I am soon going to finish my PhD (neuroscience; India) and am interested in working as a post-doctoral fellow, eventually going down the teaching and research line. My question is specifically about teaching. So far, I have had zero formal teaching experience (unfortunately such opportunities do not exist at my institute).

How does one go about learning how to develop and design a course and to get a grasp of teaching to undergraduate/graduate students? I have seen some questions here and also some job postings (from various countries). A lot of them require you to come and even give a demonstration of your teaching style, or be aware of latest teaching methods, or to give examples of how you would design a course and so forth. Do young faculties/post-doctoral researchers get trained in these areas or are you expected to have figured it out by the time it comes to applying for a faculty position?

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    This varies by place. In the US there is nothing formal, but often a bit of mentoring. Other places are more rational. Post-docs may not need to teach at all, actually. Practices differ.
    – Buffy
    Jan 2, 2020 at 20:31
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    As @Buffy sais, it depends. You might think about trying to get some teaching experience as part of your postdoc (though that may be tricky if the PI is supporting you for research). Jan 2, 2020 at 22:21
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    This organization will help you: cirtl.net Jan 3, 2020 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


Some do teaching as part of their Masters or PhD studies.

Others do a teacher training course before, or after, Masters or PhD.

Some do teacher training without wanting to do a Masters or PhD and teacher training courses can be short (about 1 year) or longer.

  • Colleagues from Germany and Switzerland report similarly. They are shocked by the US practice. "What?" they say.
    – Buffy
    Jan 2, 2020 at 20:33

Some universities have a center or organization for teaching, which can provide resources for getting started. You might also check out https://opensyllabus.org/

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