Graduate students in the Field of Biophysics are not required to act as teaching assistant (TA) as part of their program. However, you might want to get experience acting as a TA or your mentor may ask you to TA to relieve funding constraints on the lab.
Molecular Biology & Genetics Teaching Assistantship Guidelines
The summer before teaching begins, students will receive a message from the Associate Chairman of MBG (who makes the TA assignments) listing the courses that are given in department, along with a list of the TA responsibilities for each course. Each student ranks the courses in order of TA preference. While the Associate Chair tries to accommodate student preferences for teaching assignments, the teaching needs of the department take precedence over individual preferences.
Preference in TA assignment
- A student whose thesis research advisor is a member of the Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics
- A student in the Field of Biophysics who has not previously been a TA (graduate students in their Fields are required to TA as a part of their graduate program).
- Any other student.
Exceptions will be made for pedagogical reasons. For example, if no student in the highest priority category is willing or able to TA a particular course, a student from a lower priority category will be chosen.
The University requires international students to to participate in a Language Assessment Interview by the International TA Development Program (ITADP) in order to assess competency in English prior to TAing. Only students who received a 28 or above on the Speaking portion of TOEFL are exempt from this assessment. On the basis of this assessment, some international students are required to take an additional course(s), given by the ITADP to improve their teaching skills. Occasionally, students may also be required by the ITADP to take an English-as-second language course.
Teaching offers an opportunity both to extend one’s knowledge and to develop communication skills that will serve you well in your graduate and post-graduate career. The teaching performance of each student will be evaluated by the instructor in charge of the course and copies of that evaluation will be sent to the student, the DGS, and the student’s major professor. In addition, students are urged to provide a written critique of their teaching experience, and of the course in which they served with the intention of helping to improve the course.