For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Graduate Research Fellows

The Drexel University Center for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning Excellence (CASTLE), Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), and associated colleagues are currently working on developing an online learning community for recipients of the NSF graduate research fellowship (GRF) within the CIRTL network.

The project titled “Increasing National Access: Preparing NSF Graduate Research Fellows in Teaching,” supports the teaching development (TD) and networking opportunities of Graduate Research Fellows (GRFs) at CIRTL Institutions.

The objective of this project is to develop an online GRF Learning Community (GRFLC) populated with curriculum and programming on teaching and learning. These future educators will benefit from a network of GRF peers that establish a working relationship and pedagogical tools while still training as graduate students.

The information below details the scope of work. If you have questions regarding the project contact Rachael Switalski, Director of Operations, CASTLE


Scope of Work 2017-18 – Drexel University

Work Plan for the Coming Year
In Year 1 (9/1/2017-8/31/2018), we will:

Conduct and report on needs assessment of GRFs within the CIRTL Network

We will identify the active NSF Graduate Research Fellows (GRFs) currently within the CIRTL Network, and acquire their contact information.  We will develop a needs assessment survey to evaluate the needs of the CIRTL Network GRFs.  We will email the CIRTL Network GRFs and ask them to complete the needs assessment survey.  To promote compliance we will contact those who have not completed the survey on a bi-weekly basis for two months after initial implementation of the survey.  Following completion of the survey, we will analyze data and write a report on outcomes to be delivered to the IUSE Leadership Team.  We will discuss the reported outcomes and next steps for implementation with the IUSE Leadership Team following the delivery of the report.

Adapt existing curriculum and begin developing new curriculum to support GRFs

In response to the needs assessment, we will review existing curriculum and programming in the CIRTL Network and identify curriculum that needs to be modified or developed to effectively support the GRF community within the CIRTL Network.  Curriculum will be modified or newly developed at Drexel University.

Initiate the GRF Learning Community

Develop a platform for the GRF Learning Community within CIRTL Network Commons. Populate the platform with initial programming for the GRF Learning Community.  

Begin to market curricula and recruit GRFs to engage in the learning community

Invite CIRTL Network GRFs to engage in the online Learning Community.  Actively market curricula and programming in the GRF Learning Community to the CIRTL Network GRFs, with special attention paid to those who completed the survey.

Conduct initial evaluation of participation to inform iterative improvement of the approaches

In the first year, we will likely only get to the point of marketing the community to the CIRTL Network GRFs, so this initial analysis will focus on looking at web traffic and initial topics of discussion as identified by GRFs in the online Learning Community.  

Expected Outcomes

  • Generate a list of CIRTL GRFs with contact information
  • Create a needs assessment survey for CIRTL participants
  • Identification of perceived needs of a subset of potential CIRTL community participants
  • Development of an online platform for the GRF Learning Community within CIRTL Network Commons
  • Modification and development of curricula to support CIRTL community participants
  • Roll-out of an online platform for the GRF Learning Community within CIRTL Network Commons that is populated with initial curriculum and programming
  • An annual report describing the accomplishments to date, any change in plans, and products produced will be submitted to CIRTL Central by July 15, 2018
  • Initial evaluation of participation in the online GRF Learning Community