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HHMI helps summer institute expand to regional sites
Date:5/4/2011

New funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)will be used to scale up a successful summer program that aims to enable thousands of college and university science faculty to receive intensive professional development designed to improve undergraduate biology education.

The $3 million grant will expand the National Academies Summer Institute for Undergraduate Education in Biology from a single location at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to a total of nine regional centers over the next five years. Several of the new Summer Institute sites will debut this summer in New Haven, Boulder, Minneapolis, and Olympia, Washington.

"The Summer Institute is very successful, but at its previous scale, it could not reach enough faculty," says Sean B. Carroll, HHMI's vice president for science education. "With this grant, we hope to greatly expand the number of faculty members who participate and bring what they learn back to their campuses. The scale of this effort is aimed at changing biology teaching across the country."

Since 2004, 303 faculty and instructional staff members from 94 research universities have been active participants in the Summer Institute, which aims to improve biology teaching by encouraging faculty to approach teaching with the same analytical skills they use in the lab. Participating faculty use "scientific teaching" for approximately 100,000 undergraduates each year, but Carroll said the program needed to be scaled up in order to have a major impact on the teaching and learning of modern biology in the United States.

The expanded program will eventually be open to faculty at a wider range of institutions; only faculty and staff at major research universities have been able to participate in the past. In 2011, the institutes are welcoming faculty from all doctoral-degree granting institutions, not just the research-intensive universities. In future years, faculty from undergraduate-focused state s
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Contact: Andrea Widener
widenera@hhmi.org
301-215-8807
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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