Vol 7. Issue 13 / April 23, 2007

New Fellowships Provide Mentored Teaching Experience

By Mika Ono

A new program will offer Scripps Research Institute graduates and postdoctoral fellows the chance to gain mentored teaching experience. The initiative, called the Joint University of San Diego-Scripps Training Program (JUST), received funding last week from the Fletcher Jones Foundation and is currently accepting applications for the first position, to begin this fall.

"We're excited to launch this partnership with USD," says Professor James Williamson, associate dean of the Scripps Research Kellogg School of Science and Technology. "The initiative fills a gap for our junior scientists whose career plans include teaching and research at an undergraduate institution."

The Scripps Research Kellogg School is a top-ranked graduate program with some 200 Ph.D. candidates and no undergraduates. The institute's La Jolla, California, campus is also home to some 750 research associates undergoing postdoctoral training.

"This is a win-win situation," says USD chemist Debbie Tahmassebi, who had the idea for the initiative during a recent sabbatical in Scripps Research Associate Professor David Millar's lab. "In chemistry and biochemistry, our emphasis is on undergraduate education and we do not offer graduate degrees.  We have been looking for creative ways to integrate chemistry and biology postdocs onto our program as a means of enhancing our research culture."

Two JUST positions are currently open:

  • JUST Fellow. This two-year position beginning the fall of 2007 includes a postdoctoral stipend and small budget for teaching and research expenses. The fellow will team teach his/her first course with a USD faculty member, then transition to assuming solo teaching responsibilities in chemistry or biochemistry.

  • JUST Intern. This one-semester position beginning in the fall of 2007 provides a modest teaching stipend. Candidates are expected to supplement the stipend with additional research funding.

For both positions, applications from recent Kellogg School graduates and current Scripps Research postdocs are due Tuesday, May 1, 2007.

"I'd like to thank the Fletcher Jones Foundation for making this innovative program possible," says Williamson, who also recognized Roz Hodgins of Scripps Research and Annette Ketner of USD for helping to put the grant application together.

The Fletcher Jones Foundation had previously provided separate support to both institutions, including for two endowed fellowships at the Kellogg School.

The Fletcher Jones Foundation was established in 1969 by Fletcher Jones, just two years before his death in an airplane crash at the age of 41. Jones had his first experience with computers in a job with an aircraft company. In 1959, he co-founded Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) with partner Roy Nutt. By 1963, CSC was the nation's largest software company and today the company has over 40,000 employees and 600 offices worldwide. The Fletcher Jones Foundation was established with $30 million of Jones's personal fortune. From early on, the foundation has specialized in grants to private colleges and universities, particularly those in California.

For more information, including details on how to apply to the program, contact James R. Williamson, jrwill@scripps.edu or Debbie Tahmassebi, debbiet@sandiego.edu.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu





















"The initiative fills a gap for our junior scientists whose career plans include teaching and research at an undergraduate institution."

—James Williamson