Internship Program Overview

Internship Overview

Internship Resources



Project Proposal Development

Internship Guidebook

The Delta Internship Program provides graduate students and postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to develop teaching and learning skills in real-world situations. Each semester, the Delta Program supports a new cohort of interns who partner with faculty and staff to improve teaching practices and learning environments through innovative teaching-as-research projects. The internship projects can take place at UW–Madison or on a partner campus, such as Madison College, Edgewood College, Carroll University, or another UW System institution.


Want to learn how to integrate active learning into large lectures? Want to learn how to address a misconception that affects the learning of a particular tricky concept? Improve student motivation and retention? Design and implement a flipped classroom module? Curious about a particular assessment or teaching method you have heard about? Want to be able to talk about something you actually did in your job interview?


Interns develop, implement, and evaluate innovations and interventions that improve learning. For example, intern projects have included:

  • Instructional material (re-)design and implementation;
  • Integrating an active learning method into a course or module of a course;
  • Transforming a "cookbook" laboratory module to inquiry-based instruction;
  • Incorporating a technology to improve student learning;
  • Designing student-centered assessments to improve student learning.

The internship also serves as the core experience of the Delta Certificate Program. While not all interns go onto complete the certificate, the internship program is designed to transition right onto the certificate as the teaching-as-research project serves as the basis for the certificate defense presentation.

Steps to Completing the Internship

internship timeline

  1. Complete the prerequisite, which is one semester-long teaching and learning course. Delta's Effective Teaching with Technology, The College Classroom, Diversity in the College Classroom, Instructional Materials Development, and Informal Education courses all fulfill this requirement. The coursework can be in-progress when you apply for the internship program.
  2. Identify your project and faculty or staff partner. Many students enter into the internship program with a project in mind. Others select from the internship opportunities the Delta Program has developed and identified.

    The first Pre-Internship Workshop:Finding a Project, for interns who do not yet have a specific project or partner in mind, is held in October for spring projects and March for fall projects. Your faculty or instructional staff partner will provide support and guidance during the project. Interns are responsible for selecting their project and partner, though the Delta Program can help by identifying potential partners and forging connections.
  1. Proposal development. The second Pre-Internship Workshop: Developing Your Project walks you through the internship process, and is required (additional dates can be added for those who can't make the date/time). You will begin to define your internship project, develop your project plan, explore available resources, and learn more about the university's institutional review board (IRB) process that facilitates responsible research.

    Proposal development includes a literature review, defining your learning goals, assessments and activities and study methods. Optional cohort meetings to support this process continue following the workshops.
  2. Complete the Human Research Protection Program (IRB) training because you will be implementing a teaching-as-research project. Prior to the start of your project, all interns are required to complete a brief online certification in human subjects research, and submit a completed abbreviated IRB protocol form. The Delta Program will help you navigate these processes by providing more information during the Pre-Internship Workshop and subsequent communications.
  3. Enroll in the Delta Internship Seminar, which meets weekly for one and a half hours through the semester. It is usually taken during the term you implement your internship project, or in the spring semester for summer projects. The cohort offers support and also serves as a sounding-board for ideas, feedback, and review. Students must register for the Internship Seminar, which carries 1 graduate-level credit. Students can opt-out of the credit, something most postdocs do.
  4. Apply for the internship program online. Application is not a competitive process, but rather provides us with needed information.
    1. Online Application Form
    2. Teaching-as-Research Project Proposal:
      The Teaching-as-Research Project Proposal is submitted at the time of application and includes sections on project design, professional aspirations, and comprehension of the three Delta pillars.
    3. Advisor Approval Form: You must submit the Advisor Approval Form, signed by your research advisor. This is so all parties are aware of and support your participation in the internship program.
    4. Curriculum Vitae: We ask for a copy of your CV so we can review your experiences and interests.
  1. Implement your teaching-as-research internship project with the guidance of your partner and with support from your internship cohort, research advisor, and the Delta staff. We estimate that students typically spend 3–5 hours per week on their projects during the term, including meetings with partners and the seminar sessions.
  2. Submit your final materials after implementing your teaching-as-research internship project. You officially complete the program by:
    1. Submitting a Reflective Statement: This one-page statement should detail how your internship experience influenced your understanding of the three Delta pillars (teaching-as-research, learning communities, and learning-through-diversity).
    2. Submitting a Final Summative Report or Poster: This report is essentially a record of your teaching and learning activities that others can build upon, similar to a research paper in your discipline.
    3. Leading a discussion group for fellow graduate students/postdocs

Contact the Internship Program at with any questions.