To Prepare Chemistry Graduate/Postdoctoral Students for Careers at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs)

At PUIs, such as Lafayette College, a faculty member’s foremost responsibility is teaching. As most graduate and postdoctoral students complete their training at R1 institutions, many who are interested in pursuing careers at PUIs lack the teaching experience and mentorship to make them successful during the job application process and in their first year teaching.  The Institute for Future PUI Faculty (IFPF) seeks to fill that void.


What is the Institute for Future PUI Faculty (IFPF)?

It is an immersive training program for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars interested in pursuing a teaching-intensive faculty position. A select cohort of interested graduate and/or postdoctoral students will be invited to Lafayette to participate in a brief, but intensive two-week experience. Upon arriving at Lafayette, each participant will be paired with a Lafayette chemistry faculty mentor who will advise them throughout the program.  Then, to expose them to life as a faculty member at a PUI, participants will engage in class observations, one-on-one meetings with their mentor and other chemistry faculty, and science education and career workshops. These workshops will cover topics such as syllabus development, course planning, student engagement, active learning, and preparing for the job market.  Finally, the participants will gain real-life experience by carrying out a teaching assignment, while being observed and coached by their faculty mentor, and give a research seminar targeted towards our undergraduates on their doctoral or postdoctoral work. By the end of two weeks, the participants will have been exposed to contemporary science pedagogy, planned and instructed at least two lessons in their chemical subdiscipline, and reflected on the effectiveness of those lessons with an experienced faculty member and their cohort. Not only will the participants be immersed in life as a faculty member at a PUI, but they will also learn and hone their teaching skills to make them more competitive applicants for such positions.


Program Dates: April 1st – 13th, 2024


  • Applicants must be:
    • Postdoctoral students at a college or university within the United States
    • Graduate students at a college or university within the United States who have completed their Ph.D. candidacy exams and are in their 4th year of graduate school or later.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are preparing to apply for jobs during the 2024 – 2025 academic year and have not yet had a substantial teaching experience (this does not include serving as a teaching assistant).
  • Applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Questions?  Please contact Dr. Michael Bertucci at bertuccm@lafayette.edu


This program is supported by the Chemistry of Life Processes Program in the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry under Grant CHE-2139898