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Professional Development

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We are committed to supporting COLLEGE Lecturers in their research, scholarship, and professional development. 

Stanford Introductory Studies (the administrative unit overseeing COLLEGE) hopes that lecturers can maximize the fixed-term fellowship time to strengthen their preparation for their next step, whatever it may be. An array of resources and suggestions for professional development live in the SIS Lecturers Drive (staff-only link). Resources speak to the many paths that lecturers have taken after leaving SIS: tenure-track faculty jobs, university staff roles, and industry.

Lecturers are encouraged to speak with the Associate Director Dayo Mitchell about their professional goals, and for individual feedback on job materials and interview practice. We encourage collaboration: lecturers may come together for writing accountability groups, book proposal workshops, or act as students when a colleague needs to rehearse a teaching demonstration. COLLEGE Lecturers have proposed a number of professional development sessions that the program then hosted, such as Lecturer Alumni Panel; From Dissertation to Book; Exploring Teaching Careers; From CV to Resume; Writing for the Public, as well as many sessions hosted across Stanford or off-campus.

Funds for Research

 Although called research funds, the funds described below may be used broadly and creatively for professional development. All funds require approval from program staff before spending, and receipts and documentation will be required (all expenses are subject to Stanford University financial policies). Whenever possible, Stanford Introductory Studies prefers to pay directly for expenses rather than ask lecturers to wait to be reimbursed.

University STAP Funds ($800)

The University provides all full-time staff with $800 in STAP Funds, issued each 1 September and expiring on 31 August. COLLEGE Lecturers typically use STAP funds for classes and conference registrations, as the university narrowly defines how they can be used. Learn more about STAP.

COLLEGE Funds ($2000)

Stanford Introductory Studies provides all full-time, full-year COLLEGE Lecturers with access to $2000 each year in professional development funds, issued annually on the start date and expiring with the termination of the contract. Unlike STAP funds, COLLEGE funds may be used for:

  • travel to conferences
  • research travel
  • professional memberships
  • general books and other research materials
  • classes
  • conference registrations
  • services such as developmental editing on a book manuscript
  • open access fees for publishing

COLLEGE funds are quite flexible except for the list below, so that's only a fraction of the possibilities.

Ineligible expenses:

  • Travel for job interviews
  • Equipment of any kind—no computers, etc. (Lecturers are provided with a university-owned laptop for the duration of the contract)
  • Software (with the exception of limited subscriptions, by reimbursement only)
  • Hiring research assistants
  • Lifetime memberships or any subscriptions with a duration of more than one year

For expense approvals and for more information on professional development funds, consult Associate Director Dayo Mitchell or the Lecturer Handbook (provided at orientation each year).


Many COLLEGE Lecturers will serve as Course Coordinator for a course. This role carries a small supplemental stipend and enables lecturers to develop skills in pedagogy, building consensus, facilitating complex discussions, and managing events. 

Lecturers in COLLEGE can learn more about academic technology through paid and volunteer professional development opportunities, such as the Tech Coordinator role. We also offer one-on-one and group workshops on professional websites, digital identity, etc. See Academic Technology.

Lecturers may also choose to serve on one of the leadership committees within COLLEGE. Two lecturers serve on the First Year Requirement Governance Board, a committee charged by the Faculty Senate with overview of the COLLEGE program. Both the Why College? and Citizenship courses have Steering Committees that set the shared curriculum for the course. Some lecturers organize the SIS Fellows Research Seminar Series, where lecturers can share their research with SIS and the broader community.

Lecturers are also able to take on projects outside of teaching in COLLEGE. They may teach with other departments on campus as an overload. Many have developed their own course and expanded their teaching skills through teaching for Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies or Continuing Studies. Others have continued research collaborations with mentors on- or off-campus.