CU-CIRTL Certificate Program

Interactive CIRTL Certificates Brochure

View Interactive CU-CIRTL
Certificates Brochure in ISSUU

CU-CIRTL Certificates distinguish emerging leaders in evidence-based teaching practices among future faculty. These nationally-recognized certificates attest to various levels of engagement with the CIRTL Core Ideas:

  • Teaching as Research
  • Learning Community
  • Learning through Diversity

Offered as part of national initiatives to advance quality teaching in higher education, CIRTL certificates are an increasingly recognizable credential in today’s competitive academic job market.

Download CU-CIRTL Certificates brochure (pdf)

Who Can Participate?

CU-CIRTL Certificates are open to the entire Cornell community, but aimed at graduate students and postdocs.  (Some qualifying activities offered through the national CIRTL Network are aimed primarily at graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in STEM fields, including social, behavioral, and economic sciences and STEM education.)

Certificate Levels

There are three levels of CU-CIRTL Certificates available that recognize different levels of engagement with the CIRTL Core Ideas.

CIRTL Associates have demonstrated knowledge of effective teaching and research-based practices in a variety of learning environments. Participants at this level of achievement are acknowledged for their commitment to learning and engaging with the core principles that enhance evidence-based teaching. CIRTL Associates are prepared to implement research-based “best practices” in various learning environments in order to achieve learning goals, and to recognize diversity in learning and mentoring needs.

CIRTL 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 a Teaching as Research project, either as a pilot project or through participation in a Teaching as Research course / fellows program.

CIRTL Scholars are leaders among their peers when it comes to evidence-based teaching. They have demonstrated engagement with the scholarship, theory, and implementation of Teaching as Research and have incorporated the best practices in the field into their own teaching. CIRTL Scholars are graduate students and postdocs who have conducted research that advances teaching and learning in the discipline and made the results of their research public for peer review beyond Cornell. CIRTL Scholars have completed a full-scale Teaching as Research project, including proposal development, IRB review, data collection and analysis, and submission for presentation at a conference or publication.

CIRTL certificate levels


Participants who have received CIRTL Associate status are eligible to apply for a $250 stipend to assist with the material costs of conducting a Teaching as Research project. This stipend can be used to purchase materials or to subsidize further training. CIRTL Associates can also apply for Travel Grants of up to $250 to pursue outside training opportunities in evidence-based teaching.

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. Additionally, Practitioners can apply to the CIRTL Network Exchange Program for fully supported visits to discuss their research and teaching with scholars at other universities.

CIRTL Scholars are models for other future faculty. In addition to Practitioner-level benefits, funding opportunities are available to Scholars who undertake a leadership role within the CU-CIRTL Learning Community. CIRTL Scholars who wish to mentor other participants and serve as ambassadors for the CIRTL ideals among their peers are eligible for semester-long mentor appointments conferring a small stipend.


CU-CIRTL staff review certificate applications on a quarterly basis. Deadlines for each quarter are January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. All applications received on or before that date will be reviewed within two weeks of the end of that quarter. Applicants will be notified via email if their application has been approved or if the application requires further documentation. Certificates and letters of commendation will be mailed to awardees for inclusion in a professional teaching portfolio.

Learn More

Graduate students and postdocs who would like more information about pursuing a CIRTL Certificate should fill out the Interest Form and members of the CU-CIRTL team will help with the application process and next steps.

Application Process

Applicants are encouraged to review the requirements for the level of certificate they are seeking and to prepare documentation before beginning the online application. More information about the requirements for CIRTL Associate, Practitioner, and Scholar status are linked above. You may also wish to view the national Learning Outcomes associated with each level.

Certificate Application