Fellowships in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) is a successful program that provides postdoctoral fellows with both research support and training in teaching methods that are useful to their career development. This fellowship program combines the faculties of one of the top national research universities and four of the top national minority servicing institutions in the Atlanta metropolitan area with 5.4 million people to increase the quantity and quality of post-doctoral fellows achieving careers in biological/biomedical sciences. The FIRST Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (K12) (IRACDA) is supported by the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at NIGMS, one of the National Institutes of Health, and provides interdisciplinary biomedical research training by a faculty with the expertise to nurture the foundation critical for outstanding postdoctoral research training. The current research mentors are members of 20 biological and clinical science departments at Emory and Morehouse School of Medicine. Over the three years of the fellowship, the research post-doctoral experience is complemented and integrated with a teaching program which moves from a How to Teach course, to classroom technologies, mentorship of undergraduates, laddered teaching experience, course development and production of web-based courses. By many research measures, including number and quality of publications and job placement, FIRST fellows and the FIRST program are succeeding in providing a quality research experience. Similarly, by many evaluative teaching measures, including integrating innovative methods and courses into the AUC curricula and inspiring the next generation of minority scientists, FIRST fellows and the FIRST program are successful in teaching. Program benefits include creation of a cohesive core of postdoctoral fellows and alumni that interact in and out of the laboratory, a voice in the program's development and evaluation, as well as an increase in the overall representation of minority scientists at Emory.
Consortium Schools (all located in Atlanta, Georgia):
For inquiries, send emails to FIRST@emory.edu