PWR Fellow Full Job Description

Fellows in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) are responsible for teaching courses that fulfill the undergraduate writing and rhetoric requirement at Stanford University. PWR offers approximately 200 undergraduate courses a year, taught in seminar/workshop style in classes of 15 students each.  These small classes emphasize the development of each student’s analytical and research-based writing.  Individual classes explore writing, rhetoric, and research from a range of perspectives. The second course in the requirement includes increased attention to the interweaving of writing and technology and to the study and development of oral and multimedia texts to expand students’ understanding of contemporary language and argument. 

Fellows in PWR are responsible for developing syllabi for their sections in accord with course and assignment guidelines developed by PWR.  PWR Fellows will also participate in professional development activities available through the program, including formal training in rhetoric, composition, and writing pedagogy.  Additional responsibilities of Fellows in PWR include service on program committees and contributions to PWR initiatives.  All of these responsibilities must be fulfilled in a professional manner, including being available to students on a regular basis via office hours and meeting all classroom and Program obligations in a reliable and timely way.   

Duties and Responsibilities

Teaching (65%)

  • Teach two sections of Writing and Rhetoric courses in each academic quarter, with one quarter of reduced load, for a total of five sections per academic year. Each section meets twice a week for 110 minutes, adding up to roughly eight hours of classroom teaching per week in a regular teaching load. 
  • Respond to drafts of each major essay and oral presentation assignment and meet with each student three times per quarter for approximately 30 minutes each time (ninety or forty-five conferences per quarter, depending on course load).
  • Prepare and revise course descriptions and other pedagogical materials; participate in making of PWR instructional videos describing courses for posting to the course description website.

Contribute to the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (20%)

  • Serve as a contributing member or chair/co-chair of at least one standing committee.
  • Support special PWR projects and initiatives as needed (e.g. advising students in the Notation in Science Communication or supporting the work of Writing Specialists).
  • Participate in all PWR program meetings, including Fellow orientation and training in August, September sessions, and quarterly meetings.
  • Professionally represent the program’s projects, initiatives and goals in all professional contexts

Professional Development/Research (15%)

  • Participate in professional development activities including formal training in rhetoric, composition.
  • Attend and participate in national and regional conventions focused on disciplinary and scholarly interests (and connecting this work to pedagogy when possible).



  • Advanced degree from Stanford (Ph.D. preferred) from any discipline and an interest in teaching, particularly the teaching of writing, research, and oral presentation


  • 2-3 years of experience teaching at the college-level, preferably in courses including a writing component


  • Demonstrated understanding of effective and up-to-date pedagogy, including the innovative use of technology
  • Understanding of the principles of student learning and evaluating student work
  • Knowledge of standards of research and scholarship in higher education
  • Understanding of teaching research in a resource-rich research university
  • Deep understanding of the philosophy and goals of liberal arts education
  • Comprehensive understanding of academic and psychological development of traditional college-age students
  • Knowledge of Stanford’s academic support resources desired

Skills, Abilities and Work Standards:

  • Ability to maintain a courteous, positive, professional demeanor in the workplace
  • Highly developed teaching skills
  • Ability to form professional collaborations and partnerships, particularly within and also across units in the university
  • Ability to make sound decisions regarding sensitive and/or confidential matters
  • Ability to work independently and to take the initiative, especially in new ventures
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills  
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, to set and reorder priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Excellent listening, written, and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively with students from diverse backgrounds possessing differing levels of skill
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment, tact, and discretion
  • Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours as needed.
  • Strong interpersonal skills  
  • Ability to identify problems, take initiative, set priorities, and follow through with projects in a timely manner
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to manage time effectively and complete assignments within designated deadlines
  • Ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations
  • Commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures