Teaching Assistant

An important component of a graduate-level education is the acquisition of teaching skills.  All Microbiology & Immunology MSc and PhD students are required to be a teaching assistant (TA) and to complete a 1.0 TA position or equivalent. Students making good research progress may TA additional courses. Students must consult with their thesis supervisor before accepting a TA position.

Getting a TAship Position

A full list of courses and TA responsibilities available through the Department of Microbiology and Immunology is available here.

The Graduate Program Coordinator notifies students of available TAships in early summer and assigns TAships in July. An e-mail will be sent to all current graduate students with a list of all courses and the number of TA’s required.  If you are interested in TAing a particular course, or have a preference between first and second term, or have any questions regarding TAing, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Financial Reimbursement

TA positions held to meet program requirements contribute toward the base stipend and supplement with an additional $1,500.00 paid to the student for a 1.0 TA position. If you also hold a scholarship on the term that you are doing a TAship, you may get to keep some over and above the $1,500.00 TA income as your bonus, on top of the scholarship that you receive.


The performances of most TA’s are evaluated (confirm with your course coordinator), and the evaluations become a part of the student’s files.  Evaluations are available for viewing through the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Invigilating Final Exams

For many of the larger undergraduate courses, the number of invigilators needed exceeds the number of TAs assigned to the course.  Therefore, as part of their TA responsibilities, all TAs will be called upon to invigilate two final exams during the exam period of a term in which they are performing TA duties.  One or both of these exams may be for a course other than the one in which TA duties were performed during the term.

Teaching Workshops

Question: How can you develop your teaching skills in a supportive environment?

Answer: Sign up for one of the many workshops at UBC that enhance your teaching experience!

Graduate Student Program offers the following professional development opportunities that may assist graduate students with building teaching skills:

Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology

Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW)

LSI TA Training Program (LSI TATP)

Biology Teaching Assistant Program

Graduate Peer Review of Teaching

Graduate Peer Review of Presentations