BETTR - an IRACDA Program




Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Ave.
Bronx N.Y. 10461
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Einstein is now recruiting for a newly NIH funded post-doctoral training program (Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award – IRACDA /K12) to train scientist/educators. This is one of only 19 IRACDA programs nation-wide and the only program based completely in the New York metropolitan area.

The Bronx-Einstein Training in Teaching and Research (BETTR) program is a three-year post-doctoral scholars program, which couples training in independent research with training in innovative teaching techniques and the experience in and guidance for hands-on teaching. Traditional training in research methodologies will be based at Einstein, and mentored teaching training will take place at two neighboring partner institutions in the Bronx, each Hispanic-serving and both part of the City of New York (CUNY). Our scholars will experience a diverse educational experience through mentored training at these two different types of undergraduate institutions: Hostos, a two year Community College, and Lehman College, a large four-year undergraduate college.

Prior to entering the BETTR program, Scholars will spend a year at Einstein establishing their research project, funded by the research mentor. During the first year in the program (second year in postdoctoral training), scholars will additionally choose a teaching mentor at both of our partner institutions and spend 25% of their time in the development of teaching skills. During the following year, scholars will carry out their teaching effort (25%) by hands-on teaching and in course development in collaboration with their mentors, which they will teach during the final year.

BETTR Scholars must be training grant eligible, i.e. green card holders or American citizens with less than 1-2 years of post-doctoral experience. Women, under-represented minorities and individuals with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, or know of anyone interested, please contact Dianne Cox and Barbara Birshtein. Inclusion of a current CV and a brief statement of teaching background and interests would be helpful (see application page).


A BETTR Future

Having specific training in teaching that enhances one’s scientific knowledge offers a novel combination that provides a sound foundation for effective teaching and allows BETTR scholars to be optimistic in their job searches,” observed Dr. Barbara Birshtein, co-director of BETTR, director of training grant support programs, and professor emerita of cell biology.


“We’re now beginning the sixth year of the BETTR program, and we’ve had 16 scholars complete their training thus far,” said Dr. Dianne Cox, co-director of BETTR and professor of anatomy and structural biology and of developmental and molecular biology. “More than 60 percent of these scholars have gotten academic positions, with more than half receiving tenure track appointments. And others have started successful careers in biopharma and science communications, as well as begun a senior postdoctoral position at the National Institutes of Health.”

Einstein postdocs interested in applying to the BETTR program should inquire with Drs. Birshtein and Cox. Participants must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder in their first year of post-degree work.

Editor’s Note: All photos with this story provided courtesy of Leo Correa (Queensborough Community College, CUNY)”


What is an IRACDA?

The purpose of the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program is to develop a diverse group of highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.

The IRACDA program provides support for a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at a Research intensive institution combined with an opportunity to develop the academic skills, including teaching, through workshops and through mentored teaching assignments of postdoctoral fellows at a partner institution.

The primary goals of the IRACDA program are to
(1) develop a diverse group of highly trained biomedical and behavioral scientists who have the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue research and teaching careers in academia
(2) strengthen the overall teaching and research opportunities at partner institutions, with the expectation that it would further foster the development of the next generation of a diverse pool of scientists who are available to address the NIH’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs.

For more information please go to
IRACDA Participating Institutions can be found at  

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