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University of Washington Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Programs

News and Deadlines

Upcoming Events

SILS Retrospective: Learning from Our Teachers, August 2012
Thanks to all who participated in this special meeting to celebrate 23 yrs of our programs for in-service K-12 teachers!

Application Deadlines

Interested in the Biology Fellows Program?
BIOL 106, the BFP course, is now a regular course provided by the Biology Department. See an adviser in HCK 318 for more info.
Interested in the Future Faculty Fellows Teaching Apprenticeships?
Contact R. Price or M. Servetnick at UW Bothell for more info.


Our Updated Web Site
Please explore the program pages to see the resources and articles developed by our UW-HHMI team.
Our National Lab Day Celebration!
To learn more about our NLD celebration for middle school kids, see our K-12 outreach page.
In Print...
Read the 2012 article about the Biology Fellows Program in CBE-LSE (in press):
"Facilitating Long-Term Changes in Student Approaches to Learning Science"
Congratulations to UW-HHMI Participants & Awardees
Gilliam Fellowship Awardee: Martha Zepeda Rivera

HHMI EXROP Awardee: Elischa Sanders

Levinson Emerging Scholar: Marvin Nayan

President's Achievement Awardee: Denise Della

Bank of America Scholar: Jose Mario Pineda

Wells Fargo Vice President’s Achievement Awardee: Erica Chavez Santos

McNair Scholar: Elizabeth Emau, Chinonso Opara, Martha Zepeda Rivera

Mary Gates Scholar: Justin De Leon, Denise Della, Mauna Edrozo, Brittany Harding, Shereen Khorami, Megan Lacy, Helen Lai, Nathan Ma, Kevin Magnaye, Chantal Murthy, Alex Nelson, Kien-Thiet Nguyen, Jose Pineda, Claire Powers, Neela Ramanujam, Keiko Weir, Yue Xiang, Simon Zhou, Jessie Zou

S.M.A.R.T. Challenge Winning Team: Alexis Brendible, Veronica Rodriguez, Yesenia Rosales, and Erica Chavez Santos

Emerging Researchers National Meeting Presentation Awardees: Klondy Canales and Thien-Y Le

Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Presenters: Nadya Ali, Jennifer Cross, Rebecca de Frates, and Cynthia Wainaina

The UW-HHMI Future Faculty Fellows Program was designed to prepare postdoctoral scientists for successful careers that combine research, service, mentoring, and teaching. There were two components to the program - a September workshop on teaching and career development, and a teaching apprenticeship program that provided a faculty-mentored experience in designing and teaching an undergraduate course.

The FFFP began in 2004 and continued as an UW-HHMI funded program until Spring 2011. It has had significant impact on the UW. Its first cohort of postdocs were inspired to form the UW Postdoctoral Association which organized an effort to convince the university administration to increase its support for the community of postdoctoral research scientists.

Since Summer 2011, the Future Faculty Fellows Workshop has been fully supported and organized by the UW School of Medicine. The Teaching Apprenticeship Program is currently organized and directed by UW-Bothell faculty, as part of the UW-T Biology Program.

For postdocs interested in applying to the FFFP, see:

University of Washington School of Medicine Future Faculty Fellows Program

Future Faculty Fellows Workshop - Late Summer

The Future Faculty Fellows Workshop is a 2-day program that focuses on providing participants with teaching and job-seeking skills. Panels place a strong emphasis on introducing strategies for improving biology teaching at the undergraduate level and the reality check in how to find an academic job that you like.


Future Faculty Fellows Teaching Apprenticeship

Postdocs who complete the Future Faculty Fellows Workshop may apply for opportunities to develop and teach an undergraduate course or seminar as a faculty-mentored experience. The program involves training in course design and implementation one quarter before the fellows teach their courses. Feedback on classroom presentations, assignments, and other aspects of teaching are provided by the training faculty, peer postdoctoral teaching fellows, and students as the courses are taught during winter or spring quarter. The apprentices gain valuable experience designing and teaching their own courses and report highly significant impact of the FFFP on their strategies and success for landing their next independent positions.

To learn more about the UW-HHMI FFFP:

Download the Future Faculty Fellows Workshop and Teaching Apprenticeship brochure.

Read the article that appeared in the Biology Spring 2010 e-news.

A FFFP User Manual, authored by M. Hille, K. Peterson, and B. Wakimoto, is available for faculty who are interested in developing a similar program at other institutions. For further information, email Barbara Wakimoto at: wakimoto@u.washington.edu

What Participants Say about the FFF Teaching Apprenticeships:

Although I had team-taught lecture-based courses before, the FFFP gave me my first experiences assembling a course from scratch, teaching well outside of my area of expertise, designing creative assignments, developing rubrics, and working with students in a seminar setting.

At first, I wasn't sure I liked teaching. But after being involved in the FFF, I learned that there are different ways to make your teaching exciting and interesting, both for the students and instructor. I taught a course using the same principles incorporated into our FFF course. My students loved it!

This was an excellent program. I enjoyed it immensely and working with two other post docs made it feasible to take on an entire course while still maintaining the research productivity expected by my post doc mentor. I also feel this was a huge leg up in getting a position.

I obtained my PhD abroad without teaching experience. The apprenticeship program helped me to understand the teaching system in America. The experience let me experience and really enjoy teaching and not be afraid to apply for positions related to teaching. I think this experience will also help search committees feel comfortable nominating me for faculty positions involving teaching undergraduates.

Courses Taught by the FFF Teaching Apprentices:

Since 2004, 108 postdocs from over 35 different UW and FHCRC departments have participated in the Teaching Apprenticeship Program. As of 2011, the postdocs will have designed and taught over 30 innovative courses for UW undergraduates. Their courses enrich our undergraduate curriculum and provide opportunities for students to learn about "hot" research topics and benefit from highly interactive discussions with their instructors and peers. Courses provided by our FFF postdocs include:

  • Fixing a Broken Heart: Modern therapies for cardiovascular disease
  • Biotech, Biofuels, and Biodiversity: Challenges for Agriculture in the 21st Century
  • Humans and Microbes: A love/hate relationship
  • Hot Topics in Disease Prevention
  • Sense and Sensibility: Sensory disorders and treatment
  • Evolution of Immunity: From microbes to mammals
  • Losing Our Minds: The biology of brain diseases
  • Environmental Challenges: Are there solutions?
  • Neurological Disorders: When ethics and biology collide
  • Cancer: Conquering the enemy within
  • Skin Senses: From receptors to perceptions
  • Cancer: Bad genes or bad environment?
  • The Evolutionary Arms Race between Hosts and Pathogens
  • The Future of Our Planet: Climate, ecosystems, and society
  • The Yin and Yang of Hormones
  • The Neurobiology of Love, Attraction, and Addiction
  • Beyond the Sequence: Chromosomes, epigenetics, and disease
  • More than Just Sex: Sex hormones in reproduction and disease
  • Microassassins: Pathogenic biology in the lab and community
  • Molecular Biology of Aging
  • What Determines Your Sex? Genetics, molecular, and physiological aspects
  • The Biology of Disease Epidemics
  • Mammalian Reproductive Biology
  • Extreme Biology: Molecular basis for survival in extreme environments
  • Genetic and Epigenetic Basis of Disease
  • Sensing the Environment
  • Controversies in Biology: GMOs and Tissue Engineering

Postdoc & Grad Resources for Teaching and Job Seeking

The resources available to learn about career and teaching issues are numerous and online resources are rapidly increasing in number. The trick is to find the references that offer the most practical and timely advice for you. Below are references and websites that have been recommended by colleagues in the biological sciences.

Scientific Societies, University & Agencies for Education

General to all fields:

Guides/Strategies for Informed & Innovative Undergraduate Education:

UW Centers or Websites
Books on Career Development & Teaching
  • The Academic Job Search Handbook by MM Heilberger, JM Vick. ISBN: 0-8122-1778-0.
  • Tomorrow's Professor: Preparing for Academic Careers in Science & Engineering by RM Reis. ISBN: 0-7803-1136-1.
  • A Short Guide to Writing About Biology by J Pechenik. ISBN: 0-6735-2503-1.
  • Working Effectively with Graduate Assistants by JD Nyquist, DH Wulff. ISBN: 0-8039-5313-5.
  • A Student Handbook for Writing in Biology by K Knisely. ISBN: 0-7167-6646-9.
  • Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment by BE Walvoord, et al. ISBN: 0-7879-4030-5.
  • Teaching Tips for College & University Instructors by D Royse. ISBN: 0-2052-9839-7.
  • Tools for Teaching by BG Davis. ISBN: 1-5554-2568-2.