The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning is here to help you improve your teaching and improve your C.V. All University of Iowa graduate students and postdocs are eligible to become CIRTL members. Interested participants only need to email to join our local CIRTL community and create an account on the national CIRTL Network website, and you can access any of the online programming that is available. 

All University of Iowa Graduate Students and Postdocs are eligible to participate in the CIRTL program. All participants can work to obtain nationally-recognized CIRTL certifications based on their participation in teacher training and teaching-as-research opportunities. There are three levels of CIRTL certification—Associate, Practitioner, and Scholar—which are outlined below.

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Learn more about the program, talk through a TAR project idea, or join the program.

CIRTL Certification Levels

Associate Level

A CIRTL Associate can describe and recognize the value of the CIRTL Core Ideas. Participation at this level involves participating in workshop, seminars, and classes to learn about existing knowledge around issues in teaching and learning within a discipline or more broadly. The Associate Level can be completed in as little as one semester or workshops can be taken over the course of several semesters.

To achieve Associate Level:

  • Participate in a minimum of 5 CIRTL activities or programs. These 5 activities may include local as well as CIRTL network activities but at least one activity must be local.


  • Complete a full-length course focused on teaching. This can be through the CIRTL network (full courses or MOOCs) or an approved UI course.  Many UI pedagogy-based courses can be used to fulfill this requirement.  Some examples of currently approved UI courses are below.  If you have taken a different course you can email (link sends e-mail) with the course name/number and description to see if it qualifies.
    • EDTL/EPLS/GRAD/RCE/PSQF:7385 Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 3 s.h.
    • GRAD/PSQF:6217 Seminar in College Teaching 3 s.h.
    • SOC:7010 Teaching Sociology 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6205 Design of Instruction 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6211 Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Learning
    • PSQF:6215 Web-Based Learning 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6216 Tools and Utilities for Online Teaching 3 s.h.
    • CLAS:5100:0001 Practicum: College Teaching for TAs 1 s.h.

Participants are required to submit an application summarizing the activities comprising the Associate Level requirements and reflecting on their experiences

Practitioner Level

Practitioners exercise the knowledge they gained at the Associate level. They understand how to develop and implement a Teaching-as-Research project. The Practitioner Level certificate takes approximately 2 semesters to complete. The semesters do not have to be consecutive. It can also be completed in a spring semester and summer term.

To achieve Practitioner Level:

  • Have attained an Associate Level certificate
  • Participate in a TAR prep cohort and attend 5 workshops designed to prepare students to propose and implement a TAR project (1 semester)
  • Propose a Teaching as Research (TAR) project (culmination project of TAR prep cohort)
  • Implement a “Teaching as Research (TAR)” project (1 semester or summer term)
  • Attend bi-weekly Implementation cohort meetings during the semester (or summer) they implement their project
  • Present reflections on their TAR project experience at a UI CIRTL capstone event

Participants who successfully complete the TAR prep cohort series and propose a project will receive $250. Participants who successfully implement their project and participate in the Implementation cohort will receive an additional $250.

Want to learn more about TAR projects or talk through your TAR project ideas?  Book a TAR Project Appointment here (link is external)

Scholar Level

CIRTL Scholars add to community knowledge about teaching and learning and disseminate their findings at a regional, national, or international venue.

To achieve Scholar Level:

  • Have attained both Associate and Practitioner level certificates


  • Present their TAR project research and results at a regional or national conference either in their discipline or a Teaching and Learning-related conference


  • Publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal about their TAR project research and results (either in a discipline-specific journal or a teaching and learning journal)


  • Participate in the CIRTL Network Exchange Program and present a talk on their TAR project at another CIRTL institution

Funds are available to help with conference registration and travel to present about TAR projects.

Participants who complete the Scholar level will have the opportunity to mentor graduate students who are designing and implementing TAR