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Lead Science Instructor

Overview of the Rosetta Commons
The mission of the Rosetta Commons is audacious and nothing short of changing the world through our unique intersection of science, software and community. Together we generate high-impact scientific advances and novel biological products to build a more equitable, sustainable world and reduce human suffering. We develop and broadly distribute state-of-the-art software for biomolecular modeling and design to drive academic inquiry and accelerate the development of transformative technologies. We understand that the problems we aim to solve cannot be solved by any one person, research group, or company – collective expertise and collaboration are our superpower.

The Rosetta Commons was formed almost 20 years ago with the University of Washington as the Lead Institution to allow many non-commercial institutions to collaboratively develop the Rosetta software. In the intervening years, the performance and reliability of Rosetta have dramatically improved, which has made us leaders in the field and driven growth in our annual licensing revenue. Our unique and compelling science has continually attracted new talent to our community, which has grown tremendously.

The Opportunity
Our field is in a period of rapid growth and disruptive change, largely driven by the potential public health impact and commercial value of computationally designed protein medicines, as well as the emergence of powerful machine learning-based methods for protein structure prediction and design. As the world’s leading biomolecular modeling and design community, the Rosetta Commons is in a strong position to continue to lead innovation in the field. However, the learning curve associated with using and developing the software remains a barrier. Week-long bootcamp programs have been a highly effective mechanism for training new community members and we are seeking instructor(s) to facilitate and lead these educational events in-person and remotely. Workshops are highly interactive, with active learning lectures and hands-on computing sessions. The overarching learning outcome of the bootcamp series is proficiency for new users and developers across different Rosetta interfaces and coding languages. 

The Position
The Rosetta Commons is seeking a Lead Science Instructor* who can teach the Rosetta Commons synchronous learning events that support and expand our user and developer bases. Currently, the position will report to the Rosetta Commons Executive Committee, a body of community leaders representing community and software initiatives. The position supervision could potentially be transferred to the Rosetta President, once hired. The instructor’s projects will span domains of software and user support, education, diversity/equity/and inclusion, and applications and the instructor will successfully liaise with these groups to capture community expertise and needs. 

*Instructor/Instructors: The position may be filled by an individual or a small team. The hiring committee will be considering creative solutions that include forming a team of instructors based on needs, interests, and strengths reported in the received applications.  
The major responsibilities include: 
The bolded time/effort figures reported at the end of the major responsibilities are rough approximations that should not be considered finalized. These are just suggestions, listed here to serve as an example. Applicants will have an opportunity to propose their own estimates in the application package. 

  • In-class instruction. Week-long, in-person (travel likely required) workshops for the following events: (1) PyRosetta / New User Bootcamp, (2) C++ / New Developer Bootcamp, and (3) ML Methods for Biomolecular Modeling & Design. There may also be opportunities to teach the PyRosetta / New User Bootcamp abroad and in remote contexts. In 2024 and beyond, this position may teach the undergrad-level Rosetta REU and Postbac Bootcamps in addition to the first three listed. There may be opportunities to teach faculty-focused Rosetta professional development. Up to six weeks per year of in-class instruction time. 
  • Curriculum development for PyRosetta / New User Bootcamp, C++ / New Developer Bootcamp, and ML Methods for Biomolecular Modeling & Design. This work will build on existing community resources and the learning materials developed for previous bootcamps to create the materials (lesson plans, slides, activities/notebooks, etc.) for the courses. The successful candidate may work closely with the Common’s instructional designer to translate learning materials into a publicly accessible suite of videos, guides, and tutorials. 8-12 weeks of curriculum development per year. 
  • Course preparation and management. The instructor will communicate homework to enrolled students and support them as they complete pre-bootcamp assignments. The instructor will oversee students progress and moderate communication platforms and set up and maintain learning management systems. *Enrollment management, venue coordination, meals & lodging will be supported by Commons’ administrative/events assistant and the Commons’ Operational Director. Up to six weeks per year of course preparation and management time (1 week per bootcamp).
  • Teaching assistant coordination. Recruit and train 4-5 teaching assistants (TA) to support each bootcamp. Training includes best practices in teaching with DEI emphasis. During bootcamps, lead daily TA meetings to resolve challenges and ensure consistent student support. Three weeks per year of TA coordination time.
  • Workshop Assessment. Evaluation activities of the programming for continual improvement of the materials and course offerings to meet the needs of the research community, may include focus groups, survey distribution and analysis, dedicated debriefing sessions to capture participant and community insights. The work of integrating the learnings from assessment would be included in Curriculum Development responsibility time/effort. 1 week of course assessment.
  • Travel planning and travel time. Travel may be required to instruct at some workshop sites and Rosetta conferences (2-4 weeks/year). Travel planning and physical traveling time are a dedicated responsibility included in the role. 2 weeks of travel planning and physical traveling time.

*estimated annual total of 26 weeks of work = 50% time annual work effort.

The Individual
Professional experience and education. We seek an instructor with exceptional technical skills in biomolecular modeling & design and experience teaching at the college and or professional level. You have developed Rosetta methods and know the community and software deeply. You have used and are proficient using PyRosetta, Rosetta C++, and current ML modeling and design methods. You have TA or instructor experience in a computational course and/or biophysics/biochemistry discipline at either college or professional settings, preferably in active learning settings. 

Personal characteristics. You find joy in teaching and are excited to share your knowledge. You are motivated by welcoming and supporting the next generation of Rosetta scientists. You can communicate effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and possess strong interpersonal skills to build relationships and engage community expertise. You are a self starter and thrive working independently. You are always seeking to improve your instructional delivery, teaching and learning resources. You are able to travel to various Rosetta labs, training sites, and conferences (3-10 times per year), and you are able to build fluency to use remote teaching platforms (e.g. Zoom, polling tools, Jupyter notebooks, video platforms, Teachable / Coursera).

The Context
This position may be full or part-time, and may be held concurrently with an academic staff or trainee position or an industry position. This position may be held by an individual or by a small (2-3 person) team that works collaboratively. We anticipate that as the Rosetta consortium transforms into the future, that we will need more and more educational support at a sustained, professional level.

For Questions please contact Ashley Vater at