Postdoctoral Short Course on College Teaching in STEM

Resource Title:
Postdoctoral Seminar on College Teaching in STEM


Postdoctoral Short Course Logo

January 24 - April 11, 2022

Please see below for exact dates/times


Applications for 2022 are now closed. If you are interested in participating in Winter 2023, please sign up for notifications here


The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching and Rackham Graduate School is seeking University of Michigan STEM postdocs to apply for the Postdoctoral Short Course on College Teaching in STEM. The purpose of this program is to prepare a select group of advanced postdoctoral scholars from a variety of STEM disciplines to teach effectively as future faculty members. The course will be offered in a blended format, combining in-person and online synchronous and asynchronous interactions (See PSC Format below). 



The purpose of this professional development course is to prepare postdoctoral scholars from a variety of STEM disciplines to teach effectively as future faculty members. You will learn a research-based framework that describes how students learn best in STEM courses. The framework will address three major questions:

  1. What do cognitive-science and neurobiology tell us about how students learn best?
  2. How can we deliberately cultivate a learning environment where all students are treated equitably, have equal access to learning, and feel valued and supported in their learning?
  3. How do we incorporate principles for effective course and lesson design into our teaching?

Throughout this course, you'll discuss and apply learning theory and strategies, develop instructional skills, create classroom and job search materials, and interact with U-M postdoctoral colleagues across the STEM disciplines. You will demonstrate your acquired skills through three capstone experiences:

  • a practice teaching session;
  • a syllabus for a course you may teach;
  • and a statement of teaching philosophy.


  • This course is open to current University of Michigan postdocs in STEM disciplines (e.g., biological/biomedical sciences, computer & information sciences, engineering, environmental & geosciences, health sciences, mathematics & statistics, physical sciences, psychology & neurosciences).
  • The course requires no tuition or payment from participants or their advisors. 
  • To be eligible, an applicant's faculty supervisor MUST verify their support for the applicant's full participation in the program by responding to the email sent by after submission of the application. 
  • For questions, please e-mail


The PSC is organized into 10 weekly learning modules, plus a course orientation module. Learning and engagement activities are expected to take about 5-7 hours per week on average. We will progress through the content and learning activities as a cohort. 

The course will be offered in a blended format, combining in-person and online synchronous and asynchronous interactions. Weekly Canvas learning modules will open on Mondays and all corresponding assignments or activities for the module are due the following Monday. Six of the weekly modules will also have a synchronous component facilitated via Zoom (see Schedule at a Glance). The synchronous sessions are scheduled on the last day of the respective module and are designed to build on the asynchronous learning material and activities. Four of the weekly modules are delivered completely asynchronously, but offer an optional opportunity for participants to connect virtually as desired. 

We will kick off the PSC with an in-person welcome and orientation. Additionally, a closing ceremony and lunch will allow for an in-person wrap up of the program.

We understand that the pandemic has made managing the demands of both family care and work especially challenging. That may mean needing to step away from a Zoom session or having children appear on camera. We want to reassure you that we understand that this is part of work-life during this time and should not be a barrier to your participation in the Postdoctoral Short Course. If you have any concerns or questions in regards to COVID-19 and accommodations, please reach out to the Postdoc Facilitators at 

Schedule at a Glance

Schedule at a Glance

Certificate Requirements

The overarching goal of the PSC is to develop you as a scholar of teaching and learning, as such it is not about points, grades, or GPA. The assignments in this course will not be assessed on a point system. This is a no-credit professional development experience. All assignments will be "graded" on a complete/incomplete scale. 

To receive a PSC certificate, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. On-time completion of the three capstone assignments
  2. Achieve a cumulative completion of 80%