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ASPIRE Teaching Internship: Molecular Methods, Fisk University

Posted by on Friday, August 9, 2019 in Announcements .

Fall 2019 ASPIRE Internship Opportunity:


Teaching Internship: Molecular Methods Course and Lab

1 Lecture: TBD (most likely 3:30-5:30), 2 Labs: Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-11:30am

Fisk University

1000 17th Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37208


Fisk University is a small, historically black liberal arts university with a history of excellence in academics through teaching, research, and service.  It is Nashville’s oldest institution of higher education and conveniently located less than two miles from Vanderbilt.


This teaching internship will provide experience in teaching a lab-intensive course within a liberal arts environment.  The participant will be hosted by Dr. Brian Nelms, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology and BMB (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) and Director of Graduate Studies in Biology. The intern will also gain some exposure and insight into the day-to-day activities of life as a tenure-track professor with a blend of teaching and research responsibilities at a small liberal arts college.


The Molecular Methods class is a small lab-intensive course (2 lab periods and 1 lecture per week) for upper-level undergraduates and first-year Master’s students.  Students are introduced to the theory and practice of modern molecular biology strategies such as genetic engineering, transgenic animal systems, next-gen sequencing, CRISPR, RNAi, and more.  The lab course focuses primarily on recombinant DNA and associated methods, and other DNA- and RNA-based techniques, with a small introduction to some protein methods, incorporating authentic research problems and student-led experimental design.


The participant will:

  • Help to design a lab module, preferably related to an area of their own scientific expertise.
  • Observe teaching at the undergraduate/Master’s level
  • Meet and interact with undergraduate and Master’s level students
  • Give 1-2 guest lectures and receive feedback
  • Support teaching activities within a laboratory course
  • Meet and learn from other STEM faculty at Fisk


  • Internship would be for the fall semester, mid-August to early December 2019.
  • Part-time, un-paid opportunity (4-8 hours per week total time)


Applications due by noon, August 16th, 2019

To apply:

  • Fill out the following ASPIRE Internship Application found here: (
  • Submit a CV and letter of interest describing your background and career goals and interest in teaching to Ashley Brady at .  Please submit documents as pdfs with your last name_Nelms_FISK Fa 2019 in the file name and with subject line: ASPIRE Teaching Internship_Nelms_FISK Fa 2019.
  • Schedule a meeting with Ashley Brady prior to the application deadline

Your information will then be passed along to the host who will contact you directly to schedule an interview.  For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (


Please review ASPIRE Internship FAQs: Found here
​For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (

Eligibility requirements

  • Applicants must be a current Vanderbilt University PhD student or a current postdoctoral fellow.
  • All PhD students must have completed all coursework for their degree prior to the start of the internship.
  • Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  • Students and postdocs may not participate in more than one internship at a time.  More than one application may be submitted at a single time, but only one position can be accepted.
  • If you are not in a department supported by the BRET office, we will also require that you complete a form guaranteeing PI approval to participate in this program.  Please contact Ashley Brady at for more information.
  • If you are an international student or postdoctoral fellow, your visa status may affect your work eligibility. Please contact Ashley Brady ( to discuss this further.

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