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BCB Higher Education Teaching and Mentoring Training Program

          ~ Preparing Future Faculty ~

The Biochemistry and Cell Biology Department offers a set of optional activities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in enhancing and documenting their teaching and mentoring experiences at Rice.  A document verifying completion of the training program will be awarded upon completion of the four components outlined below.  Prerequisites for eligibility include successful completion of the Admission to Candidacy Exam (for graduate students) and a letter of support from the research advisor (for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers).  Progress must be documented on the Record of Training Activities form.

1. Teaching Training (complete 2 of 3)

1a. Attend a BCB (BIOC 599) TA training workshop held each summer (Purugganan)[1]

1b. Attend at least 8 teaching workshops offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence
(Center for Teaching Excellence Training
and/or by Rice IT and the Digital Media Center in their Teaching with Technology series
(http://vpit.rice.edu/TeachWithTech.aspx)
and/or approved alternate workshops. Participants with questions regarding whether a workshop is approved as a teaching workshop can email Susan Cates or Bonnie Bartel.

1c. Enroll in the BIOC 520 TEACHING BIOLOGY VIA ACTIVE LEARNING course and achieve at least a B (3.0)

2. Teaching Experience (complete at least 2 of 5)

2a. TA in two undergraduate classes
Feedback – grade (S/U) by course instructor

2b. Present a 2-lecture module in Bioc122, Fundamental Concepts in Biology (Caprette)
Feedback – guest-lecture evaluation rubric (Eich)

2c. Present 2 guest lectures in a 400-level course[2] (in most cases this involves presenting the same lecture
in two subsequent years)
Feedback – guest-lecture evaluation rubric (Eich)

2d. Teach a section of Bioc115 (www.bioc.rice.edu/bioc115/; Phillips and Bartel)
Feedback – Bioc115 course evaluations (both standard Rice surveys and course-specific)

Bonnie Bartel  and Dereth Phillips accept requests to teach a BIOC 115 section.

2e. Teach an ethics short course (2 lectures plus leading small group discussions) for undergraduates participating in the BCB Summer Research Institute and IBB-coordinated REU programs (Cates).

3. Mentoring Training and Experience (complete at least 2 of 4)

3a. Complete presentation coach training (Purugganan) and serve as presentation coach for Bioc 582 graduate student seminar speakers for one semester

3b. Complete mentoring workshop (Eich) and spend at least two semesters (or a summer and a semester) mentoring one or more Bioc310, Bioc401/2, or RUSP students; Century Scholars; or summer undergraduate researchers in the lab

3c. Serve as a mentor for a summer undergraduate journal club for students participating in the BCB Summer Research Institute (Cates) or as a mentor for other summer REU programs at Rice (mentoring opportunities will be listed below).

Susan Cates accepts requests to be part of the leadership team for the Summer Research Institute undergraduate journal club.

3d. Serve as a writing/presentation mentor for 3 graduate students taking Bioc587, the grant proposal writing course (Liz Eich)

4. Professional Development (complete at least 2 of 3)

4a. Attend at least 4 different topics in the Bioc581/582 communication series (Purugganan, Eich)

4b. Take Nsci521 - Writing and Publishing Science (Purugganan, Eich), 2-credit course

4c. Attend at least 4 approved professional development workshops offered by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, the Center for Student Professional Development, and/or approved alternate workshops. Participants with questions regarding whether a workshop is approved as a professional development workshop can email Susan Cates or Bonnie Bartel.

Postdocs can satisfy all section 4 requirements by attending 8 approved professional development workshops.


Participants are responsible for maintaining a Record of Training Activities for the Biochemistry & Cell Biology Higher Education Teaching and Mentoring Training Program. Copies of the in progress record can be filed periodically with the department office if desired.  If attending one of the approved, locally sponsored (Rice, the Medical Center, UH, UTMB, etc.)  workshops or seminars, an approval signature is not required on the record.  In this case, document the date and title of the workshop and the sponsoring institution and sign-in if a sign-in sheet is provided.  If you wish to attend a workshop or seminar that is not on our approved list, send your request to the chair of the graduate curriculum committee, Bonnie Bartel, by email at least 1 week before the scheduled event.


[1] Names in parentheses indicate who to contact for more information on a component.

[2] Bioc425 (Plant Molecular Genetics), Bioc443 (Development), Bioc450 (Virology), Bioc460 (Cancer Biology), and Bioc481 (Molecular Biophysics) instructors are open to this possibility; other courses are also possible.