Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)
The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning or CIRTL (cirtl.net) is a network of 21 universities across the United States advancing STEM undergraduate education by helping prepare future STEM faculty in the use and assessment of evidence-based instruction. The strategy used by the CIRTL Network is driven by the fact that nearly 80% of all future STEM faculty in the United States come from only 100 research universities. Reaching graduate students and postdocs at CIRTL institutions can have a transformative effect on the future practice of STEM teaching and learning everywhere they secure academic positions. Building on three core ideas – teaching-as-research, learning communities, and learning-through-diversity – the CIRTL Network community has developed, implemented, and evaluated institution-wide programs that demonstrably prepare future faculty to use evidence-based, high-impact teaching. A decade of CIRTL research, funded by the National Science Foundation, has demonstrated that early-career faculty prepared in learning communities based on the core ideas use research-proven instruction in their classrooms, value the diversity of ideas and experiences among students and instructors, and quickly develop their disciplinary research programs and publish. As a result of the collective effort across the network, hundreds of future STEM faculty per year are now stepping into classrooms equipped with teaching tools thanks to CIRTL opportunities offered on local campuses and virtually through CIRTL. During fall 2015 applications were solicited from universities across the United States to join the CIRTL Network. The intent is to expand the network to 50-60 institutions to increase the capacity for preparing future faculty to use evidence-based teaching practices to help reform STEM education in the future.