Teaching by Postdocs

Teaching by Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows

The policies that govern the eligibility of Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows to teach are determined primarily by the funding agency that supports the postdoctoral trainee. Those agencies include the federal government and other outside agencies as well as Case Western Reserve University departments and programs.

When teaching is permitted, the research training experience must remain primary and the postdoc and their mentor must make certain that teaching does not jeopardize the quality or quantity of time devoted to the research training.

Teaching Duties Included in Postdoctoral Position

Discipline specific standards may include teaching as part of a postdoc's training program. In these cases, compensation for teaching is included in the postdoc's regular salary/stipend, so no additional compensation for teaching is permitted. Such teaching duties should normally be specified in the letter of appointment.

Teaching Duties Additional to Postdoctoral Position

Additional teaching activities may be arranged (on a case-by-case basis) when the following conditions are met:

  • Approval of the faculty member
  • When allowed by the funding source
  • Occurring on a limited, part-time basis

Mentors or department administrators should determine in advance of making any teaching appointment if there are any funding agency restrictions concerning if/how teaching can be assigned; portion of effort devoted to the research and teaching; and compensation.

For teaching assignments, above and beyond the postdoctoral position, postdocs should be appointed as temporary academic staff (such as instructor) under the appropriate employment terms and compensated for the teaching duties.

UNIV401 Advanced Professional Development for University Teaching

UNIV401 is intended to provide graduate students and postdocs with the chance to learn innovative, effective, and evidence-based teaching strategies that are useful in university classrooms. This is a 14-week, zero-credit hour seminar (free) co-sponsored by UCITE and the Graduate Studies Professional Development Center.

More information about the Postgraduate Audit Program can be found here. Email postdoc@case.edu if you are interested in registering for the seminar. 

ExTEnD (Expanding Teaching Experiences for Doctoral Students [and postdocs])

Postdocs in the School of Medicine can participate in the ExTEnD program, a formal program through which to locate training and opportunities to experience teaching at the college and university level. 

Participants in this program complete a one-semester, seminar-style course taught by Educational Student Services to learn the basics of curricular design, development, and delivery. They are required to then complete at least two significant teaching experiences. At the end of each teaching experience, participants should obtain feedback from the students. Upon completion of the program requirements, participants will get a formal letter from the program director stating their completion of the program as well as experiences gained and feedback received as part of the program. This letter can be used in applications for future positions at universities or colleges. 

Resources for Postdocs Who Teach

CWRU University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE)

UCITE website, join their mailing list!

UCITE offers the following services:

  • classroom observation and feedback,
  • individual consultation on teaching and learning issues,
  • a browsing library of over 200 books on topics related to the science of teaching and learning,
  • educational development seminars and special events,
  • grants for innovative teaching and learning ideas,

First Fridays - On the first Friday of every month, UCITE holds an informal get together for instructors, faculty, grad students, and postdocs to meet and chat about specific topics relating to teaching and learning. * Pizza and drinks provided. Time: 11:30 - 12:30pm Location: Herrick Room in the Allen Memorial Medical Library RSVP Here

Teaching resources on assessments, methods, dealing with controversy, feedback, classroom resources, cooperative learning, experiential learning, technology, and rapid online learning.