The Lilly Teaching Fellows Program began in 1991 and has served as “an opportunity to engage in a year-long exploration of the robust scholarship on effective practices in University teaching.” The Lilly Fellows Program has supported Fellows to become future faculty leaders and to inspire a broad range of faculty to pursue excellence in teaching.

After two years of redesigns of the original Lilly Program, the 2020-2021 version of the program will focus explicitly on leadership development for those educators who see teaching and learning as core to their path toward leadership.

The Lilly Fellowship Program

The Lilly Fellows Program invites applicants for its 2021-2022 cohort. The program is intended to advance the University’s continuing efforts to support excellence in teaching and learning. The program supports a cohort of six faculty or academic specialists at all ranks with at least five years of service to the institution. The Program also provides an opportunity for Fellows to expand relationships and collaborative engagement with peers and colleagues within their own college and across the University. The program is supported by matching grants from AAN and the Fellows’ departments and/or colleges.

The goal of the 2021-2022 program is to develop academic leaders who will guide the University into the near future with regard to learning, teaching, and educational programming. Participants are expected to focus their work on a project of their choosing that will make a substantial contribution to a unit’s educational efforts. The unit can be a program or a department, but it can also be a college or a University unit or initiative. Using the proposed project as a foundation, participants will also learn leadership concepts and models, build specific skills, learn more about how the University works, and practice what they learn through the activities of their project and small group mentoring and coaching. 

To facilitate the participation of academics selected as Lilly Fellows, the Provost’s Office will provide $8,000 to each Fellow for their Lilly participation. Each Fellow’s home unit is asked to provide either $8,000 or one course release. Resource allocation should be designed to best facilitate the work of the Fellowship.

Program Activities and Expectations

Monthly discussions:  Lilly Fellows are expected to attend monthly, facilitated cohort seminars (September-April) that focus on the development and completion of their project and on leadership development. These discussions will focus on issues such as scholarly teaching and student learning, leadership development and philosophy, issues in higher education, and specifics related to the projects of Fellows.

Presentation to the MSU community: Lilly Fellows will be expected to present their completed project to a community audience at the annual Spring Conference on Teaching, Learning, and Student Success in early May 2022. If possible, fellows are encouraged to publish work in relevant venues and present at events and/or disciplinary conferences. Guidance will be offered by the Lilly Fellows organizers in finding appropriate opportunities. A portion of the stipend could be used to support expenses in these pursuits.

Application Process

All tenure-system and fixed-term faculty, academic specialists, and librarians are invited to apply. As of the application date, all applicants must be in at least the fifth year of their appointment or have worked for MSU for at least five years as a faculty member, academic specialist, or librarian. Former Lilly Fellows are eligible for this program. The deadline is April 30, 2021.

Required Application Documents

  • Completed application form, with appropriate signatures.
  • Two letters of support.
    • The primary letter of support must be from the applicant’s lead chair, director, dean, or unit leader.
    • The additional letter of support may come from an MSU faculty member, student, administrator or academic staff member.
  • A project description that focuses on an aspect of teaching and learning and that explains the issue to be addressed, provides a rationale for why it is important and outlines the intended outcomes and who they will benefit. (approximately 500 words). 
    • A recent project at MSU that might serve as a good model is the toolkit developed to help units understand and evaluate effective teaching which was led by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 
    • Another is a resource developed by a faculty member to help educators understand how mental health issues present themselves in the classroom. In each case, the project was led by the commitments of an individual but required collective action to achieve.
  • A personal statement clarifying why you wish to participate in the Lilly Fellows Program that focuses on leadership development and how participation will benefit you, and/or your unit, department, college, and institution (approximately 500 words).
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • A budget proposal for the project. (Budgets should not exceed the $16,000 of matched support imagined for this program)

Apply to be a Lilly Fellow by April 30, 2021

Former Lilly Fellows are eligible for this new version of the program. 
Please ask questions or engage us in conversation about your ideas.