UW Bio180 Mentored Teaching Postdoc

Application deadline:   The position will be open until filled. Application materials received before 9am on March 9th are most likely to result in an interview.

Position details:

Biology 180 is a large undergraduate introductory lab course in ecology, evolution and biodiversity. The course is taught in an intensely active style including in-class activities, clicker questions, daily reading quizzes and practice exams. Under the mentoring of Principal Lecturer Scott Freeman, the successful applicant will work closely with Biology 180 courses at UW-Seattle. Applicants should have a strong scientific background in ecology, evolution and/or biodiversity with a willingness to grapple with these subjects at the introductory university level. This will include teaching 3/4 of the course in Autumn 2015, and then acting as a sole Instructor of Record in Winter 2016. This position provides for 100% FTE support during both Autumn and Winter quarters (6 months). The appointment will be under the title “Lecturer (Part Time)”.

In Autumn 2015, the post-doc will:

  • Teach 3/4 of all class topics (In Autumn, each topic is two back-to-back 50-minute lectures. In Winter, each topic is a single 50-minute lectures.)
  • Attend all other class sessions, weekly TA meetings and planning groups
  • Write exam questions and grade or oversee grading for a proportional part of class exams
  • Write 3/4 of all questions for weekly peer-graded practice exams
  • Meet regularly with Dr Freeman to discuss both practical and pedagogical issues

In Winter 2016, the post-doc will:

  • Teach all of Bio180 as the sole Instructor of Record
  • Extra possibilities:
  • The successful applicant will be encouraged to engage in Dr Freeman’s Spring 2015 Bio505B course in Biology Education Research.

There may be paid opportunities to work with Bio180 during Summer of 2015 prior to the mentored teaching experience in order to learn the class by teaching labs.

There may be opportunities during Spring 2016 to teach a different course (supported at 50% FTE).

Please note: 

  • This commitment will require time throughout the week. The post-doc must be on campus for the duration.
  • Bio180 has a full time Course Coordinator that will provide support, guidance and logistical administration
  • Dr Freeman’s previous class materials will be available; the post-doc is expected to adjust class materials to their style but should not need to re-create large amounts of the course wholesale
  • PhD or foreign equivalent required at the time of appointment.

Position goal:

The goal of this unusual appointment is to provide opportunities to learn and practice cutting-edge active learning techniques in a challenging environment with strong mentorship and lines of support. This opportunity is intended for post-docs who already have significant teaching experience and want to master their craft. At the conclusion of this opportunity, the post-doc should be comfortable with implementing active learning in a large competitive course with a diverse population of vulnerable students of great potential. This will likely be the largest and most challenging class that you will ever take on, and it will also likely be the most staff and help you will ever have to teach a class. Importantly, active learning techniques shift the ratio of teacher talk: student work from traditional lecturing (100:0) to a more active, equitable and ambitious classroom (40:60). With better student outcomes, these techniques require greater required skill and practice.

Notes from Human Resources:

UW faculty engage in teaching, research, and service. University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as protected veterans, or status as qualified individuals with disabilities.

To apply, you will need to write a single email to benlw@uw.edu with the following items:

1. Please put “Bio180 Mentored Teaching Application YourName” in the subject line.

2. Attach a cover letter briefly answering the following questions:

         What teaching experiences have helped to prepare you for this job?

        Why will advanced pedagogical techniques be useful to your desired career?

        What do you believe are the most important needs of Bio180 students?

Please include any additional information relevant to this application. (Please limit cover letter to two pages, maximum.)    

If you are teaching in Winter or Spring quarter, please provide scheduling information such that a reviewer could show up and watch one of your classes.

Please title your teaching statement using the following convention: “Bio180 MTA LastName FirstName Letter.filetype”

3. Attach a current CV.

        Please title your CV using the following convention: “Bio180 MTA LastName FirstName CV.filetype”

4. Lastly, we must ensure that this opportunity is one that fits your research plan as discussed between you and your PI or other supervisor. Please have the PI email to Ben Wiggins a short response indicating that they support your candidacy for this position. This can be informal, but it should indicate somehow that they know you would be working significantly less on other research during those terms.

Files can be in one of the following formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf

Thank you for negotiating this low-tech application. We will review applications as soon as possible. Feel free to check in by email if you have not heard back within one week and we will try to keep you informed as best we can.