level course from devising a syllabus to formulating tests and leading in-class discussions. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in this program and have taken away a developed set of critical skills that will allow me to follow my interests in a teaching career.”

  • Will this program be offered again?

    Yes, the TFP will be offered again for courses taught in Spring 2023. An announcement is made each semester for applications to teach a course in the following semester (e.g. apply in Spring 2022 to teach a course in Fall 2022).

  • Are master’s students eligible for this program?

    Only engineering PhD students who have passed their qualifying exam are eligible for the TFP program.

  • English is not my first language, am I still eligible to apply?

    Absolutely. Students whose first language is not English are required to take UVA’s SPEAK or UVELP exam before they become eligible for teaching, per School policy. You must have tested and scored highly enough on these exams or taken the necessary ESL courses to be before applying.

     

  • I can’t make it to the Course Design Institute (CDI) What are my options?

    Each Mentor-Fellow pair should participate in a design experience together. The Course Design Institute will be offered in two sessions this summer in person: May 23-27 and June 27-July 1. Read more about CDI on the CTE website. If you want to apply for the Teaching Fellowship and are unable to make the Course Design Institute please contact Lynn Mandeltort (mandeltort@virginia.edu) to discuss alternatives -- these may include other design programs, such as the Olin College of Engineering Summer Institute or UVA’s online design program, c3Design.

  • Do I have to pay for attending CDI?

    The Teaching Fellowship program covers the cost of CDI for graduate students. Faculty members should use their Education Benefit for CDI.

  • If I am the sole instructor for the course, do I still need a faculty mentor?

    Postdoctoral fellows teaching solo will have opportunities to meet with Lynn Mandeltort (and other CTE representatives) for feedback on their course design and teaching.