From bench to board-side: Academic teaching careers

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Teaching positions provide a rewarding career pathway for Ph.D.s wishing to stay in academia outside of the research-focused position. The balance of teaching and research expectations on faculty can vary greatly depending on the type of institution. Faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions may be required to be researchactive and mentor undergraduates in the laboratory, while teaching faculty at a research-centered university may not have a research lab. In addition, faculty are expected to actively contribute to the shared governance of the institution, in the name of service. The career in teaching has become highly competitive and offers unexpected rewards and benefits. Considered here are the differences found among teaching positions to serve as a guide when considering teaching as a career option. We include our personal career narratives to illustrate the driving forces that led each of us to this challenging yet fulfilling academic path.


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