Future professors must not only be trained as productive researchers, but also as effective educators. The Graduate Institute for Teaching (GIFT) is a two-phase program designed to prepare Tufts doctoral students for an academic career in teaching at the university level.

Summer/Phase 1 Program runs May 20 to June 7, 2024

GIFT Program Structure

2024 GIFT Workshop Schedule

Phase I: Summer Workshops on Pedagogy

During Phase I, teaching fellows attend a series of summer workshops on teaching pedagogy. Phase I workshops take place weekdays, mid-May through the beginning of June, and cover an array of topics:

  • Syllabus and course design
  • Diversity in the classroom
  • Presentation skills
  • Engaging and motivating students
  • Leading group discussions, lab sections, and class projects
  • Teaching with technology (including online platforms)
  • Creating inclusive classroom environments
  • Assessing learning outcomes
  • Teacher-student relationships
  • Creating a teaching philosophy

At the end of Phase I, each GIFT teaching fellow presents a sample lesson and receives feedback. View the GIFT 2024 workshop schedule.

Phase II: Classroom Experience

Phase II takes place during the fall or spring semesters when teaching fellows co-teach a course with a Tufts faculty mentor. 

Unlike the role of a Teaching Assistant (TA), who may assist the faculty in any capacity, GIFT Teaching Fellow play an active role in designing and delivering at least two teaching sessions. During the course, fellows will gain experience in the following:

  • Preparing a course syllabus
  • Classroom teaching (each GIFT graduate teaching fellow leads a minimum of two classroom sessions–but are not expected to be a TA or the primary instructor for the course)
  • Developing assessments
  • Applying what they learned during the workshops in a classroom setting
  • Receiving feedback from their mentors and putting it into practice

Note: Doctoral candidates from across Tufts schools may participate in GIFT, which results in an interdisciplinary focus as a basis for all discussions.

Benefits of GIFT Teaching Fellowship

Teaching Fellows will be given the opportunity to:

  • Co-teach a Tufts course during the fall or spring semesters under the mentorship and supervision of a faculty member;
  • Interact with graduate students and post docs from other disciplines who share an interest and commitment to teaching;
  • Prepare for future employment by increasing both teaching and communication skills through peer-reviewed practice in a supportive learning environment; and
  • Develop a teaching statement.

Tuition and Stipend

Tufts doctoral students will receive a tuition scholarship to enroll in the Institute as a GIFT Fellow. There is no additional cost for enrollment in the program.

GSAS GIFT Fellows will also be paid a $2,000 (taxable) stipend for their teaching responsibilities.

GIFT teaching fellows from other Tufts professional schools are selected for participation by their respective schools, and tuition and payments are arranged by their schools.

Note: If a TF is unable to fulfill their teaching commitment in the fall or spring, they will be expected to forfeit the second portion of the stipend, unless other teaching arrangements are made.

Expectations for Teaching Fellows

  • Time commitment - Teaching Fellows (TF) will be expected to commit themselves to and participate in all Phase I GIFT workshop days during the late spring. Once the Phase I workshops have been completed, the TFs will meet regularly with their faculty mentor to prepare for co-teaching the mentor's fall or spring course.
  • Co-teaching - TFs will have shared responsibility, with their faculty mentor, for many aspects of the course. For instance, they may play an active role in designing the syllabus, reviewing the reading list and the course content. TFs are expected to teach at least two sessions during the course.
  • Differentiation between Teaching Fellows and Teaching Assistants (TAs) - TFs are not expected to serve in the capacity of TAs. However, in some cases TFs are hired by departments to also serve as a paid TA for the same course. That arrangement is separate from the Teaching Fellowship through GIFT.

Interested in Applying?


Contact gift@tufts.edu or call 617-627-3106 with any questions. You may also reach out to the GIFT Institute Director, Kelly McLaughlin at kelly.mclaughlin@tufts.edu.