2017-18 Adams Academy and Lilly Fellows

Teaching and learning is at the heart of what we do here at Michigan State University. We have re-envisioned two prestigious fellowship programs focused on teaching and learning, the Lilly Fellowship and the Adams Academy for the 2017-18 academic year.
Prior to this change, the Lilly program was only open to tenure-system faculty, with the Adams Academy being its complement for fixed-term faculty and academic staff. For the first time ever, starting in Fall 2017, the Lilly Fellowship and Adams Academy will be open to all academics who have significant teaching responsibilities, regardless of appointment type. Prospective participants will apply to a given program based on its primary focus:

  • Professional growth in Teaching and Learning (Adams Academy) 
    All tenure-system and fixed-term faculty and academic staff with three years or more of experience teaching at MSU are encouraged to apply. The group will consist of up to twelve fellows who will delve into timely and relevant teaching and learning topics. A stipend will be given to each fellow for professional development activities.
  • Exploration and Execution of a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project (Lilly Fellows)
    All tenure-system and fixed-term faculty and academic staff with five years or more of experience teaching at MSU are encouraged to apply. The group will consist of up to six fellows who will focus on planning, developing, and executing a SoTL project. A stipend will be given to each fellow to support project dissemination of their SoTL project.

A second change is inspired primarily by the experiences of former fellows. We are adding an optional, but highly encouraged, second year during which we will help fellows maintain their cohorts and provide opportunities for further professional development in leadership and career development with respect to teaching and learning.
Each program will begin at the start of the Fall semester, 2017. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2017.

Information and Calls

Adams Academy Call for Applications PDF
Adams Academy Application Sheet PDF
Lilly Fellowship Call for Applications PDF
Lilly Fellowship Application Sheet and Budget Breakdown PDF


The Lilly Teaching Fellows Program began in 1991 and 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 is designed to support Fellows who will become future faculty leaders and models for their peers as well as to inspire a broad range of faculty at all ranks to pursue excellence in teaching.” In answer to the demand for a similar program for non-tenure-system academics, the Walter and Pauline Adams Academy for Instructional Excellence and Innovation was created in 2008.
During Fall 2016, the Academic Advancement Network undertook explorations to re-envision both the Lilly and Adams Fellowships offered for many years through the Office of Faculty and Organizational Development.  The exploratory conversations included a number of campus stakeholders, including former Lilly and Adams fellows. In our conversations, we learned that both programs are valuable to the campus community, an outcome consistent with past program evaluations. We also identified opportunities to strengthen each program for individual participants and for the larger campus culture with regard to learning and teaching.