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The ASPIRE Teaching Internship

The ASPIRE Teaching Internship will support trainees who are keenly interested in teaching-focused faculty careers. As a means to confirm their interest in and be competitive for these types of jobs, trainees will have the opportunity to gain exposure to teaching and experience in the undergraduate classroom. The ASPIRE program will facilitate teaching opportunities through partnerships with undergraduate institutions where trainees can take part in a teaching internship.


  • Students must have completed their qualifying exams.
  • Postdoctoral fellows will be eligible throughout their training, pending approval of a leave of absence (if full-time) by their research advisor and funding source.
  • Priority will be given to trainees who have participated in the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching (CFT) “Seminar in College Teaching” program (see details below).

A teaching intern will be mentored by a professor from the four year college. The intern will observe the host professor in action, discuss teaching strategies, and partner with the professor to deliver lecture(s) related to new scientific research.

ASPIRE travel scholarships are available to trainees to help offset travel expenses that may be associated with doing an internship. Please see the ASPIRE travel scholarship page for application information and policies.

“Seminar in College Teaching”, Vanderbilt Center for Teaching

This eight week Seminar course is offered twice each academic year, beginning in January and September, and is led by CFT facilitators. The program helps participants develop teaching skills that promote learning within a diverse student body. Facilitators model a variety of active learning strategies like cooperative learning, problem-posing, case study, interactive lecturing, discussion, critical thinking, and role-playing. The 8-session course covers: 1) research on teaching and learning in higher education; 2) effective lecturing; 3) teaching large classes; 4) facilitating discussions; 5) managing classroom dynamics; 6) assessment of learning; 7) microteaching; and 8) developing a reflective teaching practice.

The CFT accepts applications for the Seminar in College Teaching twice a year, for a limited number of participants each semester.  Trainees interested in an ASPIRE Teaching Internship should contact Ashley E. Brady, Ph.D., in the Office of Career Development, to discuss timing.