Applications Now Open for Carpentries Trainer Training Starting January 2022

Do you want to teach others to develop skills and confidence as Carpentries Instructors? Become a Trainer!

Do you look back fondly on your Instructor Training and think, “I would love to teach that!”? Do you want to help people learn to be more effective teachers, while continuing to develop your own teaching skill through regular engagement with our Instructor Training curriculum? Maybe you are looking for another way to get involved and give back to The Carpentries community. If any of these describe you, consider joining our vibrant community of Instructor Trainers!

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for anyone wishing to become a Carpentries Instructor Trainer in early 2022!

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 co-teach Instructor Training events to bring on new Instructors. Instructors teach Carpentries workshops (Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, and Software Carpentry) to learners worldwide.

What is involved in Instructor Trainer Training?

Trainer Training consists of 10 weekly 1-hour meetings. This cohort will start meetings in January on the earliest date available for all.

In addition to the weekly meetings, trainees are asked to sit in on part of an online Instructor Training event, 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.

Q&A With Trainers Leadership

Learn more about what it means to be a Trainer and what makes a successful application at a themed Community Discussion session hosted by Trainers Leadership. Sign up to attend on the Community Discussion Etherpad.

  • UTC: Tuesday 30 November at 12:00 AM America/Los_Angeles: Monday 29 November 4:00 PM America/New_York: Monday 29 November 7:00 PM Europe/London: Tuesday 30 November at 12:00 AM Africa/Johannesburg: Tuesday 30 November at 2:00 AM Australia/Sydney: Tuesday 30 November at 11:00 AM New Zealand: Tuesday 30 November at 1:00 PM See the start time in your time zone

  • UTC: Tuesday 1 December at 4:00 PM America/Los_Angeles: Tuesday 1 December 8:00 AM America/New_York: Tuesday 1 December 11:00 AM Europe/London: Tuesday 1 December at 4:00 PM Africa/Johannesburg: Wednesday 2 December at 6:00 PM Australia/Sydney: Thursday 3 December at 3:00 AM New Zealand: Thursday 3 December at 5:00 AM See the start time in your time zone

How do I apply?

We are so happy you want to join us as an Instructor Trainer! The application is here. Please apply by the end of December 2, 2021, AoE.

Selection Priorities

All are welcome to apply for Trainer Training! Several factors can influence acceptance, and these are good to know about before you apply.

Purchased vs. Sponsored Seats

We have 2 main tiers for admission to this program. Like Instructor Training, we offer seats for purchase through Membership as well as Carpentries-sponsored admission with no cost (beyond textbook purchase) to trainees. Unlike Instructor Training, applicants for purchased seats are still subject to review and must be approved by our panel of current Trainers.

All applicants must meet our basic expectations for Instructor Trainers with regard to philosophy and skill in training and community-based work. 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. Your application will help our panelists get to know you and appreciate the ways in which you are prepared to support our program.

Applicants for Carpentries-sponsored seats will be subject to competitive selection based on our panel’s ranking of application responses. In addition, we consider the following criteria during our final selection process:

  1. 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 a limited program. We therefore prioritize applicants who are located in time zones or geographic areas where we have established training needs or sponsorship goals. At the present time, this includes The Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. Note: for geographic areas that rely exclusively on local training, proximity to another Instructor Trainer who can co-teach is necessary as well.

2. 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  prioritize Trainers who aim to support existing local communities.

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?

No. 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.

If you are not a certified Instructor, the application will direct you to apply for Instructor Training and complete it concurrently.

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 participation and service to the Trainers and broader Carpentries communities can contribute towards meeting the expectations for continuing engagement as an active Instructor Trainer.

Trainers are asked to renew their certification annually by participating in the community as outlined above, and may choose to take leave from their role if they are not able to remain active. Expectations and certification renewal procedures are determined by the Trainer community and updates are being supported by Trainers Leadership. For more details on current expectations, see the Trainer Agreement in The Carpentries Handbook.

What impact will I have as an Instructor Trainer?

The Carpentries is a community-led organisation. In addition to training and welcoming our future Carpentries Instructors (!), Trainers are asked to guide the development of The Carpentries Instructor Training curriculum and program more broadly. There are many ways to take on leadership both formally and informally, 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 lead within their home communities, spearheading institutional memberships and supporting community organisation efforts. Trainers may share knowledge and expertise with their home communities in many ways. It is important to note, however, that Trainers cannot host official Instructor Training events or send any trainees for Instructor certification without prior approval from The Carpentries. Trainers are encouraged to explore membership or inquire about Carpentries-sponsored opportunities on behalf of any groups they would like to train as Carpentries Instructors.

Any questions?

We want to hear from you! Please bring questions to one of our scheduled Community Discussion meetings (above) or email The Carpentries Instructor Training 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!

Dialogue & Discussion

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