BETTR - an IRACDA Program

Bronx-Einstein Training in Teaching and Research



Albert Einstein College of Medicine
1300 Morris Park Ave.
Bronx N.Y. 10461
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Throughout the BETTR program, the scholars will attend various workshops and seminars related to Research, Pedagogy, and Career Development.




Research Development

Interactions among the faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral research associates are facilitated by numerous activities that are open to the entire Einstein community.

Seminars - Each day, hosted by individual departments, seminar speakers from outside the Einstein community are visiting. Each Thursday, an Einstein faculty member is provided the privilege of a seminar spot. Many of the seminars take place in centrally located auditoriums that provide a natural venue for interactions.

Work-in-progress meetings - Many departments have a weekly work-in-progress series in which students and postdoctoral associates present their ongoing research work to the department.

Journal clubs are also abundant and provide a rich environment in which to discuss the advances reported in the current literature.




Teaching Proficiency

Pedagogy workshops are available at all three institutions on topics ranging from the use of new teaching tools, including Smartboards and clickers, new teaching techniques, classroom assessment, and designing a teaching portfolio.

Formal Training in Pedagogy A linchpin of our BETTR program is required participation in an Einstein course "Fundamentals of Course Design and Teaching" (Bios 1334-Spring), directed by Dr. Michael Risley, Associate Professor of Anatomy and Structural Biology, and taught by him together with Drs. Sherry Downie and William Burton. The meets once a week for 2-3 hours and presents fundamental concepts and principles widely used in the design and execution of courses for adult learners (college and postgrad). The course seeks to promote student discussion and engagement in varied learning activities with their colleagues, which may include postdocs and faculty. Therefore, to enhance the learning environment, there are no examinations. Course objectives are achieved through a mix of instructor-directed and student-directed discussions, selected readings from texts and education research literature, and active learning strategies that engage students in course planning and teaching. These non-lecture activities frequently involve outside preparation, facilitated by interactions among course students. Topics include cognitive hierarchies and multiple intelligences in adult learning, course, lesson and syllabus design, lecture hall strategies, active learning strategies, formative and summative assessment techniques. At the end of the course, learners are expected to be able to:

  1. Describe the traits most common to highly successful teachers and courses.
  2. Identify the varied learning styles of adults as a basis for understanding themselves as teachers and their students as learners.
  3. Differentiate significant (deep) from.superficial learning.
  4. Define cognitive hierarchies and backward design as fundamental principles for course and lesson planning.
  5. Design lessons, courses and syllabi consistent with defined learning objectives, learning hierarchies and diversity in learning styles.
  6. Understand the importance of active learning theory and varied instructional modalities to achieve active learning in diverse settings, including the lecture hall.
  7. Identify approaches to formative and summative assessment of student learning and teaching/course effectiveness.
  8. Design a Teaching Portfolio component for the curriculum vitae.

The Teaching and Learning Portfolio includes:

  1. All weekly Reflections of the major points learned and the muddiest points.
  2. All group exercises.
  3. Final version of Course Syllabus designed by student/scholar.
  4. Personal teaching statement/philosophy. (Underlined goals are especially pertinent to BETTR scholars.) This course will provide the intellectual foundation for design of teaching activities at our partner institutions.

Anatomy and Structural Biology 



Career Development Activities

Postdoctoral fellows at Albert Einstein College of Medicine can take advantage of numerous career development seminars and workshops that are co-sponsored by the Graduate division and the Belfer Institute for Advanced Biomedical Studies; such as writing a C.V., interviewing, possessing strong verbal communications and developing efficient use of Web-based databases.

The Belfer Institute is the focus for integrating all postdoctoral training programs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The goal of the Belfer Institute for Advanced Biomedical Studies is to provide the best possible scientific and social environment for our postdoctoral researchers.

Belfer Institute 

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