Graduate Student Instructor and Reader Positions
Instructors can stay up to date on resources on the Berkeley "Keep Teaching" website. RTL sends newsletters every two weeks and you can see the archive here. Check out the Academic Accommodations Hub with many resources.
All of our Fall 2023 GSI positions have now been filled.
Please check back on this page in October 2023 for our Spring 2024 GSI application.
You may direct questions about GSI positions to Monica Albe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please list your previous teaching experience and any relevant classes taken (at Berkeley and other institutions) in your provided resume.
- Provide at least four different courses you might consider serving as a GSI for. If you list less than four options, your application will not be reviewed by the instructors until it has been updated with at least four unique course rankings -- because of this delay, you reduce your chances of getting your top choice.
- If multiple classes are your top preference, students can rank multiple classes as their top choice (rank of 1)
- When ranking your course choices, we encourage you to explicitly describe your motivations and experience with the topic.
- To increase your chances of getting a GSI offer, especially if you are an applicant with a different home department, we recommend listing at least 1 of the larger courses (Bio1B, for example) in your rankings.
If you are a graduate student from another PhD/MA program (outside Integrative Biology) we suggest highlighting the below items in your resume, if applicable:
- previous GSI experience at Berkeley (any topic)?
- previously taught general biology classes in grad school?
- previously taught any biology courses in grad school?
- previous teaching experience outside of Berkeley?
- previously taken general biology classes as an undergrad (or grad student)?
- previously taken any biology courses as an undergrad (or grad student)?
- previously taken Bio1B at Berkeley (in particular) with a grade of B or higher?
- previous experience with biology content outside the typical classroom?
- previous experience with (in particular) ecology/organismal bio activities, jobs, etc.?
- previously served as a tutor, reader, or some other graduate level teacher/mentor? (Berkeley Connect, URAP, and similar programs are of interest)?
- previously served as a group mentor/student leader/camp counselor/etc. outside of the Berkeley campus?
- previous experience with a STEM communication/education-outreach activity?
Once our application deadline has passed, interested students can still fill out the application. Even after GSI positions have been initially filled, sometimes the original GSIs receive fellowships and rescind their offers. As as we get closer to the start of the semester, our Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, may contact other applicants to see if they are still interested in and available for positions.
GSI Placements and Appointment Information
- Appointments are usually made for one semester at a time.
- IB typically only offers 50% GSI appointments in the Fall and Spring. (During the Fall and Spring, it's expected that IB GSIs work ~20 hours per week.)
- Initial placements are made based on the provided GSI applicant information.
- Instructors review this material and rate the applicants who have identified the instructor's class in their (the applicant's) course preference rankings.
- The instructors see the students' ranked preference for the course.
- To help instructors evaluate your application, we suggest that when inputting your course rankings, please explicitly describe your motivations and experience with the topic.
- The final GSI assignments are made by Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe and IB GSI Affairs Advisor, Professor Jim McGuire based on:
- Student's previous teaching experience and course preference rankings (and other information provided in the application).
- Instructor's rankings of the applicants for their course.
- Students must be in good academic standing, and they must fulfill the campus GSI requirements.
- Preference is given to IB graduate students for all IB GSI placements. Students in other graduate programs at UC Berkeley will be considered for positions if we have openings and they have previous experience that fits well with the course.
- Please see the Graduate Division's Student Appointments Handbook for more information on GSI appointments at Berkeley.
Each semester has five paychecks. Appointments for Fall typically start on August 1, and students receive their first paycheck (for their Aug 1-Aug 31 work) on September 1. If appointed in both semesters GSIs receive 10 paychecks, once a month, from September 1 through June 1.
In addition to salary, all Fall and Spring semester GSIs appointed in 25% or higher positions are credited a fee remission on the majority of their in-state fees for that semester.
During the Fall and Spring semesters, students can only hold up to 50% appointments without special exception from the head graduate advisor of their PhD program.
There is also an absolute limit on the number of Fall and Spring semesters a graduate student at Berkeley can hold GSI appointments. Typically, that is limited to twelve semesters serving as a Graduate Student Instructor. After the twelfth semester, a student can no longer be hired in that capacity. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, campus has made an exception -- students can pursue GSI appointments up to a 14th time during Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 (student must be in good standing and special exception approval from Grad Div is required).
Students that are beyond their 12th semester of holding a GSI at Berkeley can still hold summer GSI appointments -- those are not capped like the Fall and Spring appointments.
Limited positions are available for summer, these are not ASE (union) positions and the appointments are administered differently (official offers are sent via the Summer Sessions eHire system). These do not cover fee remissions.
For IB PhD candidates, the summer appointments do not fulfill the IB PhD teaching requirement. The two semesters of GSIship must be fulfilled by serving in GSI positions during the Fall or Spring semesters at UC Berkeley, and they must be at least 25% positions.
Please note that for GSI Step advancements, the IB department does not consider summer GSI appointments in our step calculations. A student will be advanced to GSI Step 2 after four full semesters (Fall or Spring) of serving as a GSI at UC Berkeley. If a student has taught as a GSI for 3 semesters and 1 summer at Berkeley, the next time they serve as a GSI, they will remain at Step 1 GSI rate.
At the end of each semester the department provides each GSI with teaching evaluation forms to be completed by their students and returned to the department. In addition, GSIs are evaluated by the faculty in charge of the course.
The evaluations give GSIs and faculty feedback on issues such as knowledge and preparation of subject matter, presentation, fairness and impartiality in dealing with students, etc. They become part of the student's record and may be used to determine future GSI appointments as well as an assessment tool for subsequent letters of recommendation.
Previous Teaching Experience - Requests to Advance GSI Step
It is IB Department policy that if a graduate student can show that they served as a GSI for the equivalent of at least 4 semesters at another institution, we will advance their GSI Step 1 to a GSI Step 2 for their IB GSI position -- permitted that they provide the required documentation listed in the form linked below. This is a new policy established as of Fall 2019, and will not be retroactive -- advancement requests must be for the current semester or the following semester.
- Summer appointments do not qualify.
- Regardless of additional external teaching experience, the department policy is that we only advance GSI Step 1 to GSI Step 2.
(We only advance to Step 2 -- we do not advance to Step 3 or 4.)
- All advancement requests will be reviewed by our Graduate Student Services Advisor and then approved by our Head Faculty Graduate Student Advisor.
To submit a GSI Advancement Request to the Department of Integrative Biology, please read the requirements listed in this form and make sure you can provide all the proper documentation. Please contact our Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, at email@example.com if you have any questions.