History of BioTAP

The NSF-funded BioTAP Scholars program ran from 2015-2021 and worked with faculty, staff, and graduate students to develop and implement research projects related to graduate student instruction and TPD practices.

In Summer 2022, BioTAP began its transition from a grant-funded program to an independent non-profit professional society. Current network members should stay tuned for updates on the next chapter of BioTAP, and to find out how to get involved!


BioTAP was initially funded by the NSF via a Research Coordination Network - Undergraduate Biology Education grant. Funding last from 2013-2021 through two phases of funding.

Principal investigator: Dr. Elisabeth Schussler, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Co-PIs, Grant Gardner (MTSU), Gili Marbach-Ad (Maryland), Kris Miller (Georgia), and Judy Ridgway (Ohio State)


The grant had a goal to build capacity within the network for research on biology graduate teaching assistant (GTA) teaching professional development (TPD). By helping practitioners assess their own programs, and work with others to compare assessments across institutions, the network can build the empirical data necessary to make data-driven decisions about programmatic practices.


The project that was funded from 2015-2021 had three objectives:

  1. Expand and support collaborations with all biology GTA TPD stakeholders (researchers, educators, administrators, graduate students)

  2. Create and implement Research Development Sessions and Virtual Learning Communities to foster collaborative research on biology GTA TPD

  3. Synthesize, disseminate, and advocate for research to identify empirically based best practices in biology GTA TPD

The Outcomes Report gives a more detailed picture of the accomplishments of the network as it relates to these three objectives.

Download the outcomes report

The following steering committee was responsible for the 2015-2021 NSF-funded project: 

PI, Elisabeth Schussler                                                                                 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Co-PI, Grant Gardner                                                                                 Middle Tennessee State University

Co-PI, Gili Marbach-Ad                                                                                                  University of Maryland

Co-PI, Kristen Miller                                                                                                          University of Georgia

Co-PI, Judy Ridgway                                                                                                         Ohio State University

Adam Chouinard                                                                                                          Oregon State University

Ryan Coker                                                                                                                     Florida State University

Sarah Dalrymple                                                                                                               Boise State University

Miriam Ferzli                                                                                                     North Carolina State University

Stephanie Gutzler                                                                                                        Georgia State University

Dan Johnson                                                                                                                   Wake Forest University

Lori Kayes                                                                                                                      Oregon State University

Star Lee                                                                                                                University of California, Irvine

Andrew Lybbert                                                                                                                 Ohio State University

Kelly McDonald                                                                                   California State University, Sacramento

Judy Milton                                                                                                                        University of Georgia

Carol Pollock                                                                                      Emeritus, University of British Columbia

Todd Reeves                                                                                                             Northern Illinois University

Josh Reid                                                                                                     Middle Tennessee State University

E. William Wischusen                                                                                                Louisiana State University