ASPIRE Teaching Internship at Fisk University: Molecular Methods

Ashley Brady
June 10, 2016
Posted in Announcements


ASPIRE Teaching Internship: Molecular Methods Course and Lab
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-11:30am, Wednesday 3:30- 5:30 pm

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 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.  The course focuses primarily on recombinant DNA and associated methods, and other DNA- and RNA-based techniques, with a small introduction to some protein methods.  The lab exercises incorporate 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 ealry December 2016. 
  • Part-time, un-paid opportunity (4-8 hours per week)


Applications due 12:00 midnight, June 27th.

  • Fill out the following ASPIRE Internship Application found here: (
  • Submit a CV and letter of interest describing your background and career goals to Ashley Brady at (with subject line: ASPIRE Teaching Internship_Nelms)
  • 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.

Please review ASPIRE Internship FAQs: Found here

ASPIRE Internship 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 July 2016.
  • Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  • 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.

For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (