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Graduate Teaching Scholar Program (GTS) Application Instructions

Program Objective

The primary objective of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Graduate Teaching Scholar (GTS) Program is to prepare interested doctoral students for a rewarding academic career.  Those holding academic faculty positions within a college or university are expected to be active in teaching, discovery, and outreach.  Doctoral education programs have historically emphasized preparation for research and scholarly publications, and for outreach.  However, to some extent many candidates who complete a doctoral program in agricultural and life sciences have minimal preparation and experience in formal teaching. 

GTS Scholarship Funding

A Scholar selected for the GTS program will be eligible to receive up to three years of funding at an annual (12 month) stipend rate equivalent to step 17.  This stipend will be funded by a 50% commitment from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), with the remaining 50% coming from the home department.  The college will also provide 100% of the tuition for the Scholar during each academic year. The Scholar will also receive a free student membership in an appropriate professional organization with an emphasis on teaching for the duration of the scholarship (provided by the home department), and up to $1000 in travel support (provided by the college through an ALCE account) for use for presenting scholarship in teaching (papers or posters) at a professional conference in the second or third year of the Scholar appointment.

A Scholar selected for the GTS program may receive additional partial scholarship support from his/her home department.  This will help avoid situations where a student may wish to participate in the GTS program but who would not wish to forfeit part of the funding that they would normally receive from another scholarship or fellowship.

Nominations must include the following materials:

  1. Cover page with appropriate signatures (Please use the PDF cover page provided).
  2. A current curriculum vita.
  3. A two-page personal statement that specifically addresses the candidate’s interests in, and goals for, an academic career with an emphasis on teaching.
  4. Two reference letters from faculty members that specifically address the potential of the candidate to succeed as a classroom educator and future academician. For students presently enrolled at VT, one of these faculty should be the student’s advisor who should indicate in her/his letter the expected graduation date of the student.

Deadline for Submission: March 1. Please submit to Anna Taylor at

A faculty committee in the college, co-chaired by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, will review nomination materials for a GTS position.  Selection of recipients will involve consideration of all nomination materials, with special focus on the nominee’s personal statement and the specific reference letters that addresses the candidate’s potential for future success as a teacher in an academic environment. The committee, for final selection, will most likely interview candidates.