Teaching Assistants' Training Program

Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, 130 St. George Street, Robarts Library, 4th floor

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Undergraduate Mentorship and Training in the Research Laboratory

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT


Tuesday, April 14, 2020
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT


Mentorship in the laboratory is a multi-pronged form of teaching that spans various domains of knowledge (e.g., technical skills, soft skills, background/conceptual knowledge, health and safety considerations, university SOPs, laboratory norms and culture etc.) Graduate students in the sciences and engineering are often tasked with training and mentoring undergraduates in the laboratory despite having no formal training in this type of pedagogy. This workshop aims to fill this gap by undertaking the following topics and/or exercises:

  • Reframing undergraduate mentorship in the laboratory as a form of teaching rather than traditional job training. 
  • Finding the learning opportunities embedded in the various facets of undergraduate mentorship in the lab – from onboarding (e.g., assigning a suitable research project), and pedagogy (e.g., effectively conveying the conceptual basis of the project vs. technical skills training), to promoting safe and ethical research practices.
  • Best practices derived from pedagogical and organizational behaviour research.
  • How to incorporate active learning in lab training and mentorship.

By the end of this workshop, participants will devise a methodical, iterative and evidence-based teaching plan for incoming undergraduate researchers in their laboratory. 


130 St. George St. Toronto ON Blackburn Room, 4th Floor Robarts Library