Carpentries Trainer Training May-July 2021

Apply to become an Instructor Trainer and shape the next generation of Carpentries Instructors!

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for anyone wishing to become a Carpentries Instructor Trainer in 2021!

Carpentries Jargon 101: What is an Instructor Trainer?

A diagram of our Instructor Training program. Instructor Trainers are trained through Instructor Trainer Training and themselves teach Instructor Training to new Instructors. New Instructors teach Carpentries Workshops to learners.
A flow chart of our Instructor Training program, from Instructor Trainers to Instructors to Learners.

Instructor Trainer Training is the process by which we on-board new Instructor Trainers. Instructor Trainers teach Instructor Training workshops to bring on new Instructors. Instructors teach Carpentries workshops (Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry) to learners worldwide.

Want to support The Carpentries by training new Instructors? Read on!

Selection Priorities

All are welcome to apply for Trainer Training! We do have an application process, and it is helpful to know about the ways in which applications are prioritized for selection before you apply. A few factors that will be considered are:

  1. Support for Existing Carpentries Communities.

    Instructor Trainers often play important roles beyond teaching Instructor Training workshops, and this can be particularly valuable at the local level. A local Carpentries community may benefit from having someone in the region who can consult on training practices and support new Instructor trainees through the checkout process and beyond. Furthermore, Trainers from established communities can share their community practices with other regional and global Carpentries communities through this role. For these reasons, we will prioritize Trainers who aim to support existing local communities in this admission round.

  2. Membership contracts.

    Platinum member agreements can sometimes be negotiated to include the service of a local Instructor Trainer. In these cases, we reserve seats but they are still subject to review and approval by our panel of current Trainers.

  3. Regional Training Opportunities.

    When we bring on new Instructor Trainers, we want to be able to provide opportunities for you to teach! However, Instructor Training is organized differently from Carpentries technical workshops because there are limits to the number of new Instructors we can certify sustainably. We are therefore prioritizing applicants who are located in time zones or geographic areas where we have established training needs or specific sponsorship goals. At the present time, this includes The Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. Note: for geographic areas that rely exclusively on in-person training, proximity to another Instructor Trainer who can co-teach is necessary as well.

  4. Philosophy and Skill in Training and Community

    Trainer applications are reviewed by a panel of current Instructor Trainers. Teaching new Instructors about The Carpentries approach to training and community is a vital role that shapes the character and culture of our global community. For this reason, we aim to select applicants who will model our practices with care and engage thoughtfully with our growing community of Trainers as we continue to develop this program.

Our selection priorities do change each round, and qualified applicants may be declined as we strive to distribute available seats across institutions and geographic areas. In these cases, repeat applications may be successful in subsequent rounds.

Instructor Trainer FAQ

Do I need to be a certified Carpentries Instructor to apply?

Many applicants are certified Instructors with experience teaching Carpentries workshops. However, this is not always the case — many otherwise strong applicants have not had an opportunity to be involved as an Instructor yet. Applicants who are not certified Instructors should have some prior training in educational best practices, and should be informed and excited about being involved with The Carpentries. Our application will also direct you to apply as an Instructor along with your application as an Instructor Trainer, and we will expect you to complete that certification concurrently if accepted.

What responsibilities will I have as an Instructor Trainer?

Instructor Trainers are invited to co-teach 2-day (or 4-half-day) Carpentries Instructor Training workshops (recommended 2 per year), host 1-hr online teaching demonstration sessions (recommended 4 per year), follow curriculum updates on GitHub, and either attend monthly meetings or otherwise keep up on our asynchronous community channels. Other opportunities for participation and service to the Trainers community and to the broader Carpentries community can contribute towards meeting the expectations for continuing engagement as an active Instructor Trainer. Trainers are asked to affirm their continuing participation annually, and may choose to take leave from their role if they do not expect to be able to remain active. Expectations are determined by the Trainer community and updates will be supported by a newly elected Leadership panel in 2021. For more details on current expectations, see the Trainer Agreement in The Carpentries Handbook.

What impact will I have as an Instructor Trainer?

In addition to training and welcoming our future Instructors (!), Trainers are empowered as a community to guide the development of The Carpentries Instructor Training program. This program is undergoing major changes as we scale up with the support of a large grant from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Trainer community has a central role to play in determining the form and direction of that growth. There are now also opportunities to take on leadership within this community as it grows, and the voice of new Trainers is especially important to making the community welcoming for all. Bring your voice to the table, and help us create the future of The Carpentries!

Trainers often also play leadership roles in their home communities, spearheading institutional memberships and supporting community organisation. Trainers share their knowledge and expertise with their home communities in many ways. It is important to note, however, that Trainers cannot host official Instructor Training workshops or send any trainees for Instructor certification without prior approval from The Carpentries. This is because the number of Instructors that we can support depends on the growth of our other programmes. Trainers are encouraged to explore membership or inquire about scholarship opportunities on behalf of any groups they would like to train as Carpentries Instructors.

What is involved in Instructor Trainer Training?

This training consists of 10 weekly 1-hour meetings scheduled at two alternative times by polling the group. This cohort will start meetings in May on the earliest date available for all. Trainees who are accepted but are unable to attend either of the best-fit meeting times will have to defer to a future training round.

In addition to the weekly meetings, trainees are asked to sit in on part or all of an online Instructor Training workshop (depending on whether they are already certified Instructors), observe a Teaching Demonstration session, and complete weekly reading and homework assignments from The Carpentries Instructor Training Curriculum as well as our text, How Learning Works by Ambrose et al. Trainees will need to purchase or borrow a copy of the text to use during the training. For more details, have a look at the Becoming a Trainer section in The Carpentries Handbook.

How do I apply?

We are so happy you want to join us as an Instructor Trainer! The application is here. Please apply by April 22, 2021.

Any questions?

We want to hear from you! Please direct questions to The Carpentries Core Team at

Help us spread the word!

If you know someone who you think would make a really great Carpentries Instructor Trainer, please help us be sure that they see this announcement!

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