Bio 153 Phage Discovery Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Fall 2024

Undergraduate TAs for Phage Discovery will learn teaching techniques and increase their understanding of Phage Discovery Laboratory course material by assisting with lab sections, offering direct student support, and meeting weekly with undergraduate and graduate TAs to discuss and implement best practices in the lab.

UTAs will attend one or two lab sections each week and assist the graduate TA with locating supplies, answering student questions, demonstrating proper technique, discussing experimental design and data analysis, and providing moral support and motivation for students in their section. An atmosphere of enthusiasm for biology and the work at hand can motivate students and improve the lab experience.

Name of research group, project, or lab
Phage Discovery labs
Why participate in this opportunity?

Being an undergraduate teaching assistant will allow you to gain confidence, learn more about teaching, share knowledge, connect with other students, and prepare for other leadership roles. This experience will require you to re-learn the material covered in the course in order to explain and teach it to others. You will get to know graduate students in different graduate programs at UMass as well as laboratory staff and faculty members.

Logistics Information:
Subject Category
Molecular Biology
Student ranks applicable
Student qualifications

To become a UTA for this course, you should have completed the Phage Discovery curriculum at UMass in a previous semester. You will be required to attend the lab section(s) every week as well as a weekly TA meeting on Fridays. You should have an above-average understanding of the Phage Discovery project, be enthusiastic about working hard and helping your peers, and have good teamwork and communication skills.

  1. Apply for this position through the BUA site. See for instructions.
  2. In your BUA application materials, indicate why you're interested in this position, the strengths you bring to your work as a UTA, and what you think UTAs in this course should do to help all students succeed. 
  3. For your application to be complete, you must also fill out this form to indicate your availability

First time UTAs  will receive 1 credit for supporting 1 lab section (~3-4 hrs of work each week) or 2 credits for supporting 2 lab sections (~6-7 hrs of work each week). Returning UTAs will receive a stipend of ~$1000.

Time commitment
1-4 h/wk
5-7 h/wk
Position Types and Compensation
Teaching - Ind. Study Credit
Teaching - Paid, General
Number of openings
Techniques learned

Undergraduate TAs in Phage Discovery will become more proficient at plaque assays, serial dilutions, collecting and determining the titer of phage lysates, preparing grids for electron microscopy, extracting phage genomic DNA, laboratory course teaching methods, the SEA-PHAGES program, and working with student groups.

Project start
Fall semester, 2024
This project will use a Mentor-Student contract.
Contact Information:
Jess Rocheleau
Principal Investigator
Name of project director or principal investigator
Jess Rocheleau
Email address of project director or principal investigator
32 sp. | 127 appl.
1-4 h/wk (+1)
1-4 h/wk5-7 h/wk
Project categories
Molecular Biology (+1)
MicrobiologyMolecular Biology