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Cornell University

Graduate Research and Teaching Fellows (GRTF)

The purpose of the Graduate Research and Teaching Fellows Program is to provide graduate students considering academic positions in higher education with advanced teaching and professional development opportunities to become excellent teachers.

Selected graduate students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn the art and science of teaching through coursework, mentorship, research and electronic portfolio development.
  • Receive a Graduate Research and Teaching Fellow Certificate.

The GRTF program is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Innovation and partially supported with funds generously provided by the Menschel Foundation.

Award Information

Upon successful completion of all program requirements over a period of one year, GRTF participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.


Applicants interested in the program should:

  • Have a minimum of two semesters of teaching experience.
  • Be currently enrolled graduate students making satisfactory progress towards their degree
  • Obtain departmental approval.
  • Be TAs during the program year.


Completed application packages (other than advisor/department letter) will be evaluated on a rolling basis until Mon., April 9th, 2018.

  1. Application forms for the 2017-2018 academic year: Word Application Word Application PDF Application PDF application
  2. Current Curriculum Vitae
  3. Application essay (included on application form)
  4. Advisor Approval (submit additional hardcopy of application with Advisor Signature separately to Leslie Williams, Center for Teaching Innovation, 420, CCC, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-6601).

A selection committee will review all completed applications and successful applicants will be notified.

Successful applicants selected to participate in the program will be required to provide the following two items (though these may be submitted earlier, together with your application):

  1. A professional-looking head-shot photograph, to be included on the CTI website.
  2. A brief biography, to be included on the CTI website.

Program Requirements

Fellows are required to take both ALS 6015: The Practice of Teaching in Higher Education and ALS 6016: Teaching as Research in Higher Education.

In exceptional cases, however, participants may be permitted, under CTI’s discretion, to fulfill the ALS 6015 requirement with an alternate course. However, any such substitutions are required to meet the criteria of this certificate program, and participants must seek prior approval from CTI. Within this course students will build their electronic portfolio.

Fellows complete an electronic portfolio.

A complete Teaching and Professional Development Portfolio includes both work samples of one’s teaching (teaching plans, videotapes, evaluations, etc.) and reflective commentary on these samples. Core components include:

  • A teaching philosophy statement.
  • Curriculum vitae and statement of career goals.
  • Sample syllabi.
  • A research statement.
  • A research on teaching project paper and supporting materials, workshop materials, reflective essays on past performance, evaluations from faculty, peers, and students.
  • A poster for presentation at May symposium.
  • A statement of career goals.

Past participants in our programs have found the ePortfolio to be a particularly useful and essential tool in sharing knowledge and applying for jobs.

Fellows complete a research on teaching project.

The program’s research project is an opportunity for participants to become familiar with the extensive literature on pedagogical innovation and best teaching practices, and to engage closely with a particular topic of interest in higher education. In particular, the research on teaching project should provide insights on how well a specific teaching approach or method impacts undergraduate learning. Participants should reflect upon their past teaching experiences to select a research topic of interest which is specifically related to teaching and scholarship in their discipline, but that can also have repercussions for broader discussions of teaching in higher education. Students then consult with their mentors, department faculty, and the Center for Teaching Innovation to find resources and develop a unique approach to the issue or problem at hand. Finally, the completed research project should result in knowledge that supports teaching and that can be shared with the wider academic community. Participants are expected to share their project through presentations, workshop materials and the ePortfolio.

Fellows serve as leaders within the Center for Teaching Innovation.

Within this role, GRTFs will facilitate workshops and discussions, engage in Teaching Excellence Practicums (TEPs) and be a part of the University-wide Teaching Conference. These are opportunities for students to enhance their teaching.


For additional Information, please contact Kimberly Williams at, 607-255-1539.

     Cornell University