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Postdoc Teaching Certificate

In category: Teaching and Mentoring Programs

The Postdoc Teaching Certificate is offered through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to provide teaching preparation and practice to postdoctoral scholars. Teaching is integral to the professional development of many postdocs, especially those seeking academic careers. This certificate has been developed to provide a framework on which to build your skills, practice new techniques, and reflect on the experience. The certificate requires approximately 100 hours to complete, and can be completed in one year, or over the course of several years. The preparation, practice, assessment, and reflection will be complied to serve as the basis of your teaching portfolio, the capstone piece of the certificate.

Participation in the teaching certificate program is voluntary and must be approved by your faculty sponsor. We recommend discussing your plans in the context of your Individual Development Plan. Also note postdoc policy on teaching.

The teaching certificate is comprised of 4 parts. Approximately 2/3 of your effort should be dedicated to teaching preparation and training. The remaining 1/3 is devoted to teaching and developing your portfolio.
1. Required teaching training – 35 hours minimum
2. Elective Courses and Workshops – 35 hours minimum
3. Teaching Practice – approximately 20 hours including minimum 5 hours in class
4. Teaching portfolio – approximately 10 hours

There is no required order to the components, although we recommend specific skills development before practice (e.g. take a course in curriculum design before designing your curriculum).

Postdoc Teaching Certificate Process

* You must be signed in to Google Drive with your email address and password to access this form in your browser.

  • Sign up for the Postdoc Teaching Interest email list at  if you haven’t already. Any opportunities we hear of that would count toward the Teaching Certificate will be sent out via that email list.
  • Begin taking part in activities that will count toward the Teaching Certificate, as outlined below. If you have questions about whether an activity would be applicable, please email
  • Record each of your activities in this form*

* You must be signed in to Google Drive with your email address and password to access this form in your browser.
The form requests the following information: Name of Workshop, Institution/Organization, Name of Instructor(s), Date(s), Email contact, URL (if available), 3+ Learning Goals or Key Takeaways, and Reflection. Be sure to email yourself a copy of your responses, as this will be helpful as you create your Teaching Statement.

  • Begin collecting materials for your Teaching Portfolio. 


Postdoc Teaching Certificate Requirements

Teaching Training:  Approximately 35 Hours

This workshop is offered 3 times per year and has limited enrollment; please indicate your interest in the Teaching Certificate when applying.

  • Comprehensive Pedagogy Workshop or Course (min. 15 hours)


Opportunities not listed on the Teaching Certificate website must be approved; please email with details for OPA review.

Elective Courses/Workshops: at least 35 hours

The number of courses required depends on the number of in-class hours total between the required teaching workshops and electives, totaling a minimum of 70 training hours.

  • Teaching Preparation





  • Classroom Management


  • Undergraduate Teaching Series: Managing the Classroom, Classroom Conduct, and Working with a Diverse Student Population; Engaging the Student in and out of the Classroom
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness


  • ​​VPTL: Creating an Inclusive Classroom
  • VPGE: Teaching Diverse Learners

Teaching Practice: approximately 20 hours including preparation time

Teach at least 5 hours in a classroom. The 5 hours is in-class time and does not include preparation time.

This may include a combination of multiple opportunities; see the Teaching Opportunities site for more examples. 
Each Teaching opportunity must include:

  • Original course content
  • Teacher assessment: evaluation surveys, pre/post assessments, observer and feedback; video and feedback
  • Class activities, assignments, and/or assessments


Teaching Portfolio: approximately 10 hours

  • Teaching Statement
  • Other Portfolio Pieces
    • Original Course Syllabi
    • Teaching Evaluations, Annotated*
    • Course Assignments, Annotated*
    • Course Assessments, Annotated*
    • Teaching Video
    • Other Portfolio Content, as applicable


*Teaching Portfolio annotations assist a hiring committee in assessing your portfolio items. Information to provide may include:

  • What audience: who are the students, what level, what prior knowledge, etc.?
  • Curricular context (within overall curriculum, course, etc.)?
  • Specific (learning) goals?
  • Delivery method? Activities?
  • Class size? Adaptability to other class sizes?
  • Class length? Amount of out-of-class work intended?
  • What did you learn? What would you change?