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  • National Institute on Scientific Teaching

University of California Riverside

The Department of Botany & Plant Sciences at the University of California, Riverside invites applications for a fulltime Academic Coordinator I position. The successful candidate will be part of a team of Academic Coordinators, Senior Research Associates, graduate and undergraduate students in the Dynamic Genome (DG) Program.

The main purpose of the DG program is to run a research-intensive course for first-year undergraduates called Biology 20: The Dynamic Genome. At least 24 sections of the course are offered each year for over 190 students. The course starts with four experiments that demonstrate key concepts in biology through experimentation. The students then apply the techniques and concepts learned to complete a guided project based on ongoing research in a UCR professor’s laboratory.

The candidate’s role in the Dynamic Genome (DG) Program will be to:

Manage the graduate teaching assistants

  • Working with Academic Coordinator II, will recommend TA appointments for Biology 20, assign sections to the appointed TAs, run an orientation session with the TAs in the unique aspects of a research-intensive course, and hold weekly meetings to address TA concerns and review grading rubrics.

  • In collaboration with another Academic Coordinator II, will develop training materials for the TAs and undergraduate laboratory assistants. These materials will be based on evidence-based literature and scientific teaching principles.

  • Serve as an instructor when necessary for Biology 20. This requires extensive knowledge of molecular biology techniques and ability to be flexible in the teaching laboratory.

  • Assist with outreach that is part of the DG program. This may include running workshops during the week for K-12 students or serving on panels that encourage high school students to go to college in STEM fields.

  • Assist as needed with grant proposals to support the activities of the DG Program.

Candidates must be able to develop agendas and run organized meetings, have experience mentoring TAs and developing grading rubrics, have significant experience teaching research-intensive laboratory courses, have had significant experience with molecular biology techniques including PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA quantification, etc., troubleshooting experiments when they fail, have extensive experience collecting large quantities of samples, keeping track of information about each sample so that the results sequence data will be analyzable, have significant experience with bioinformatics including BLAST, multiple sequence alignment, PCR primer design, etc.

Candidates must possess proven, effective teaching skills. This includes being able to explain complex biological concepts such as CRISPR/CAS, splicing, and laboratory techniques in simpler terms to novice students, good record keeping skills and communication skills, and flexibility to work in a highly dynamic, less structured laboratory teaching environment. The most successful candidate will have had training in scientific teaching by attending a Summer Teaching Institute, experience preparing DNA libraries for a PacBio sequencing strategy developed for use in Biology 20, a demonstrated passion to promote diversity in the STEM fields to UCR undergraduates and students in the greater community, experience analyzing mutations induced by CRISPR/CAS technology and experience as a TA in a research-intensive laboratory course.

To Apply:

Application materials for this position should be submitted through

Please provide a full curriculum vitae, Statement of Teaching, Statement of Contributions to Diversity, and at least three contacts for letters of recommendation. Review of applications will commence on 05/17/2019, and proceed until position is filled. For full consideration, candidates should submit their complete applications by the above date.

For more information about the position, please contact Dr. James Burnette ( For inquiries regarding the application process, please contact Eric Chong, Academic Personnel at

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. UCR is a world-class research university with an exceptionally diverse undergraduate student body.

Its mission is explicitly linked to providing routes to educational success for underrepresented and first-generation college students. A commitment to this mission is a preferred qualification. Advancement through the Academic Coordinator ranks at the University of California is through a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, occurring every 2-3 years, each of which includes substantial peer input.

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