Teaching Opportunities

There are multiple opportunities to gain teaching experience while at UCSF by teaching professional school students, graduate, or K-12 students. We have also developed partnerships with local colleges and universities in the Bay Area to offer UCSF students and postdocs the opportunity to gain experience teaching undergraduate labs and lectures.

Thinking about how to balance teaching and research as a student or postdoc? Check out Balancing Teaching and Research Experiences in Doctoral Training Programs: Lessons for the Future Educator by Michael J. Wolyniak.

Teach at UCSF

  • Teaching Assistantships:
    Graduate programs differ as to their teaching requirements and how they may be met. Consult your graduate program director for specifics.
  • Other teaching opportunities:
    Postdocs interested in teaching opportunities can also ask the faculty member in charge of teaching assignments for their department if they know of any teaching opportunities in the professional schools. Often particular departments have a commitment to supply instructors to one or more of the professional schools (Pharmacy, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Nursing, and Medicine). Alternatively, postdocs may wish to contact the curriculum directors of the professional schools directly.

Teach undergraduate students at a local institution

Many UCSF graduate students and postdoctoral scholars find temporary teaching positions at local undergraduate institutions by contacting school deans and department chairs directly. In addition, we have developed several partnerships with life science departments and programs at local institutions:

  • University of San Francisco (USF): 
    For life scientists: Teach an undergraduate lab or lecture course at USF, or mentor a USF undergraduate student in your current lab through the UCSF/USF Partnership for Undergraduate Mentoring and Teaching (PUMT). These teaching positions are paid adjunct faculty positions which often include a weekly training session on the content of the lab. Applications take place twice a year in October and June. Positions are posted on the Opportunities Board and advertised in OCPD emails (be sure you are on OCPD's listserv to receive these announcements). It is highly recommended that applicants complete the Evidence-Based Teaching course (STEP-UP) or equivalent before starting.
  • San Francisco State University (SFSU): 
    For life scientists and social scientists: Positions are posted on the Opportunities Board and advertised in OCPD emails (be sure you are on OCPD's listserv to receive these announcements).
  • City College of San Francisco (CCSF):
    For life scientists: Positions are posted on the Opportunities Board and advertised in OCPD emails (be sure you are on OCPD's listserv to receive these announcements).
  • Mount Tamalpais College (MTC):
    MTC is an independent liberal arts institution dedicated to serving students at San Quentin State Prison. Course instructor positions are regularly available in the Science and Math Program and in the Humanities and Social Sciences Program. Learn more about how to apply for positions at MTC on their website. Carpools with other instructors may be available.

UCSF programs to develop your teaching skills

  • Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP)
    Teach science at the K-12 level through mentored teaching partnerships with San Francisco public schools. Mentor a high school student in your UCSF lab during the summer. For questions, please contact Katherine Nielsen, Co-Director of SEP.
  • IRACDA/STRIDE Postdoctoral Program
    This fellowship focuses on teaching at minority-serving institutions and is aimed at postdocs who have a particular interest in contributing to diversity efforts in the life sciences. Coordinated by the UCSF Graduate Division and funded through an NIGMS K12 Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award, this fellowship is primarily available to candidates considering doing a postdoc at UCSF. For questions, please contact Anne Sufka, UCSF IRACDA Scholars Program Manager.
  • UC Berkeley Extension
    For life scientists: Teaching opportunities in the basic sciences including biology, chemistry, physics, and for upper division biology coursework. Applicants must have a PhD in relevant course matter and teaching experience. Jobs are posted on the Opportunities Board, contact [email protected] with questions.

Upcoming Events


Mastering the Art of Uncomfortability: How to Network

Date: April 3, 2023
Time: 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Info Session II: Peer Teams, Spring 2023

Date: April 4, 2023
Time: 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Communicating Science to Nonscientists with Jean-luc Doumont

Date: April 14, 2023
Time: 10:30 a.m. - -12:30 p.m.

Evidence-Based Teaching Course (STEP-UP) Opens

Date: June 5, 2023
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.