Mentored Teaching Opportunity in Physiology @ UW-Seattle

November 12, 2018
This is a call for applications for a Mentored Teaching Opportunity (MTO) in Physiology. Please distribute widely.
This position will be open until filled. Application materials received by November 28th are most likely to result in an interview.
Position Details:
Biology 220 is a large undergraduate introductory lab course in plant and animal physiology. The course is taught in an intensely active style including in-class activities, clicker questions, daily reading quizzes and weekly practice exams. Under the mentorship of Dr Jennifer Doherty, the successful applicant will work closely with Biology 220 courses at UW-Seattle in a MTO. Applicants should have a strong scientific background in physiology and a willingness to grapple with these subjects at the introductory university level in a classroom of 300-400 students. This position provides for 100% FTE support during both Autumn and Spring quarters (3 months each), but without funding for the interim Winter quarter. 

Previous MTO instructors have noted that this is an opportunity to work with a large and diverse group of fantastic, hard-working, creative students during an extremely formative time in their scientific and professional development. In other words, this is a chance to help shape the next generation of scientists.

  • Has a strong background in either animal or plant physiology (using Autumn 2019 to learn as much of the other course content as possible to be able to teach extensively in both fields). Typically, this means a PhD or foreign equivalent required at the time of appointment.
  • Teaches 50-minute class sessions to a class of 200-600 undergraduates using materials primarily adapted from Dr Doherty
    • In Autumn 2019, the MTO instructor will teach a small percentage of class sessions (25-35%) and complete a proportional amount of exam writing, course design, etc.
    • In Spring 2020, the MTO instructor will teach a larger percentage of class sessions (70-80%) and complete a proportional amount of exam writing, course design, etc.
  • Attends all class sessions taught by Dr Doherty
  • Writes exam questions and grades or oversees grading for class exams, quizzes and/or practice exams
  • Meets regularly with Dr Doherty and the rest of the Bio220 teaching team to discuss both practical and pedagogical issues
  • Works closely with the Course Coordinator on Bio220 logistics
  • Please note: 
    • This commitment will require time throughout the week. The MTO instructor must be on campus for the duration of the quarters worked.                                            
    • Bio220 has a full-time Course Coordinator that will provide support, guidance and logistical administration in addition to a full team of Teaching Assistants and help from support staff.
    • Dr Doherty’s previous class materials will be available; the MTO instructor may adjust class materials to their style but should not plan to re-create large amounts of the course wholesale.
    • A PhD or foreign equivalent is required at the time of appointment.
    • Interviewees should expect to give a live demonstration of their teaching to a mixed group of faculty, staff and students at their interview. 

Position goal:

The goal of this unusual appointment is to provide opportunities to learn and practice cutting-edge active learning techniques in a challenging environment with strong mentorship and lines of support. This opportunity is intended for those who already have significant teaching experience and want to master their craft. At the conclusion of this opportunity, the outgoing MTO instructor should be comfortable with implementing active learning in a large course with a diverse population of vulnerable students of great potential. This will likely be the largest and most challenging class that you will teach, and it will also likely have the most staff and assistance you will ever have to teach a class. Importantly, active learning techniques shift the ratio of teacher talk:students work from traditional lecturing (100:0) to a more active, equitable and ambitious classroom (40:60). With better student outcomes, these techniques require greater required skill and practice. 

Notes from Human Resources:

UW faculty engage in teaching, research, and service. The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information. 


Application materials will be accepted via Interfolio. We don’t have all of the Interfolio-specific details yet, but those will be emailed out on the same channels shortly. Feel free to wait for those or inquiry directly to Ben Wiggins at to check in at any time. In the meantime, the application will require:

1. A cover letter briefly answering the following questions:

  • What teaching experiences have helped to prepare you for this job?
  • Why will advanced pedagogical techniques be useful to your desired career?
  • What do you believe are the most important needs of Bio220 students?
  • If you are teaching in Autumn quarter in the Pacific Northwest, please provide scheduling information in this cover letter such that a reviewer could attend and observe one of your classes. Please include any additional information relevant to this application. 
  • Please explain any intended co-funding. Many applicants intend to continue an active research program during the 2019-2020 year, which is completely OK! We just want to make sure that we are all managing expectations appropriately. Let us know in what lab you intend to work (if any). This information will not be used to contact anyone.
  • Contact information for three references.
Please title your cover letter using the following filename: “Bio220 MTO LastName FirstName Letter.pdf”

2. A CV. Please title your CV using the following filename: “Bio220 MTO LastName FirstName CV.pdf”

Applications will be due on Wednesday November 28th. All on-time applications will be reviewed at the same time soon after the due date. Late applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on the quality of the applications already received.