For Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Scholars

Resource Title:
For Graduate Students & Postdocs

CRLT offers programs and services designed to support graduate students and postdocs in all stages of their teaching careers from training for their first teaching experiences through preparation for the academic job market. CRLT's services are generally open to all graduate students and postdocs, whether or not they are teaching. For information about other programs on campus to support graduate students in all aspects of their work, visit the Rackham Graduate School website for current students.

New to Teaching and CRLT?

Welcome! There is a lot to read and explore on the CRLT website. This section highlights a few resources that may be particularly helpful for new graduate student instructors or postdoctoral fellows.

  • The Vital Role of Graduate Student Instructors: This statement from the executive director of CRLT, Matthew Kaplan, is about the importance of GSIs and how CRLT can assist GSIs.
  • Campus-wide Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Teaching Orientation: This page contains information about CRLT’s orientation for new GSIs, including links to registration, the agenda, frequently asked questions, and materials (e.g., handouts, slides) from the various sessions.
  • Engineering GSI Teaching Orientation:New engineering GSIs attend a teaching orientation specific to the College of Engineering. Click here to find out more, to register, or to access resources from the training.
  • Preparing to Teach This page presents various categories of teaching materials and resources, such as course design, syllabus design, and lesson planning. New instructors may find the icon for “Preparing to Teach” an especially useful place to start. This section also contains links to Academic Policies at University of Michigan and a directory of Campus Resources.
  • Equity-Focused Teaching: This page provides resources such as handouts, blogs, and other materials that define equity-focused teaching, provide strategies for practicing inclusive teaching and handling difficult moments in the classroom.
  • Teaching Strategies for International GSIsThis articleon CRLT’s website identifies a range of strategies and resources useful for GSIs who were previously educated outside the U.S. This publication from Carnegie Mellon University, while framed primarily as a resource for teaching students who were educated outside the U.S., contains valuable guidance for instructors who are new to teaching in a U.S. context. For a broader set of campus resources for international graduate students, see the International Center website.
  • You may find the following campus resources especially helpful for you and your students:
    • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS provides student counseling and psychotherapy, preventive and educational programming, and consultation and outreach.
    • Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS):Many GSIs have requested guidance about how to respond to an active attacker situation, should one arise. An active attacker situation can cause panic and disbelief. Knowing what to do in advance increases your chances of surviving and your reaction matters. DPSS recommends that all instructors, including GSIs, view this video and refer to active attacker guidance on the DPSS website.
    • Language Resource Center (LRC): A multimedia center and library that specializes in the teaching and learning of world languages and cultures; including an audio/video studio and instructional technology support team that offers one-on-one consultations and workshops to anyone teaching a language or culture course.
    • Science Learning Center (SLC): Sponsored by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A) to support teaching and learning in the natural sciences.
    • Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD): The campus office dedicated to helping students with disabilities register for academic accommodations.
    • Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC): SAPAC provides free and confidential crisis intervention, advocacy, and support for survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual harassment who are University of Michigan students, faculty and staff.
    • Spectrum Center: Provides a variety of resources and programs for GSIs including education consultations and panel requests, the MaPPS mentorship program,and the opportunity to volunteer at the Spectrum Center.
    • Sweetland Center for Writing: A comprehensive writing center that supports student writing at all levels.
    • U-M Library Faculty Guide: The Library offers a great collection: vast electronic resources in all disciplines, millions of books and other print resources, primary source and archival materials, and much more. This guide introduces an array of Library services and expertise—some new, some you might not be familiar with—that can support and advance your research and teaching.
  • ELI/CRLT Courses: Click here for more information about ELI 994, a course for LSA graduate students whose undergraduate education was not English-medium and who have been nominated for GSI appointments in LS&A.
  • Questions Frequently Asked by U-M GSIs: This page lists commonly-asked questions by instructors and includes contact information and advice.
  • U-M Acronyms Decoder: An online tool to define or decipher acronyms that the University of Michigan uses for its buildings, locations and programs.
Ongoing Professional Development

CRLT offers a number of opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to pursue additional instructional training or receive one-on-one consultation. Review the links below for more information.

Graduate Student Mentor (GSM) Resources

Graduate student mentors (GSMs) are hired by departments at U-M to help train and advise GSIs. GSMs contribute to departmental GSI training and support in a variety of ways. For more information about what GSMs do at U-M, please check out Graduate Student Mentors (GSMs): What Are They?

GSMs can also schedule a consultationwith CRLT. Consultants can review pedagogy materials, help plan seminars, identify methods for evaluating a GSI program, coordinate focus groups with GSIs and GSMs for departmental training programs, record classes for use in GSI training, develop multicultural training programs, and facilitate large course feedback sessions.

If you are currently a GSM, training GSMs for your department, or a faculty coordinator of GSI training, please also check out these resources:

Graduate Student Employment at CRLT

For graduate students and postdocs looking for opportunities to work with new instructors or gain experience at a university teaching center, CRLT employs experienced GSIs to consult with graduate student instructors across campus about their teaching.

  • Practice Teaching Opportunities: CRLT offers experienced GSIs and postdocs opportunities to facilitate practice teaching sessions for fellow instructors. If you are interested in becoming a practice teaching facilitator, please contact [email protected].
  • Graduate Student Instructional Consultants(GSICs): This group of experienced GSIs and postdocs work with CRLT to consult with other instructors, conduct classroom observations and Midterm Student Feedback sessions, and participate in a regular teaching circle.
  • Engineering Teaching Consultant Program (ETC): The ETC program employs experienced GSIs to serve as consultants and teaching mentors to the rest of the GSI and IA population in the College of Engineering.

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