Teaching is important and there are opportunities for postdocs! 

Why does teaching matter to Postdocs (PDs)?

  • Many PDs are interested in academic careers
  • Teaching helps you solidify your understanding
  • “Try before you buy” - knowing what university teaching is like helps clarify career goals (acad. vs industry)
  • Builds communication & presentation skills
  • Teaching & mentoring are desirable, marketable skills (career development)

How can PDs get teaching experience? Postdoc union’s framing as Two main types (with some overlap):

  • Informal teaching opportunities
  • Formal teaching positions

- Formal teaching positions can be a bit tricky for PDs but some opportunities exist:

  • Part time Lecturer position within the UC – many departments need additional teaching staff (note: this will require a temporary reduction in PD appointment). 

  • Total appointment at UC cannot exceed 100%. 

  • In most cases you can maintain postdoc benefits (PSBP) if you maintain at least 43.75% appointment as a postdoc, but verify this before finalizing your lecturer appointment.

  • Teaching positions outside the UC – many community colleges need lecturers also (though fewer for part time)

  • Teach part time for summer programs, at UC or otherwise (e.g., COSMOS, others?)

  • QB3 Lab Fundamentals Bootcamp

  • Depending on your visa type, special permission may be required to be paid for work not associated with your PD appointment

  • Make sure to determine the details of your visa status requirements when pursuing a formal teaching opportunity.

- Informal oppurtunities for PDs both in and outside the UC: 

  • Mentoring grad and undergrad students in your lab

  • Helping with student research fairs/conferences/festivals

  • Organizing a journal club/discussion group for students interested in your field – perhaps work w/student clubs

  • Educational outreach – volunteer to present at community schools (K-12, community colleges), “Pint of Science” type events, organize a public lecture series off-campus w/fellow PDs 

  • Volunteer to guest lecture a UC class in your area of research

  • Prison University Project - Volunteer to teach inmates at San Quentin prison in Marin County 

  • PTOP though VSPA (check out our event)

  • Bay Area Science in Schools

Other external resources 


Teaching workshop

Other websites

On Campus Teaching Opportunties

Opportunities of Interdisciplinary Teaching O.F.I.T.

This program offers volunteering and interdisciplinary teaching opportunities for visiting researchers and postdocs on UC Berkeley campus. Participants will improve their teaching skills and communication of their research to a broad audience and adult learners.

We invite interested postdocs, visiting graduate students, and visiting scholars from different fields of study to prepare and team-teach (groups of 2 to 5) a lecture during the fall or spring semesters.

Participants can apply individually or as a team.

Professional Development

Collaboration with Graduate Student Instructors Teaching and Resource Center (GSI)

In collaboration with GSI teaching and resource center the PTOP community can now attend workshops for deveolping their teaching skills.

Workshops available:

  • Syllabus and Course Design
  • How to Teach a Large Course
  • Teaching and the Academic Job Search
  • Enhancing Student Participation
  • Peer Exchange and Feedback on Statements of Teaching Philosophy

Educational Outreach

Volunteering Teaching opportunities in the Bay Area

Contact Coalition for Education & Outreach (CEO) for further information