Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research Project

Undergraduate Teaching Experience for Post Doctoral Fellows

The Cancer Teaching Fellows Program provides an opportunity for FHCRC post doctoral fellows to gain mentored undergraduate teaching experience at NMSU. Working with a highly-regarded professor at NMSU, Cancer Teaching Fellows will enhance their skills as undergraduate educators by completing preparatory assignments and executing an effective lecture series in a diverse undergraduate biology class at NMSU.

About the Cancer Teaching Fellows Program

Cancer Teaching Fellows will complete a two-week residency at NMSU that is designed to: 1) provide mentored teaching experience and diversity training to FHCRC post-doctoral fellows; and 2) enhance the cancer education curriculum at NMSU. In preparation for this experience, the Cancer Teaching Fellows will complete between three and five pre-residency assignments that will take an estimated 20 hours of time over the course of four to six weeks. During residency, the Fellows will observe lectures in a variety of undergraduate classes, hold office hours for students in the class, develop assessment activities, and practice teach their lectures to Dr. Michèle Shuster and then teach one week of lectures in a biology course at NMSU. Dr. Shuster will attend all lectures given by the Cancer Teaching Fellows and provide feedback.

Fellows will have an opportunity to interact in a less formal atmosphere (i.e., non-lecture) with a broader NMSU audience through informal meetings with NMSU students and faculty. During these meetings, Fellows will be able to provide insight and advice to NMSU students about pursuing a research career, particularly a career related to cancer research. Fellows will gain insight into faculty positions at large research universities that serve a high proportion of minority students.

The program's start and end dates are flexible and will be negotiated between the Fellows and Drs. Michèle Shuster and Karen Peterson; however participation in the two-week residency must take place between September 10th through November 30th, 2014.


Dr. Shuster is the instructor of record for Cancer Biology 385 and will serve as the primary mentor for the Cancer Teaching Fellows. She is an associate professor in the Biology department at NMSU, with extensive undergraduate teaching experience. Dr. Shuster is a recipient of the Donald C. Roush and Westhafer Awards for Teaching Excellence at NMSU.

Dr. Peterson will serve as an informational and teaching resource prior to the Fellows' two-week residency at NMSU. Upon the Fellows' return, she will provide information about opportunities for additional teaching experiences at the FHCRC, NMSU, and local and/or regional undergraduate universities. In addition, she will offer counsel to Fellows seeking guidance about their career path, as well as mentorship during the job search process.

Compensation, Travel, and Housing

Cancer Teaching Fellows will receive a $1,000 honorarium, as well as the local per diem for food and housing in Las Cruces. The program will also cover the cost of airfare from Seattle to El Paso and back. Fellows are responsible for securing their airfare, housing, and local transportation for the duration of two-week residency (if desired); rental cars are available at the El Paso International Airport.  The program coordinators will advise on making the travel arrangements.  *Housing options near the NMSU campus include:

The Extended Stay: Value Place 2080 South Triviz Drive; (575) 528-2046 This facility includes one- and two-person studios that feature a full size refrigerator, two-burner stovetop, microwave, dining table and chairs, cable and high-speed internet access, laundry, and vending machines. Utensils, dishes, cookware, and other appliances can be purchased for an additional fee. Rates: One-person studio, $179 (including tax) per week; two-person studio, $220.52 (including tax) per week. Please note: A $100 refundable deposit is required.

Sleep Inn
2121 S. Triviz; (575) 522-1700 Hotel amenities include a free continental breakfast, high-speed internet access, and a swimming pool and/or exercise room. Rates: $55 - $95 per night.

Comfort Suites
2101 S. Triviz; (575) 522-1300 Hotel amenities include a free continental breakfast, wireless internet, heated swimming pool, copier and fax machine. Rates: $109 per night.

Ramada Palms 201 E. University Ave.; (575) 526-4411 or (800) 2RAMADA Hotel amenities include free continental breakfast, airport shuttle, fitness center, pool, and restaurant. Rates: $55 - $99 per night.

*All hotel rates are approximate; accepted Fellows should confirm rates before making a reservation.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants must be a post-doctoral fellow at the FHCRC to be eligible to participate in the Cancer Teaching Fellows Program. Applicants will be selected based on their interest in teaching, as evidenced by participating in teaching at the FHCRC or other institutions.

How to Apply

If you are interested in participating in the Cancer Teaching Fellows program, please complete and submit an application. Completed applications are due on Friday, May 9, 2014. Applications will be reviewed during the week of May 17th.  Select applicants will be asked to participate in a group interview via video-teleconference with key program personnel, including Drs. Karen Peterson and Michèle Shuster during the week of May 24th.  Notification of acceptance will occur during the first week of June.

For More Information

If you have any questions about the Cancer Teaching Fellows program, please contact, Dr. Karen Peterson or Michèle Shuster. For assistance with travel arrangements, please contact the program coordinators: Helena Loest and/or Jennifer Anderson.


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.