Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Opportunities

Each NGG student will serve as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for one semester.  This teaching experience comprises an important part of your doctoral education by providing you with science communication practice.  Each rising third year NGG student is required to participate in TA training for 3 days in August.  The TA training is run by the Center of Teaching and Learning (CTL).  After you have TAed, you can apply to be a TA trainer for CTL and run workshops to train your fellow NGG lower classmen!

The CTL promotes teaching excellence at the University of Pennsylvania through TA training, teaching workshops, a teaching certificate, teaching fellow program, and seminars for graduate students.  Neuroscience students are encouraged to participate in as many of these programs as possible to further develop their teaching skills and to become actively involved in the teaching community at Penn.

Mission of Center for Teaching and Learning

CTL provides many opportunities to help graduate students develop as teachers, succeed as TAs, and thrive in the job market for faculty positions.  There are several ways to get involved with CTL:

Teaching Workshops: Graduate Students can attend on-campus workshops on various teaching topics to develop their teaching skills and improve as teaching assistants.  These workshops also count towards the teaching certificate.

Teaching Certificate: The CTL teaching certificate is an opportunity to reflect upon your teaching and formally recognizes your commitment to develop teaching skills.  It can be helpful in applying for teaching positions after graduate school. It requires attending 5 of the aforementioned teaching workshops (or a semester long seminar may be substituted to count as 3 workshops), 2 semesters of teaching experience, observation and review, and a teaching philosophy.

Graduate Fellows Program: Graduate fellows organize and facilitate teaching workshops in their department, observe other graduate students and offer feedback, and meet regularly as a group to discuss teaching practices.  You must be nominated by the head of NGG in the spring semester and then apply and interview for the position.

Seminars: Courses in college teaching prepares students to teach college courses and develop as an instructor.  Teaching roundtables provides graduate students with more experience in teaching and allows them to get feedback from their peers.

For more information, visit CTL’s website or email Colin (



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