Apply to Teach SWI

Undergraduate Instructor Application Link

If you are interested in applying to be a Small World Initiative® Partner Instructor (SWIPI) and currently teach at an undergraduate institution, please fill out this application (downloadable pdf solely for viewing purposes). Please note that you must submit your application through the online portal and may not submit an application via email or other means.

High School Instructor Application Link

If you are interested in applying to teach the course at a high school, please fill out this application (downloadable pdf solely for viewing purposes). Please note that you must submit your application through the online portal and may not submit an application via email or other means. For high school member benefits, please click here.

Application Process & Timeline

Once you submit your application, you will land on the following message: "Thank you for completing the Small World Initiative Partner Instructor Application! We appreciate your interest and will follow up with you regarding any questions or next steps. If you receive this message, rest assured that your application has been successfully submitted. You will not receive any additional confirmation emails. Typical review time is 4-6 weeks after the end of each month in which the application is received. The Selection Committee takes a break during the following months: June-August and December-January. Should you need expedited review for a compelling reason (e.g., answer required in order to receive funding in time to implement the program on your desired schedule), please contact us. Thank you, and we look forward to reviewing your application!"

The application deadline to be considered for the summer 2018 training is May 15, 2018. However, as we review applications on a rolling basis, we recommend applying as early as possible to ensure space is available in the training. Last year, the training was full prior to the deadline. Applicants may qualify to waive the in-person training if they meet our other requirements and participate in remote training through group calls. 

United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, & Spain – If your school is located in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, or Spain, please contact us here as the application and training process are different.

We would like to thank the VWR Foundation, the American Society for Microbiology, and the University of Connecticut for generously supporting our training.

Resources for Prospective Instructors

The 4th edition of our student course pack (Small World Initiative: A Research Guide to Microbial and Chemical Diversity and Small World Initiative: Research Protocols) may be order from XanEdu here or from Amazon Prime here. We have also compiled helpful resources and information for prospective instructors here. This includes details on the curriculum, biosafety information, a sample syllabus and course announcement, and additional information on the program.

What Does Your Lab Need?

Information for prospective instructors on what you lab needs may be found here. Please reference the two files entitled, "What Does Your Lab Need?" We attempted to put together equipment and disposable supply lists that provide guidance on different options that are sensitive to different institutional budgets. Based on feedback from other SWIPIs, disposable supplies cost about $15-70 per student depending on the supplier. The most expensive piece of recommended equipment is the autoclave to prepare media and decontaminate waste. It is important to select a model that can handle liquids. We do sometimes have suppliers offer special discounts for our partners. So, please ask or check on our website under Resources (Special Offers). The other key need is the requisite biological safety level.

Feedback from Our Instructor Training Workshop

"This workshop has been one of the very best and most useful workshops I have every attended. This spans over a decade of teaching and attending as many workshops that I was able to get to over this time! Great experience! Great team! Looking forward to start, even if modestly. Proud to be a SWIPI!"
"This was a great experience. I feel incredibly prepared to begin. You are amazing!!!"
"I have not been this excited about a new project for a long time.  Thanks so much for the training and materials and support.  It was great!  I am looking forward to implementing SWI in every way I can."
"I learned so much it is going to take weeks to go through all my notes. The bonds I made at the workshop with people were strong. I am looking forward to communicating with them about our work."
"Excellent experience and very well done. Looking forward to implementing the course and to working with the SWI group this year."
"It was a great experience on many fronts and I am excited about offering this at my institute."
"I was excited about SWI before attending training and am even more excited now. It still feels pretty overwhelming, but I have a lot more information and know-how after attending the training. It was really great to collaborate with other teachers interested in making science real for their students."
"Having representatives at multiple levels and institutions was formative. The materials provided are particularly valuable in being able to bring this back to my institution. My view of implementation and usage changed from the training experience. Very excited to move forward with this and show my department how SWI can work for us. Great to be part of this cohort."
"Excellent workshop and very informative for instilling confidence to bring this course back to my home institution and have it run efficiently."
"SWI is more creative as I thought. The SWI team is open-minded and happy to adopt new ideas, leaving plenty of room to innovate! SWI is flexible: It can be adapted to multiple formats and education levels to get the best advantage of the program in particular environments. The SWI community is really collaborative and helpful, ready to share ideas and experiences anytime! It is not just a project: it is a great human environment. Proud of it!"
"The project is very scalable, and I can accomplish my learning goals. The workshop was excellent with so much help offered."
"This project is authentic research, "doable", and highly supported with all the wonderful materials made available."
"Encouraging to see an organization that is tackling the real-world problem of antibiotic resistance and lack of new antibiotics being discovered. How we as science educators can and need to use teaching techniques such as Blooms, formative and summative assessments to further increase STEM retention."
"SWI is straightforward to implement, the community is very supportive community, and my students will greatly benefit from the program."

Terms of Use and Disclaimer

Please note that while we strive to have the Small World Initiative™ taught around the world, for safety, legal, and quality control purposes and to strengthen SWI's community, an applicant must be approved and complete official training in order to teach the Small World Initiative and become a Partner Instructor. Only with express written consent from SWI’s President or Program Director will the official training requirement be waived, in which case an applicant would be matched with a “buddy” mentor instructor.

Applicants who are approved for a training but do not actually complete such training are not permitted to teach SWI and are not Partner Instructors. Any unauthorized teaching of SWI or use of SWI Instructor Materials, Student Materials, or the Small World Initiative trademark is strictly prohibited. Anyone who uses SWI’s materials, teaches SWI, or trains others in violation of SWI’s policies and procedures is fully and personally responsible and liable for such unauthorized use and any consequences that may result.