Papers in the Biological Sciences


Document Type


Date of this Version

Winter 2016


CBE—Life Sciences Education • 15:es10, pp. 1–10, Winter 2016.


© 2016 M. L. Aikens, L. A. Corwin, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. Used by permission.


Postdoctoral positions in biology education research (BER) are becoming increasingly common as the field grows. However, many life science graduate students are unaware of these positions or do not understand what these positions entail or the careers with which they align. In this essay, we use a backward-design approach to inform life science graduate students of postdoctoral opportunities in BER. Beginning with the end in mind, we first discuss the types of careers to which BER postdoctoral positions lead. We then discuss the different types of BER postdoctoral positions, drawing on our own experiences and those of faculty mentors. Finally, we discuss activities in which life science graduate students can engage that will help them gauge whether BER aligns with their research interests and develop skills to be competitive for BER postdoctoral positions.

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