ASPIRE Teaching Internship at Fisk University: Biochemistry I

Ashley Brady
August 24, 2015
Posted in Announcements

Teaching Internship: Biochemistry I Course

Class Lecture/Discussion: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00- 2:30 pm  
Course-associated laboratory: Wednesday’s from 3:30- 6:30 pm (or as late as it takes)

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 an introduction to Biochemistry (Biochemistry I) course and its course-associated laboratory. The participant will be hosted by Dr. Lee E. Limbird, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Dean. Dr Limbird was formerly Professor of Pharmacology, Chair of Pharmacology and the first Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The Biochemistry class seeks to use student-centered pedagogies to introduce the structure of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates and their integration as enzymes, receptors, and complex regulatory proteins into cellular structure, cellular signaling and metabolic pathways. These pedagogies include:

  • Availability of all class discussion materials online in our course management system in advance (sometimes called ‘flipping the classroom’, but done without videos, just PowerPoint presentations)
  • Guided reading questions for each class to help focus reading
  • Quiz (5 min) at the beginning of each class to foster student ongoing reading and learning in the course (i.e. break bad habits of cramming and immediate forgetting of content)
  • Pretests and their post-submission discussion: so that students learn that the exam is not a regurgitation exercise, but rather an examination of a student’s ability to take content learned and apply it in a new context
  • Exams and exam review: thinking exams; often take-home, open book
  • Course-associated laboratory to introduce commonly used biochemical methods, with an emphasis on experimental design, analysis and interpretation

The participant will:

  • 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
  • Develop a module for the laboratory for future use, or for exploration at the end of the semester


Internship would be for the fall semester, September-December 2015. 
Part-time, unpaid opportunity (5-8 hours per week)

Applications due by midnight, September 7, 2015

  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 (


Eligibility requirements

  1. Applicants must be a current Vanderbilt University PhD student or a current postdoctoral fellow.
  2. All PhD students must have completed all coursework for their degree prior to the Fall 2015 semester.
  3. Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  4. 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.