Julie A Luft


I graduated from the University of Iowa in 1994, after teaching middle and high school science for 5 years. I have previously held appointments at The University of Arizona, The University of Texas at Austin, and Arizona State University.

My current work focuses on beginning secondary science teachers, and undergraduate faculty knowledge and instruction. Undergraduate education is a new and exciting area of study! My current research is funded by the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

I have served on the board and as President of ASTE, a council member for NSTA, the Director of Research of NSTA, a board member of NSTA, the NSTA representative to the NARST board, and I have served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching (10 years), Electronic Journal of Science Education, and the School Science and Mathematics journal. I was also the first scholar in residence at NSTA. As an advocate for graduate students, I have participated as a mentor (2009, 2011) and co-directed (2013) the Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students. I have also been a mentor at the South African Association for Research in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Summer School (2010, 2013, 2016).

Areas of Expertise

  • Professional Development of Science Teachers
  • Science Teacher Induction
  • Science Teacher Education


  • Early Career Secondary Science Teachers
  • Science Teacher Knowledge
  • Undergraduate Science Education

Academic Affiliations


  •  PhD in Science Education, 1994
    University of Iowa
  •  MST in Ecology, 1990
    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  •  BSEd in Life Sciences, 1985
    University of New Mexico


 Aderhold Hall, 110H
 706-542-2068 (office)

Research Summary

As a former middle and high school science teacher, it is important that my work impact the lives of science teachers. In taking this stance, my work initially focused on professional development programs (PDP) for science teachers. My first PDP involved teachers watching each other in order to strengthen their instruction. Overtime, my work has shifted towards understanding and supporting newly qualified or newly hired science teachers: specifically through science-focused induction programs. Currently I am engaged in examinations of the content knowledge of early career science teachers, and I have begun working in the area of undergraduate science education.

I have written numerous research articles, book chapters, editorials, and co-edited books. Most recently I completed two extensive reviews of research in the areas of science teacher professional development and newly hired teachers of science. I was also on committee that wrote the 2015 National Academies Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine publication pertaining to science teacher professional learning.

Awards and Accolades

AAAS Fellow

American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2010

Outstanding Professional Development/School Improvement Book

Association of Educational Publishers, 2010

JRST 2011 Publication Award

National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 2012

Mentor of the Year

Association of Science Teacher Educators, 2013

Implications of Research for Educational Practice

Association of Science Teacher Educators, 2017

Fulbright Specialist - Vietnam

Fulbright Program, 2017

NSTA Fellow

National Science Teachers Association, 2017

Creative Teaching Award

University of Georgia, 2017

Aderhold Professor Award

College of Education, University of Georgia, 2019

OIBR Fellow

OIBR, University of Georgia, 2020