Lecturer talking to students in lecture hall

Graduate Academic Certificates

Future Undergraduate Science Educators

The Graduate Academic Certificate in Future Undergraduate Science Educators (FUSE) is a transcript notation program that provides pedagogical training for Ph.D. students in the College of Biological Sciences who are interested in pursuing teaching careers at the undergraduate level.

2024 FUSE Applications

We are very excited to announce the call for applications for our second cohort of the FUSE program. In this call for applications six CBS graduate students will be selected and invited to join the FUSE program. If six qualified CBS students are not found, graduate students outside of CBS will be considered for acceptance.

Application timeline and notes:
  • The FUSE Application for Fall 2024 Cohort will close at 5 pm Monday July 1, 2024. 
  • We will notify applicants of acceptance by Sunday, Aug. 4, 2024. 
  • Acceptance to the FUSE program will require enrolling in FSE 310 Fall Quarter, a 3-unit course on Scientific Teaching that will be taught in person Tue/Thu mornings.
Your application should include:
For your reference: 

To apply, you will need to prepare short answers to the following questions, which are in the application form and provided here for ease of reference. Please limit your responses to 200 words. 

  • Identify and describe one area of teaching and learning that you are interested in learning more about. 
  • Part of the FUSE Graduate Academic Certificate requires an authentic mentored teaching experience. Please describe the teaching experience you would like to pursue (what class/topic area? what level of instruction?) 
  • Briefly describe a proposed timeline for fulfilling all of the requirements of the FUSE GAC. 
  • Describe how participation in this program will better prepare you for your future career goals. 
  • Do you have teaching experience or teacher training (formal or informal)? If so, please describe this experience. (Teaching experience or training is not a prerequisite for the program.)

Apply to the FUSE program here!

Program Overview

Students are trained in evidence-based teaching practices and engage in mentored, authentic teaching experiences. The curriculum is based on Scientific Teaching, a pedagogical framework in which teaching is approached with the same rigor as scientific research. This framework includes using active learning strategies and other teaching methods that have been systematically tested and shown to both engage students in the process of science and promote diversity and inclusion.

Goals of the FUSE program:
  1. To make our Ph.D. students in the sciences more competitive for teaching positions after they graduate
  2. Close the time gap between graduation and achieving tenure track positions in higher education
  3. Improve the quality of undergraduate science education
A note on prior experience:

This program is designed to present a thorough introduction to evidence-based pedagogy and to provide a student with their first experience as an instructor. Students who already have extensive training in pedagogy or have had experience as an instructor of record are not likely to benefit from this program and are not a target audience for this program.

Requirements and Eligibility

FUSE Eligibility:

In order for a student to be eligible to apply for FUSE, they must: 

  • Be a current graduate student enrolled in one of the eight PhD graduate programs in the College of Biological Sciences (exceptions can be made if space allows)
  • Have a dissertation advisor (i.e. Major Professor)
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate interest to teach after earning their PhD
  • Enroll in FSE 310 the Fall quarter following admittance
Course-related Certificate Requirements:

The FUSE graduate academic certificate requires completion of 12 graduate-level units that must be completed within four years of admittance to the FUSE program. FSE 310 (3 units), FSE 392 (1-6 units), FSE 301 (2 units) and FSE 305 (2 units) are required courses that must be completed to fulfill the certificate requirements. FSE 391 is an elective course that students can take if completion of the required courses does not fulfill 12-units, for example if the FSE 392 teaching practicum is taken for 4 units or fewer.

  • FSE 301—Developing Teaching Resources (2) [REQUIRED]
  • Lecture/Discussion—2 hour(s). Open to graduate students admitted to the Future Undergraduate Science Educators (FUSE) Graduate Academic Certificate program only. Development of curricular materials relevant to undergraduate science courses including complete learning outcomes, lesson plans, learning activities, assessments, data from implementation, and student or peer evaluation of material. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2020 Fall Quarter.
  • FSE 305—Building a Teaching Portfolio (2) [REQUIRED]
  • Lecture/Discussion—2 hour(s). Open to graduate students only. Development of a professional and comprehensive teaching portfolio including a teaching philosophy statement, teaching resume/CV, cover letter, reflection on teaching and professional development experiences, sample curricular materials, student evaluations, and peer evaluation. Careers in higher education. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2021 Spring Quarter.
  • FSE 310—Effective Teaching of College Biology (3) [REQUIRED]
  • Lecture/Discussion—3 hour(s). Open to graduate students only. Undergraduate science education pedagogy. Evidence-based practices in undergraduate science course design, structure and facilitation of classroom learning, assessment, student engagement, inclusion of diverse learners, and the use of technology in enhancing learning. Effective: 2020 Fall Quarter.
  • FSE 392—Teaching Practicum in the Sciences (2-6) [REQUIRED]
  • Internship—1-3 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor. Open only to graduate students enrolled in the Future Undergraduate Science Educators (FUSE) Graduate Academic Certificate program. Teaching practicum in a college-level science course. Planning and facilitation of class sessions in a college-level setting. Assessment of student learning under the guidance of a science faculty mentor. Teaching assignments must be approved by the instructor of record and the students' thesis advisor. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2020 Fall Quarter.
  • FSE 391—Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Seminar (2) [ELECTIVE]
  • Lecture/Discussion—2 hour(s). Research articles on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Current trends in undergraduate level pedagogical research methods and results. (S/U grading only.) Effective: 2021 Winter Quarter.
Other requirements:
  • Upon admission to FUSE
    Upon admittance into the FUSE program, fellows will need to complete the UC Davis Graduate Studies Graduate Academic Certificate Application form (GS 309) and submit to the Program Directors. 
  • Program participation
    FUSE fellows are expected to participate in quarterly FUSE meetings and communicate with the program directors as needed to ensure successful progress in the program. A capstone component of the program is the teaching practicum (FSE 392).
  • Working with the Program Directors
    The program directors will offer as much guidance and support as possible for planning the practicum, but it is each fellow's responsibility to arrange their individual practicum experience.