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 level status, participants must design and implement an evidence-based teaching project, either as a pilot project or through a Teaching as Research course or practicum.


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 may be able to take part in the CIRTL Network Exchange Program to visit and discuss their research with scholars at other universities.


While open to the Cornell Community, the primary audience of the certificate program is graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. In order to qualify for the CIRTL Practitioner level status, participants must currently hold CIRTL Associate status. In unusual circumstances, participants may qualify for Practitioner status without first achieving the Associate certificate.


Current CIRTL Associates who complete a Teaching as Research project are eligible to apply for the CIRTL Practitioner level status. This project can be a pilot project designed through a CIRTL Network course or the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practitioner program, or a larger-scale initiative related to an Active Learning Initiative course. 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, sharing them with peers for feedback as a presentation or written report.

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 an application and related documentation, which contains the following:

  •  Confirmation of CIRTL Associate Status
  •  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 teaching mentors. Participation in these courses will meet most of the learning outcomes for the Practitioner level. Relevant courses include online CIRTL courses such as Planning Your Teaching as Research Project or the non-credit Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practitioner program.

Both Cornell University and the CIRTL Network offer a number of venues for presenting and discussing research projects, including the CIRTL All-Network Teaching as Research Presentations (annually in April) and regional or national exchange visits. 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 Now: