Optional Additional TA Opportunities

The Department of Biology considers teaching to be a core component of a doctoral student’s academic training. Students who wish to do more teaching after they have fulfilled the program’s requirement may be considered for open TA positions once students who have not yet completed their requirements have been assigned.

In all cases, students completing optional, additional TA opportunities must have already advanced to candidacy. Additionally, given the expectation of reduced productivity in the lab while serving as a TA, students must also receive consent from their advisor before being appointed. 

Types of Additional TAships

BIO or BIOHOPK Courses

Students may apply to teach additional courses in Biology, either on main campus or at Hopkins. These may be introductory labs (40-level), introductory courses (60-level), foundational courses (80-level), or upper division electives (100-level). Students will only be considered for teaching additional courses after students who have not yet completed their requirements have been assigned.

Design and Co-Teach a Biology Course

Occasionally students want to co-teach a course with an instructor or design a new course. To pursue these opportunities, teaching requirements must already be completed and students must have written approval from their advisor to teach and/or design a class. Specifically, students interested in designing a course should see staff in the Student Services Office at least 3-6 months in advance of possibly offering the course.

The Department does not currently have funds budgeted to compensate students who wish to develop and teach their own course. Though financial compensation is not available, course development is a beneficial aspect of doctoral training. 

Graduate students who wish to design and teach a course should work with a faculty sponsor in the department and follow departmental policies and guidelines. Faculty sponsors are expected to guide graduate student instructors in pedagogy and they accept overall responsibility for the academic quality of the course, including instruction and evaluation. Examples of Biology courses developed by graduate students include:

  • BIO 114: bioBUDS - Building Up Developing Scientists: Science In & Beyond the Lab  
  • BIO 121/221: Ornithology
  • BIO 133: Network analysis for community ecology and conservation research

Other Teaching Opportunities  

A comprehensive list of teaching opportunities available to Stanford graduate students (including Summer Session, Leland Scholars, etc.) 

 

Funding and Appointment Information

Funding

Students completing optional, additional TA work will be appointed as Mentor Teaching Assistants. The department’s rate for Mentor Teaching Assistants will be $3,000 higher than the university minimum rate for a 50% appointment. 

Appointments

Students who are normally paid via Research Assistantship (RA) from either a department or PI funding source

  • Courses requiring up to a 25% appointment (10 hours/week) 
    Students will be paid by Biology at the department’s Mentor Teaching Assistant (TF) rate for the effort required by the course (typically 25%). The student will then receive a RA appointment (funded by either the Department or PI) to total a 50% assistantship appointment for the quarter.

  • Courses requiring a 50% appointment (20 hours/week)
    Students will be paid by Biology at the department’s 50% Mentor Teaching Assistant (TF) rate.  

Students normally paid via fellowship stipend 

  • Courses requiring up to a 25% appointment (10 hours/week)
    Students on fellowships (e.g. NSF, SGF, etc.) are eligible to TA courses requiring a 25% appointment (10 hours/week) or lower. Students will be paid by the Biology at the department’s Mentor Teaching Assistant (TF) rate for the effort required by the course (typically 25%).  

  • Courses requiring a 50% appointment (20 hours/week)
    Students on fellowship are only allowed to take on a maximum additional 25% TA/TF appointment. If a student wants to TA a course requiring 50% effort, they must defer the fellowship for a quarter. They will then be paid by Biology at the department’s 50% Mentor Teaching Assistant (TF) rate in the quarter they are engaging in optional teaching.

Note: BIO 40-, 60- and 80-level courses require a 50% appointment.

Annual University funding rates (CA, RA, TA, TF, etc.) can be found at gfs.stanford.edu

If you have any questions, please contact the Student Services Manager