CIRTL at Columbia

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) provides resources, trainings, and networking opportunities for future faculty in STEM and other fields. Graduate students and postdocs are invited to participate in its national online cross-network opportunities to develop their teaching. 

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Subscribe to the CTL email list and the CIRTL newsletter to stay up to date on CIRTL resources, training, and networking opportunities.

What is CIRTL?

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education that includes 43 research universities. CIRTL promotes the development of future STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of their professional careers. The Network offers free online and in-person professional development resources. Columbia joined CIRTL in May 2016, giving Columbia graduate students and instructors priority access to CIRTL offerings and resources. Columbia also hosts local CIRTL events and produces programming for the CIRTL Network.

The core ideas of the CIRTL program include:

Learning-through-diversity: Learning-through-diversity capitalizes on the rich array of experiences, backgrounds, and skills among STEM undergraduates and graduates-through-faculty to enhance the learning of all. It recognizes that excellence and diversity are necessarily intertwined.

Teaching-as-research: Teaching-as-research is the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers.

Learning Communities: Learning communities bring together groups of people for shared learning, discovery, and generation of knowledge. To achieve common learning goals, a learning community nurtures functional relationship among its members.

CIRTL is comprised of 43 member institutions across the U.S. and Canada. View all the member institutions here.

Who is CIRTL for?

CIRTL’s mission is to enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers. Its founding focus was on improving STEM teaching in higher education, and many of its offerings remain tailored to STEM educators. Other offerings, however, engage and support participants from a broader array of disciplines. Though the Network emphasizes its role in preparing future faculty (graduate students, postdocs), faculty new to teaching can benefit from CIRTL as well.

By engaging with online CIRTL resources, attending online and in-person workshops, and joining a local learning community, graduate students will:

  • Develop the skills to implement best practices to achieve defined learning goals.
  • Leverage the literature associated with teaching and learning by participating and contributing to on-campus and online learning communities of graduate students.
  • Apply research skills to enhance and inform their teaching, and apply their teaching skills to better lead and communicate their research.
  • Engage the diversity of their students to enhance the learning experience.
  • Connect and find mentors among future and current faculty across the CIRTL network.

How do you access CIRTL offerings?

STEM graduate students and postdocs can visit the CIRTL website to sign up (top right corner) and create a profile. Joining the CIRTL community is a great networking opportunity. Graduate students will be able to access online courses, resources, job postings, and opportunities. Should you have any questions about CIRTL, contact CTL’s graduate student support team at

To browse upcoming workshops and other offerings from CIRTL, visit this index of upcoming CIRTL events.

Do CIRTL offerings count for the TDP?

For Columbia doctoral and MFA students who are enrolled in the Teaching Development Program, participation in CIRTL workshops and other offerings may satisfy track completion requirements. Reach out to to confirm if a given CIRTL offering can count for the TDP. 

The CTL is here for graduate students.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for graduate students in both their current and future teaching responsibilities.