Sustainability Course Development Fellowship

Sustainability Course Development Fellowship

Supporting teaching in sustainability and environmental literacy

The Sustainability Course Development Fellowship is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs in collaboration with the IU Office of Sustainability (IUOS) and the Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE). It is intended to support faculty teaching on topics related to sustainability and environmental literacy at the IU Bloomington campus.

The fellowship represents a component of a broad-based initiative by IUOS and IPE to develop sustainability curriculum and a community of faculty engaged in its instruction.

The award for a Sustainability Course Development Fellowship is $4,000 paid as a faculty fellowship. If joint awards are made, recipients will share the award.

Recipients are expected to complete their course development project during the summer immediately following the award. It is expected that awardees will prioritize course development relative to their other teaching and/or administrative activities suring the period. 


Read about current Sustainability Course Development Fellowship recipients


Faculty members at IU Bloomington are eligible to apply.

Course component

The fellowship supports the development of courses that will be routinely offered and that undertake any or all of the following:

  1. Offer innovative approaches to instruction of complex, interdisciplinary topics related to sustainability at any level of instruction.
  2. Contribute to the curriculum of environmental and sustainability related academic programs across campus (see
  3. Incorporate high-impact practices (e.g., undergraduate research, service-learning, or experiential learning particularly in partnership with Sustain IU or the Center for Rural Engagement Sustaining Hoosier Communities Program) to advance sustainability on the IU Bloomington campus and the region.
  4. Utilize the IU Research and Teaching Preserve property, particularly the Field Lab and its classroom (see: including the IU Campus Farm property (see:

Course development project

Recipients are expected to complete their course development project during the summer immediately following the award. It is expected that awardees will prioritize course development relative to their other teaching and/or administrative activities during the period.

Recipients are expected to submit the following items to the IPE during the next fall semester:

  1. A syllabus and;
  2. A statement regarding when the course will be taught and an anticipated schedule for future teaching of the course.

Recipients should expect to present their work and pedagogical approaches with faculty peers at workshops on sustainability teaching (e.g., the Sustainability Community of Practice). 

Application procedures

Members of the review committee are instructed to rate each proposal on the basis of the following criteria. The applicant is therefore urged to discuss the proposed work in relation to each of the criteria (in the plan of work), providing information about the project in the context of her/his department, the discipline, and the university:

  • Originality
  • Level of engagement with existing sustainability-related programs of IUOS and IPE
  • Instructional need/potential impact on student learning
  • Timeliness (for the applicant, for the project, and for the academic unit)
  • Feasibility (competency of investigator, likelihood of accomplishment, use of appropriate technology, if any)
  • Number/percentage of students potentially affected
  • Departmental support (how project relates to departmental goals and other initiatives)
  • Extent to which the proposal addresses a plan to develop learning outcomes and their assessment
  • Extent to which the proposal addresses a plan to develop high-impact teaching practices
  • Overall quality of project (clarity, detail, and coherence of project description)

A faculty committee will review applications within a month of the deadline, and awards will be announced by mid-May.

Proposal requirements include:

  1. A detailed plan of work that is no more than 1,500 words in length. The plan of work must be written in clear, concise prose, and should include a timeline; plans for determining learning outcomes, their ongoing assessment, and their linkages to sustainability; and plans for determining which high impact practices will be incorporated into the course and how they will be incorporated. The plan should include a framework for the continued teaching of the course and discuss the course’s anticipated scheduling and enrollment. A commitment from the department will be particularly important. Applicants are highly encouraged to develop these plans in consultation with the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), participate in the Course Development Institute, and to include regular meetings with the center in the work plan timeline. Be aware that the review committee is composed of faculty members who are unlikely to be specialists in the applicant’s field. The proposal should indicate whether the course is a graduate, undergraduate, or cross-listed course. Applicants also should discuss how the course fits within the curriculum of the instructor’s home department/unit; and how the course may contribute to environmental and sustainability academic programs if applicable.
  2. Current curriculum vitae.
  3. A list of previous courses (titles) taught and enrollments for the last two academic years.
  4. Evidence of quality teaching (e.g., a summary of student evaluations, peer reviews, a brief teaching statement); five pages maximum.
  5. Departmental recommendation letter: The department (unit) support statement shoul dbriefly address the criteria listed below that will be used by the review committee to evaluate proposals. In addition, the letter should explicitly address whether the department is willing and able to contribute financially to the fellowship. The letter should be emailed to by the application deadline with the subject: SCDF Recommendation.

All five items listed below must be included in submissions. Items 1-4 should be submitted as a SINGLE digital file (Adobe PDF or Word document); recommendation forms may be submitted separately. To submit an application, visit: