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Cornell University

Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellows (GTAF)

CTI Fellow speaking at U-wide conference

Applications due Monday, June 18, 2018

CTI Fellows

»See current and past participants of the CTI Fellow Network

The Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellows Program offers select graduate students the opportunity to:

  • Work collaboratively with other Graduate TA Fellows.
  • Design and implement teaching programs, events, and resources that foster teaching excellence and innovative pedagogical practice at Cornell.
  • Earn a Graduate TA Fellow certificate.

The GTAF Program is sponsored by Cornell’s Center for Teaching Innovation and instituted with funds generously provided by the Menschel Foundation.

Participants of the GTAF Program will:

  • Develop leadership and mentorship skills.
  • Reflect on and refine their teaching skills.
  • Enhance their communicative skills.
  • Foster collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching networks through interactions with GTAFs in the program, as well as other graduate TAs across the university.
  • Work with CTI staff in developing program objectives.
  • Serve as role models to enhance TA instruction within their own disciplines and across the university.
  • Receive recognition for their training and extensive experience.

Award Information

Upon successful completion of all program requirements over a period of one year, GTAFs will receive a Certificate of Completion.


Applicants interested in the program should have a minimum of two semesters of teaching experience at Cornell, should be currently enrolled graduate students making satisfactory progress towards their degree, and will need to obtain departmental approval. The GTAF appointments are made for one year. Continuation in the program for a second year will be contingent on satisfactory participation in the GTAF Program and continued departmental approval.


Completed application packages (other than advisor/department letter) must be received by Monday, June 18, 2018

  1. Application forms for the 2018-19 academic year: Word Application word application 
  2. Current curriculum vitae
  3. Letter of interest
  4. Letter of support from advisor/department chair (submit separately)
  5. Teaching Philosophy statement (maximum 500 words)

A selection committee will review all completed applications. Selected finalists will be interviewed and successful applicants will be notified by the end of June. Applicants selected to participate in the program will also be required to provide the following two items (though these may be submitted earlier, together with your application):

  1. A professional-looking headshot photograph, to be included on the CTI website.
  2. A brief biography, to be included on the CTI website.

*International students must also submit a completed Foreign National Questionnaire. This form is required for taxation purposes related to the GTAF award.

Program Requirements

Biweekly GTAF seminars

Regular one-hour seminars will provide participants with the opportunity to discuss the latest innovations in pedagogy and share their expertise in a particular topic of interest related to teaching practice. In addition, GTAFs will be able to share their research and resources on the workshops they are facilitating.

Facilitation or co-facilitation of two GET SET Workshops

The CTI’s GET SET Workshops provide a forum for Graduate students, future Educators, and Teaching assistants pursuing Scholarship and Excellence in Teaching to learn about, reflect upon, and discuss topics as diverse as constructing a syllabus, improving course evaluations, developing a teaching portfolio, understanding college students’ cognitive stages, preparing to publish, and employing interactive teaching techniques. The series encompasses a wide range of topics to encourage teaching professionals to engage with these issues in their career development. Each GTAF will facilitate or co-facilitate two sessions each semester.

Facilitation of one Teaching Excellence Program (TEP) session

The TEP is a microteaching exercise and designed to help TAs enhance their presentation, teaching, and oral communication skills. In addition, it provides TAs with the opportunity to practice various teaching strategies and techniques, obtain peer-feedback, and promote self-reflection. GTAFs will be assigned one TEP group each semester, which meets for three, hour-long sessions. Their training in the program also enables the GTAFs to offer TEP/microteaching workshops within their own disciplines.

GET SET training workshops

The GTAFs will collaborate with CTI staff to develop and implement the University-wide or department-specific GET SET training workshops for graduate students, future educators, and teaching assistants. In this capacity, they may serve as liaisons between the CTI and academic departments at Cornell University.

For additional information, please contact Derina Samuel at, 607-254-8242.

     Cornell University