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Restructured Bass Fellowships Benefit Many Graduate Students

The announcement of the newly restructured Bass Undergraduate Instructional Program for Ph.D. students sparked considerable interest in the graduate student community, which was evident in the response to the information session led by Associate Dean John Klingensmith and Hugh Crumley, Director of the Certificate in College Teaching Program. Excitement over the program is understandable, as it offers a large number of graduate students an opportunity to gain either teaching experience or training in online teaching. The Bass program, funded through a generous endowment gift from the family of Anne T. and Robert M. Bass, will support high-quality teaching experiences and help students become knowledgeable in online college teaching. To accomplish these goals, the program offers not only more traditional teaching assistantships (TAs) and instructors of record (IOR), but also online apprenticeships to address the increasing likelihood that Ph.D.s will also be expected to teach in an online environment.

In the past, some graduate students who have wanted to teach undergraduates at Duke have had limited opportunities to obtain the teaching experience that is especially critical for Ph.D. students who want to be competitive for teaching faculty positions. The Bass teaching fellowships address this need by providing a funded semester in which a Ph.D. student can act as either an instructor of record of a course in his or her discipline or as a teaching assistant with a significant instructional role. This may include, for example, leading a weekly lab, section, or recitation in a department that needs additional instructional staff. Alternately, Bass Online Apprentices (OAs) will participate in a class designed especially for them, Online College Teaching, and apprentice with a Duke faculty member and Center for Instructional Technology staff who are using innovative online teaching practices.

The application deadline for the fellowships was November 22, and the first cohort will start in spring semester 2014. All Bass Fellows will receive the standard Arts & Sciences TA-level payment and a full or partial tuition and fee scholarship for their semester of participation. Complete information on the program can be found at