ASPIRE is a post-doctoral program that combines research in a laboratory as well as pedagogical training and real-time practice in the undergraduate classroom. You will continue your research pursuits guided by a JHU faculty, while you also complete teacher training and work with a mentor at Morgan or Coppin State University to become an effective teacher. We will also provide advice, help and coaching to secure a career in academia at a research- or teacher-focused institution.  Our program is flexible to meet each scholars’ goals.

Year 1: Research and Pedagogical Training

    • Establish research and teaching mentors, along with Individual Development Plans.
    • Perform original, independent research with guidance from mentors.
    • Attend the JHU Center for Educational Resources’ Teaching Academy to receive a teaching certificate.
    • Develop and enhance pedagogical skills by participating in classes that include teaching strategies, learning theory, cultural responsive teaching and enhancing student motivation.
    • Develop student mentoring skills.

Year 2: Teaching Practicum and Teaching Certification

    • Present research findings at local and national conferences.
    • Work with faculty mentor to develop teaching modules and receive guidance and mentoring on teaching, undergraduate advising, administration, and academic culture.
    • Complete Teaching Certificate requirements.
    • Participate in classroom activities at Morgan State and/or Coppin State.

Year 3: Transition to Independence

    • Complete research project
    • Publish in peer-reviewed journals
    • Begin transition to independent research career
    • Teach course
    • Provide mentorship to students independently

Year 4: Transition to Independence (optional, pending external support)

    • Additional opportunities for transition to research independence
    • Additional teaching experience.

The ASPIRE program provides opportunities for scholars to participate in professional development workshops and activities.  Workshops topics include:

  • Grant Writing — offered through the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professional Development and Career Office.
  • Grant Review Deep Dive — ASPIRE scholars, their mentors and ASPIRE Co-Directors meet to workshop and critique their Specific Aims pages.
  • Lightning Talks — to improve their communication skills, scholars work together to iterate and refine 5 – 7 slides to effectively focus on and communicate why their work matters.
  • Managing Up — offered by JHU School of Arts & Sciences & Whiting School of Engineering Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.
  • Teaching-As-Research — program through JHU Center for Teaching Excellence & Innovation.
  • Teaching Academies — offered at Morgan State University and JHU.
  • Career Workshop — ASPIRE scholars, their mentors and ASPIRE Co-Directors meet to learn how to create a CV, write effective Teaching Statements, conduct Mock Interviews, submit  application materials and processes and participate in the Rising Stars program.
  • Mentoring in Higher Education: A Professional Training for Success presented by Morgan State University Mentoring Workshop MSU Center for Innovative Instruction & Scholarship. This in-person training is intended for university/college level mentors across career stages, including graduate students, postdocs, junior and senior faculty/staff who are actively mentoring students. 
  • Lab Management and Set Up — offered through the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Professional Development and Career Office.
  • ASPIRE provides a travel stipend to attend conferences in your field.
  • ASPIRE provides a supplies stipend to purchase lab supplies, technology, or to attend trainings as you see fit.

Other opportunities include:

  • Attending the annual IRACDA Conference.
  • Presenting seminars to Morgan and Coppin State University students.
  • Participating in programs that increase STEM student retention and diversity in the sciences.
  • Serving as research mentors to undergraduates.
  • Research supplies and travel support.
  • Networking with other IRACDA scholars at a monthly book group and social events.