Bringing RNA-Seq into Undergraduate Education

Virtual Workshop, June 2016

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's DNA Learning Center (DNALC) invites you to apply to participate in a free 2-week online workshop for our NSF funded project, Infrastructure and Training to Bring Next-generation Sequence (NGS) Analysis Into Undergraduate Education. This workshop will introduce the knowledge and tools needed to analyze an RNA-Seq experiment, and help participants develop teaching strategies and materials that use these experiments in the classroom. Applicants may either propose to obtain their own RNA-Seq data – which will be sequenced as part of the course – or propose to use existing datasets.

Who should apply?

We are recruiting faculty who will be committed to study differential gene expression and to use the knowledge and skills gained at the workshop to incorporate into undergraduate classroom-based or independent study projects during the 2016–17 school year. Forty-three faculty previously participated in our workshops and have developed RNA-Seq datasets, teaching materials, and assessment tools that will guide you as you develop lessons and activities.

When is the workshop? What is the time commitment? What is the format? 

We are planning to hold the workshop either June 6–17 or June 13–24 (based on the consensus of accepted applicants). The estimated time commitment will not exceed 20 hours per week. This virtual workshop will consist of self-paced instruction based on expertly written tutorials, videos, and hands-on bioinformatics exercises for analyzing RNA-Seq data. In addition, there will be required attendance at live webinar sessions covering topics including implementation of RNA-Seq into classroom curricula, and participation in discussion forums where you will share your learning experience and interact with fellow workshop participants. Participants are required to have a computer, microphone/headset, and webcam.

What skills do I need and what will I learn? 

This workshop is appropriate for faculty who have little or no experience with bioinformatics analysis of RNA-Seq data.Workshop participants will be guided through a bioinformatics workflow for analyzing data using the Green Line of DNA Subway and iPlant Collaborative Discovery Environment. Participants will also learn details of RNA-Seq experimental design and NGS technology, and how to teach modern genomics from expert educators. Following the workshop, participants will assist with classroom evaluation to gauge the impact of student participation, and are expected to help develop curriculum and website support materials that will be used for educational dissemination of the project.

What RNA-Seq dataset can I propose to analyze and use for teaching?

All applicants must propose to analyze and develop teaching materials for a specific RNA-Seq dataset. This dataset must utilize a eukaryotic organism that has a published sequenced and annotated genome. The options for a choosing a eukaryotic dataset are:

How do I apply?

Complete workshop applications require:

  • Applicant Information Form , which includes a description of the courses and/or research contexts with which students will be involved
  • Formatted RNA-Seq Project Proposal Guidelines
  • Support letter from the Department head that demonstrates an institutional commitment to incorporate NGS analysis in appropriate courses during the 2016-17 academic year

Complete applications must be received by December 30, 2015. All proposals will be reviewed as received. Please feel free to share this notice with colleagues who may be interested in applying.