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Yale College Teaching and Learning Committee




Yale College Teaching and Learning Committee

Prizes for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching

Prize Teaching Fellowships 2009-10

The Nomination Process
Deadline for Nominations
The Awards

The Prize Teaching Fellowships recognize outstanding performance and promise as a teacher. They are considered among the most important honors that Yale bestows upon graduate students.


Yale graduate students in good standing in a Ph. D. program who have served in Yale College as Teaching Fellows (TFs) or Part-Time Acting Instructors (PTAIs) in academic year 2008-09 are eligible for nomination for Prize Teaching Fellowships.

The awards will be based upon excellence in performance as TFs or PTAIs , as attested to by undergraduate students and by supervising faculty. To be eligible for selection, graduate students must be making satisfactory progress towards the Ph.D. degree, as shown in the Dissertation Progress Report filed with the Graduate School.

Selection will be made in the spring of 2009 by a committee co-chaired by the Director of the Teaching Fellow Program in the Graduate School and an Associate Dean of Yale College.

The Nomination Process

Students in Yale College may nominate any graduate student whom they had as a Teaching Fellow (TF) or Part-Time Acting Instructor (PTAI) in an undergraduate course in either the fall or spring term, 2008-09.

Letters of nomination may be sent to the Yale College Dean's Office, 110 SSS, or may be e-mailed to yale.college@yale.edu. There is no special form for nominations.

Whether delivered in person to the Yale College Dean's Office or sent by e-mail, nominations need not be lengthy, but it helps the selection committee make their decisions if letters provide specific information about how a particular TF or PTAI has excelled as an instructor rather than general expressions of enthusiasm. This is not a popularity contest or an election in which the determination is made merely on the number of nominations received. The selection committee reads the letters of nomination and pays attention to the quality rather than just the quantity of information it receives.

Twice a year, at the end of the fall term and in the middle of the spring term, the Yale College Dean's Office will invite nominations by e-mailing all Yale College students with an active <yale.edu> e-mail account. The Yale College Dean's Office will also seek nominations through notices placed in residential college weekly newsletters. To avoid potential conflicts of interest, graduate student instructors should not solicit their students for nominations, but if asked by undergraduates how to go about making a nomination, should refer them to this web-site.

Letters of nomination must include the full name of the person writing the letter, the full name of the graduate student being nominated for the Prize Teaching Fellowship, and the name or number of the course in which the graduate student taught and the term (fall or spring) in which it was offered. Undergraduates writing letters of nomination should include information about their own class year and residential college.

Deadline for Nominations

The deadline for receipt of letters of nomination is Monday, March 30, 2009, at 5 p.m.

Once student nominations have been received and sorted, the selection committee will contact relevant departments and seek supporting information from the faculty member in charge of the course with which the TF or PTAI was affiliated, or as relevant, the DUS, DGS, Chair, or other departmental officer of the program sponsoring the course. These additional materials help the selection committee to make its final choices from among those nominated by undergraduates.

The Awards

The number of Prize Teaching Fellowships is not strictly capped, but is expected in any given year to lie between ten and fifteen.

The winners of Prize Teaching Fellowships receive a cash prize of $3000 to be awarded in spring 2009.

Prize Fellowship winners who wish to teach in 2009-10 should consult with the DUS or chair of their department, or the DUS or chair of the department in which they wish to teach, as soon as possible after receiving notification of the award.
For those Prize Fellowship winners who wish to teach as section leaders, early consultation will ensure priority in the processes of deliberation by which these assignments are made in their department.

In some departments, it may be possible to offer an independent course. Prize Teaching Fellowship winners interested in this option should be in contact as soon as possible after receiving their award letter with the chair or DUS of the department in which they seek to offer such a course. Such consultation will make clear whether that possibility exists within the curriculum of the program with which they are affiliated and will help them to develop a course suited to the program's needs in the following year. Both the DUS and the Yale College Course of Study Committee must approve any new courses.

Teaching stipends for courses taught in 2009-10 by Prize Teaching Fellowship winners will be paid at the levels set for those forms of instruction for that year and will be disbursed in accordance to the normal schedule of payment for those ranks.

Those selected as Prize Teaching Fellows will be honored at a dinner in Fall 2008, hosted by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of Yale College.



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