Instructors and Allen Grossman Teaching Fellows

These applications are currently closed for the 2021-22 academic year.

Instructorships in the University Writing Program

The University Writing Program invites Johns Hopkins graduate students with teaching experience to apply for one-year positions as instructors. Expository writing courses (AS.060.113/114) introduce students to the elements of academic argument and guide their practice as they learn to embody those principles in their writing. Instructors design and teach one topic-based Expos seminar each term and participate in a program of pedagogy workshops in mid-May and late August, as well as in meetings on pedagogy during fall and spring semesters.

All stipends include tuition and health insurance. Please consult with your adviser before applying, and see below for specifics on funding. Returning instructors, also see below.

Allen Grossman Teaching Fellowships

Instructors who are funded by the program and have already successfully taught for a year in the program are eligible to apply for one-year positions as Allen Grossman Teaching Fellows. Grossman Fellows design and teach one topic-based Expos seminar each term and participate in the pedagogy workshops in late August, as well as in meetings on pedagogy during the fall and spring semesters.

The Grossman Fellowship includes an enhanced stipend as well as tuition and health insurance. Please see below for specifics on funding.

One-Semester Instructorships

Graduate students who have successfully taught for a year in the University Writing Program are eligible to apply for one-semester Instructorships. Such positions are limited, however, and are usually available only in the fall semester. Instructors who teach for one semester receive half of the full-year stipend for which they qualify. No Grossman Fellowships are available for one semester.

Returning Instructors

Instructors who have previously taught in the University Writing Program, including current instructors, are invited to apply for an Instructorship for 2021-22, by emailing a brief letter of application to Professor Marisa O’Connor, expressing your interest in teaching in the program, and explaining your plans for the academic year. Please attach your proposed course description, whether your current course, a revised version of an earlier course, or a new course. The deadline is March 15, 2021.


We expect to hire eight to ten instructors and two to three Allen Grossman Teaching Fellows for 2021-22. Applications will be accepted between March 3 and March 15, 2021. Please consult your faculty adviser before submitting an application.

Your application should include the following:

  • A cover letter, describing your background as a teacher and writer
  • Your curriculum vitae
  • A proposal for an expository writing seminar
  • A writing sample of no more than 5–7 pages (excerpts are fine).

Please e-mail your application Professor Marisa O’Connor.


Your course proposal should be a 200- to 250-word description of the topic, including especially the problem — highlighted by a question or small set of questions — that focuses the topic and offers students the opportunity to engage a meaningful topic in writing. For specific examples, see the current course listings on our website.

Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about a potential topic:

  • The focus of the course is academic argumentThis means that teaching students how to write the essays well, rather than coverage of the material, is the aim of the course. One consequence of this aim is fewer readings than is usual in a content course. Another is that your choice of texts should be guided by their writing value. A given work may be important in the field, but if students need a whole semester, or longer, to begin to grasp it, another text will better serve your aims. Think in terms of potential writing assignments rather than coverage or chronology.
  • Most of your students will be freshmen and sophomoresYour course must be accessible to beginners. This doesn’t mean the course will be easy. It means that your students must be able to engage the writing assignments without having acquired years of expertise on the topic. The course should appeal to a broad range of students. An important problem and name recognition help establish that appeal.
  • The topic should draw on your own knowledge. It should be something you know and care about so that you can define key issues and debates, and the underlying questions that make the topic worth thinking and writing about. And it should be open to debate. Don’t teach anything with a built-in thesis; instead, look for the interesting questions. 

Proposal Workshop

If you are interested in applying for an Instructorship, you are invited to attend an information session and proposal workshop on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 5 p.m., via Zoom. A link will be provided to those who express interest.

You’ll learn more about applying to teach in the program and will get feedback on topics you may be thinking of proposing for an Expos seminar. If you plan to attend the workshop, please email Professor Marisa O’Connor, to let her know.



Instructorships are available to qualified graduate students only for the full academic year. Graduate students who are beyond the funding of the home department and are funded by the University Writing Program will receive a stipend in 2021-2022 of $16,000 ($8,000 per course), plus tuition and medical insurance. First-time instructors who are beyond home-department funding will receive an additional training-and-preparation stipend of $3,500 for the fall semester only, a total of $19,500 for the year. 

Allen Grossman Teaching Fellowships

The Allen Grossman Teaching Fellowships are available to qualified graduate students only for the full academic year. Graduate students who are awarded Grossman Fellowships will receive their base stipend plus $3,000. All funding includes tuition waiver and graduate student benefits.