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Information for Sessional Teaching Assistants

Applications

How do I apply to be a STA?

A call will go round by email late in the Summer term inviting expressions of interest. You will need to supply the information required: likely a teaching CV specifying what you take to be your AOS (Areas of Specialisation) and AOC (Areas of Competence), a 300 word statement of your teaching philosophy, and a ranked indication of the modules you are interested in teaching. You will have more chance of success if you are reasonably flexible about this. Your supervisor will also be consulted as a matter of course.

Application process for 2018/19 is now open

When am I eligible to be a STA?

Normally from your 2nd year of PhD study onwards (for MPhil students from year 3 onwards), subject to your supervisor’s consent that you are able to teach during your writing up year. Many graduates continue to teach after submitting their PhD while on the job market.

Do I need my supervisor’s permission to apply?

Your supervisor will be consulted on your suitability and readiness for teaching, particularly in light of your progress on, and the likely consequences for, your PhD. Given this you should seek your supervisor’s backing in advance.

When can I expect to hear whether my application is successful or not?

This will be notified in the call for expressions of interest. It is often not possible to confirm teaching till late in the summer. You will be notified by email. Much also depends on the reliability of STAs themselves in not reneging on teaching they have accepted. Please see * below.

How can I find out if additional teaching becomes available during the year?

Additional teaching will be advertised by the ST co-ordinator to the PhD student email list. In the absence of responses from anyone internal able and qualified to take it on, the dept will advertise externally on PHILOS-L.

What happens if I have anxieties/reservations about the teaching I have been assigned?

*You are encouraged to seek your supervisor’s guidance at the time of applying: If you have any reservations about the teaching you have been assigned please discuss these with your supervisor before accepting, rather than reneging later. There have been serious problems in the past with Sessional Teachers successfully seeking teaching, and then pulling out at extremely short notice before the beginning of term, as the reality of balancing their research and teaching commitments begins to bite. STAs should appreciate that this does not enhance their professional standing in the dept, and will be taken into account when future teaching is allocated. Sometimes circumstances do change unavoidably, of course, but you should think hard about what you accept when accepting, rather than later.


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