Teaching Requirement

CMB students must serve as teaching assistants (GSIs) for one term. There are a great variety of teaching opportunities throughout the University at all levels of education, and students have chosen to teach courses as diverse as Cancer Biology (graduate), Introductory Biology (undergraduate) and Histology (medical). The CMB Teaching Coordinator and/or the CMB Program Administrator act as liaisons with the contributing departments and assist students in securing teaching positions. 

Students can also choose to pursue an optional Graduate Teaching Certificate, which is organized through the Center for Research on Learning & Teaching (CRLT). Students interested in pursuing a teaching certificate can seek more information at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

All GSI positions should be approved through CMB before the student accepts the position, since CMB needs to coordinate the GSI appointment with the student's current funding. For available courses, see the Program Guide page (under "Teaching Requirement") for a spreadsheet of former GSI opportunities. Contact cmbgrad@umich.edu with any questions. 

Tips when searching for a GSI position:

  • GSI positions are competitive, so start looking for a GSI 2 semesters in advance. It is recommended that students start looking for a position in their 2nd/G1 year, ideally for a position in the 3rd/G2 or 4th/G3 year.
  • Some departments have prioritized students from their own programs, so let them know it is a program requirement for CMB. It helps to have taken the course, and/or to demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject matter.
  • Search courses in the course catalog (current and future semesters) and email the course instructors directly

IMPORTANT: Please note, some funding sources (e.g. F31s, training grants) have limits to how how many hours per week you can teach. F31s, for example, allow no more than 10 hours/week of teaching (or 25% effort). It is important you coordinate this with CMB before accepting a position.

CMB also offers a GSI appointment in the Winter semester (CMB short course/CMBIOL 630) at 5% effort, which is compatible with F31s and other funding sources a student may have that limit teaching hours. Please see the "CMB Short Course Description and Expectations" document below for more information, and a link to the application. Applications are due November 15th for the following Winter semester.