Rice University
BioSciences at Rice

BioSciences Higher Education Teaching and Mentoring Training Program

          ~ Preparing Future Faculty ~

The BioSciences Department offers a set of optional activities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in enhancing and documenting their teaching and mentoring experiences at Rice.  A document verifying completion of the training program will be awarded upon completion of the four components outlined below.  Prerequisites for eligibility include successful completion of the Admission to Candidacy Exam (for graduate students) and a letter of support from the research advisor (for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers).  Progress must be documented on the Record of Training Activities form.

1. Teaching Training (complete 2 of 3)

1a. Attend one BIOC 599 TA training workshop held each summer. (Purugganan)[1]

1b. Attend at least 8 teaching workshops offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence
(Center for Teaching Excellence Training
and/or by Rice IT and the Digital Media Center in their Teaching with Technology series
(http://vpit.rice.edu/TeachWithTech.aspx)
and/or approved alternate workshops. Participants with questions regarding whether a workshop is approved as a teaching workshop can email Susan Cates or Bonnie Bartel.

1c. Enroll in the BIOC 520 TEACHING BIOLOGY VIA ACTIVE LEARNING course and achieve at least a B (3.0).

2. Teaching Experience (complete at least 2 of 5)

2a. TA in two undergraduate classes.
Feedback – grade (S/U) by course instructor

2b. Present a 2-lecture module in BIOC 122, Fundamental Concepts in Biology. (Caprette)
(Feedback – guest-lecture evaluation rubric can be obtained from Liz Eich)

2c. Present 2 guest lectures in a 400-level course (in most cases this involves presenting the same lecture in two subsequent years).
(Feedback – guest-lecture evaluation rubric can be obtained from Liz Eich)

2d. Teach a section of BIOC 115. (www.bioc.rice.edu/bioc115/; Phillips and Bartel)
Feedback – BIOC 115 course evaluations (both standard Rice surveys and course-specific)

Bonnie Bartel  and Dereth Phillips accept requests to teach a BIOC 115 section.

2e. Teach an ethics short course (2 lectures plus leading small group discussions) for undergraduates participating in the BioSciences Summer Research Institute and IBB-coordinated REU programs. (Cates)

3. Mentoring Training and Experience (complete at least 2 of 4)

3a. Complete presentation coach training (Purugganan) and serve as presentation coach for BIOC 582 graduate student seminar speakers for one semester.

3b. Complete mentoring workshop (Eich) and spend at least two semesters (or a summer and a semester) mentoring one or more undergraduates researchers doing research for course credit, or RUSP students, Century Scholars, or summer undergraduate researchers in the lab.

3c. Serve as a mentor for a summer undergraduate journal club for students participating in the BioSciences Summer Research Institute (Cates) or as a mentor for other summer REU programs at Rice (mentoring opportunities will be listed below).

Susan Cates accepts requests to be part of the leadership team for the Summer Research Institute undergraduate journal club.

3d. Serve as a writing/presentation mentor for 3 graduate students taking BIOC 587, the grant proposal writing course. (Liz Eich)

4. Professional Development (complete at least 2 of 3)

4a. Attend at least 4 different topics in the BIOC 581/582 communication series. (Purugganan, Eich)

4b. Take NSCI 521 - Writing and Publishing Science. (Purugganan, Eich), 2-credit course

4c. Attend at least 4 approved professional development workshops offered by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Center for Student Professional Development, and/or approved alternate workshops. Participants with questions regarding whether a workshop is approved as a professional development workshop can email Susan Cates or Bonnie Bartel.

4d. Participate in at least 2 semesters of EBIO 520, a student seminar in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology designed to enhance oral presentation skills and facilitate discussion of research ideas.

Postdocs can satisfy all section 4 requirements by attending 8 approved professional development workshops.


Participants are responsible for maintaining a Record of Training Activities for the BioSciences( Higher Education Teaching and Mentoring Training Program. Copies of the in progress record can be filed periodically with the department office if desired.  If attending one of the approved, locally sponsored (Rice, the Medical Center, UH, UTMB, etc.)  workshops or seminars, an approval signature is not required on the record.  In this case, document the date and title of the workshop and the sponsoring institution and sign-in if a sign-in sheet is provided.  If you wish to attend a workshop or seminar that is not on our approved list, send your request to the chair of the graduate curriculum committee, Bonnie Bartel, by email at least 1 week before the scheduled event.


[1] Names in parentheses indicate who to contact for more information on a component.