The overarching goal of the NIH IRACDA program is to train a diverse group of postdocs in college level teaching and biomedical research to fulfill national workforce needs in STEM. Therefore, effective training in teaching and research as well as career development are essential. We are in the initial years of the program and UCLA just became a member of the CIRTL (Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning) network, whose online seminars (including the CIRTL Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs) are integral components of our training curriculum. UPLIFT fellows will be awarded CIRTL certificates, documenting your achievements at multiple stages in the training curriculum. In addition to preparing you for teaching at the college or university level, this elite educational experience supports your research through strong and consistent faculty mentoring.
The training curriculum for UPLIFT fellows at UCLA include the following components:
- All years. Participation in the CIRTL@UCLA learning community.
- Years 1 and 2: Begin training in teaching and mentoring.
- Complete MOOC1 and MOOC 2 on evidence-based undergraduate STEM teaching and one additional online CIRTL course on Diversity in the College Classroom. The schedules for these courses are posted on the CIRTL website. These asynchronous courses allow you to complete most of the online coursework at your leisure. Some on-campus meetings are also required (no more than once per week during the same timeframe as the online CIRTL course offering), providing time for discussion with teaching experts about different instructional methods coupled to opportunities for putting theory into practice.
- Complete the Entering Mentoring Training seminar.
- Years 2 and 3: Complete teaching practicum at CSULA with faculty mentors. In collaboration with other UPLIFT scholars, contribute as undergraduate journal club co-instructor at CSULA. At UCLA, mentor 1-2 undergraduate students from the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS).
- Years 1-3. Attend select pedagogy workshops and teaching seminars presented by UCLA’s Center for Education Innovation & Learning in the Sciences (CEILS) such as the bi-monthly STEM Education Research journal club and other related events as recommended by the CEILS Director.
- All years. Participate in appropriate career preparation seminars advertised on UCLA’s Career Hub. Attend annual national IRACDA conference (this is required but fun!). Engage in scheduled meetings with UPLIFT Co-Directors, CSULA faculty mentors, UCLA research mentors, CIRTL@UCLA program coordinator, and CEILS Director.