Eugene Law and Emily Smith at a conference

The word "engage" in script handwritingCIRTL Practitioners have not only studied the principles of evidence-based teaching and the CIRTL Core Ideas, but have also begun to implement them in their own teaching. Practitioners have a deeper understanding of the theory behind good teaching and have experience applying the CIRTL Core Ideas in a learning setting. In order to achieve the CIRTL Practitioner Certificate, participants must design and implement an evidence-based teaching project, either as a pilot project or through a Teaching as Research course or fellows program.


Participants who have been recognized as CIRTL Practitioners are prepared to contribute to the scholarly dialogue concerning evidence-based teaching, and Cornell University is committed to helping Practitioners achieve those goals. CIRTL Practitioners are eligible to apply for Travel Grants of up to $1000 to help present their teaching projects at conferences or other institutions. Additionally, Practitioners can apply to the CIRTL Network Exchange Program for fully-funded visits to discuss their research with scholars at other universities.


While open to the Cornell Community, the primary audience of the CIRTL Certificate program is graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. In order to qualify for the CIRTL Practitioner Certificate, participants must currently hold CIRTL Associate status. In rare circumstances, participants may qualify for Practitioner status without first achieving the Associate certificate. View information on requesting a certificate level exemption for more information.

Fill out a certificate interest form to learn more


Current CIRTL Associates who complete a Teaching as Research project are eligible to apply for the CIRTL Practitioner Certificate. This project can be a publishable research project or a pilot project, supported either through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practitioner program, courses such as ALS 6016: Teaching as Research, Discipline-Based Education Research courses, or CIRTL Network courses. This project must meet the following criteria:

  • Create realistic, well-defined, achievable, measurable and student-centered learning goals for the teaching and learning project.
  •  Find or develop assessment tools that are aligned with the learning goals of the teaching and learning project.
  •  Develop a teaching plan using evidence-based and inclusive instructional practices and materials to accomplish learning goals.
  •  Implement the teaching plan and collect data regarding achievement of learning goals.
  •  Analyze the data and draw evidence-based conclusions about the impact on student learning.

Participants must also have some experience as a teacher or TA in order to qualify for the CIRTL Practitioner status. This certificate is awarded based on the submission of a professional development portfolio, which contains the following:

  •  Confirmation of CIRTL Associate Status (or official exemption)
  •  List of courses taught or TA’d
  •  Description of context in which you implemented this Teaching as Research project
  •  Short (suggested length: 2 pages) report outlining the Teaching as Research project. The report should contain the following sections:
    • Abstract
    • Introduction or rationale
    • Summary of Background literature or prior research
    • Study design and assessment strategies
    • Summary of findings
    • Reflection on implications for teaching practice

Submission of a poster containing similar information to what would be in the written report may be an acceptable substitute with permission.


It is strongly advised that students pursuing the Practitioner Certificate enroll in a Teaching as Research course or seminar and seek out mentors in the field. Participation in these courses will meet most of the learning outcomes for the Practitioner level. Relevant courses include ALS 6016: Teaching as Research in Higher Education and online CIRTL courses such as Teaching as ResearchPostdocs in particular may wish to participate in the non-credit Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practitioner program or the massive open online course Advancing Learning through Evidence-Based STEM Teachingplus a local discussion group.

Both Cornell University and the CIRTL Network offer a number of venues for presenting and discussing research projects, including the Connecting Research and Teaching Conference in May/June, the CIRTL Teaching as Research All-Network Presentations (November and April), and regional exchange visits with University of Rochester’s CIRTL program (February/March). Students interested in obtaining a CIRTL Practitioner Certificate are invited to schedule a meeting with Associate Dean for Professional Development Colleen McLinn about the process and resources available. Additionally, participants holding CIRTL Associate status are eligible to receive a $500 stipend to subsidize the costs of implementing a Teaching as Research project.

Apply for the CIRTL Practitioner Certificate

CIRTL Practitioners – apply for Travel Grant funding

Apply for a Certificate Level Exemption