ASPIRE Teaching Internship at Fisk University: Developmental Biology

Ashley Brady
December 6, 2016
Posted in Announcements


ASPIRE Teaching Internship: Developmental Biology Course

Class Lecture/Discussion: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:30- 10:20 am
Course-associated laboratory: Tuesday from 2:30- 5:30

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., Assistant Professor of Biology & Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of Graduate Studies in Biology. The intern will also gain 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 Developmental Biology class is a small class for upper-level undergraduates and first-year Master’s students.  The course focuses on general principles of Developmental Biology (embryogenesis, specification, differentiation, organogenesis, growth), common model organisms used in the field of Developmental Biology, and the synergistic role of genetically encoded information and cell signaling cascades.  The lab will use multiple model organism systems to demonstrate and test these principles.

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 spring semester, January-April 2017. 
  • Part-time, un-paid opportunity (5-8 hours per week)


Applications due midnight, Thursday Jan 5, 2017

  • Fill out the 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 Sp 2017 in the file name and with subject line: ASPIRE Teaching Internship_NelmsFISK Sp 2017.
  • Set up an in-person 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.