Application Form

Applications are due by January 29, 2024.

Program Overview

The Climate and Sustainability Teaching (CAST) Fellows Program provides support and a peer learning community for Duke faculty and other instructors who are interested in redesigning an existing course to substantively engage with issues of climate and sustainability, to be taught in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025.

Participants will receive:

  • $5,000 deposited to their Duke faculty discretionary account;
  • resources, support and guidance from pedagogy experts and faculty experienced in incorporating climate and sustainability into course curricula; and
  • the opportunity to collaborate on course redesign with a cohort of peers from across campus and develop meaningful relationships and community with others at Duke.

About the Climate and Sustainability Teaching (CAST) Fellows Program

In support of the Duke Climate Commitment, the program is a partnership between the Office of Climate and Sustainability and Duke Learning Innovation.

Now in its second year, this program builds on the work of the 2010-2019 Duke University Trillium Sustainability Fellows Program. Similar to the Trillium Sustainability Fellows, the Climate and Sustainability Teaching Fellows Program will form a learning community dedicated to increasing the prevalence and quality of climate and sustainability concepts in academic courses across all departments at Duke University. The Program continues a long history of environmental education and sustainability leadership at Duke, and adds to the Duke community of climate- and sustainability-engaged scholars who wish to instill this engagement in their students. The program will support the redesign of courses so that they:

  • Develop student knowledge and skills around climate and sustainability concepts;
  • Include active pedagogies such as collaborative projects, team-based learning, service-learning, games or role plays, or others as appropriate for the course learning objectives;
  • Align with the curricular priorities and needs of the school, department, or other unit; and
  • Have a strong chance of attracting significant student interest from year to year.

Read about the 2023-2024 CAST Fellows and how “it all connects to climate.”

Program Dates and Time Commitment

The program will run from May 6, 2024, to April 2025, although the majority of the scheduled gatherings will take place by December 9, 2024.

Teaching Fellows will be required to participate in the following cohort meetings:

  • A 4-day series of in-person workshops will kick off the program, (Mon. May 6 – Thu. May 9, from 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM daily) and will include lunches. Workshops may include discussions and activities related to:
    • Defining climate change and sustainability and drawing meaningful connections to various academic disciplines;
    • Exploring Duke’s interactive “living learning laboratories” to inspire the development of experiential learning opportunities;
    • Starting the course redesign process by drafting learning objectives and considering aligned assessments and activities.
  • (Optional) In-person cohort dinner planned for Mon. May 6, 2024 at 6 PM EDT.
  • Four, one-hour virtual meetings in summer 2024 @9-10 AM EDT (Thu. May 30; Mon. June 24; Mon. July 22; and Fri. August 2).
  • In-person meeting August 15, 2024 (9 AM – 1 PM EDT, lunch included),
  • In-person meeting December 9, 2024 (9 AM – 1 PM EST, lunch included),
  • In-person wrap-up meeting, for debrief and sharing lessons-learned in April 2025, date and time TBD.
  • A minimum of one meeting with DLI teaching consultants in summer or Fall 2024 to ensure that you have sufficient support for implementing your course plans.
  • A minimum of one individual meeting with one or more faculty co-leads in summer or Fall 2024 to discuss the connections of climate and sustainability to your redesigned course.

In addition to the cohort meetings, Teaching Fellows are expected to participate in Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 program activities including:

  • Drafting a redesigned course syllabus for their own course (Summer 2024);
  • Providing feedback on syllabi developed by peers (Summer/Fall 2024);
  • Contributing to a group product or output from the Fellows program that would assist colleagues on campus in redesigning their own courses. The nature of this product will be determined later and may vary but some examples could include working with some or all of the Fellows in the cohort to:
    • Share your reflections and experiences with the campus community via a series of blog posts;
    • Present to the Duke faculty community about your teaching approaches;
    • Develop a teaching resource to share with other Duke faculty;
    • Create one or more video vignettes with the support of University Communications as part of a larger effort to publicize Duke’s climate and sustainability education efforts;
    • Or write a reflective white paper about your experiences, etc.
  • (Optional) Visiting the classroom of a Climate and Sustainability course offered by a faculty member who teaches climate and sustainability content (Fall 2024) OR visiting the classroom of another peer Teaching Fellow (Fall 2024 or Spring 2025);


Faculty of any level and rank, instructors, or staff with instructional responsibility from any Duke unit may apply. We hope to form a diverse cohort of participants who can learn from one another, and who come from the wide variety of disciplines represented at Duke. Participants must be available to participate (in-person, when the program requires it) during the dates/times listed in the “Program Dates and Time Commitment” section above. If you cannot make the session dates and times, we encourage you to schedule a course design consultation with Duke Learning Innovation rather than applying for this program.

The course that participating Fellows choose to redesign should be targeted at undergraduate or graduate and professional students. We expect participants to offer the revised course in either Fall 2024 or Spring 2025. Participants should have support from their unit for offering the redesigned course on a regular basis (at least three times in the subsequent five-year period).

Academic staff participants should have agreement from their managers that participating in program activities will be considered part of their regular work assignment during the time of the Fellowship (rather than being considered an overload).

Stipend Details

Faculty or instructor Fellows who fully participate in all required meetings and activities will receive $5,000 transferred to their discretionary account. Lack of participation may result in a pro-rated award.

If two instructors are co-teaching a course, they may co-apply to this fellowship; if co-applicants each participate fully, the pair will receive a total of $7,500 transferred to their research accounts to use at their discretion. 

Stipend for faculty participants will be dispersed in two cycles. The first occurring after the kickoff week and the second occurring at the completion of the program.

Note: Fellows who are academic staff will engage in the Fellowship activities as part of their regular work load during the time of the Fellowship and therefore are ineligible to receive the discretionary stipend mentioned above.

Creating a Community of Accountability / Expectations for Stipends

  • Teaching Fellows are expected to attend all scheduled meetings listed above, complete any work assigned between meetings, be prepared for meeting activities as communicated, and redesign an existing course to substantively engage with issues of climate and sustainability to be taught in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025.
  • To accommodate varied summer schedules and personal travel, Teaching Fellows are only required to attend 3 of the 4 online 1-hour summer sessions, although participation in all summer sessions is highly encouraged.
  • If a Teaching Fellow has an unexpected and unavoidable scheduling conflict with any program sessions, they should communicate in advance with the program organizers to discuss options for accommodations and identify steps for making up missed meetings. Good communication is expected of Teaching Fellows.
  • Failure to meet program expectations outlined above will result in a reduced stipend for faculty participants.
  • Full participation by all Teaching Fellows will contribute to more meaningful relationship building and shared learning.

Application Process

Application forms should be submitted by Monday, January 29, 2024 no later than 11:59 PM EST via the application form. The form requests the following information (you will be able to save and return to your application):

  • Applicant and co-applicant (if any) information, including any experience teaching climate/sustainability content in prior courses,
  • Brief idea of how the applicant plans to revise the course, including an explanation of how the course might be changed to incorporate climate/sustainability content or skill development,
  • Statement about what the applicant hopes to get out of their participation in the program,
  • Uploaded syllabus for the existing course, which should include existing course learning objectives,
  • Whether the applicant requires reasonable accessibility accommodations to participate fully in the program.
  • Uploaded letter of support from their department chair or appropriate school dean, touching on:
    • Alignment with the curricular priorities and needs of the unit,
    • Alignment of your project with other unit activities related to climate and sustainability,   
    • The intent to offer the course at least three times in the coming years, and
    • (applicable only to academic staff applicants) The understanding that staff may allocate time from their regular workday for program participation.

Faculty who are co-teaching a course (or faculty who teach different sections of a core course) may submit one application with one letter of support. The application should make clear that the course will be co-taught and should clarify whether one or both faculty intend to participate in the program.

We are prioritizing applications in which:

  • The faculty demonstrate commitment to and enthusiasm about the goals of the Fellowship Program,
  • The course will include interdisciplinary connections and approaches,
  • The course will include authentic, real-world products related to climate and sustainability concepts, or course activities which clearly position students to engage in creation of such products outside of the class or as a next step in their learning pathway,
  • The course has the potential to have a broad student impact (examples: large classes, courses with in-depth experiential learning, courses that include a lot of students early in their respective academic career, and core/gateway/introductory classes),
  • The course is housed in a department where few courses to date are strongly related to climate and sustainability.

Review Process

The selection process will be overseen by the Office of Climate and Sustainability and Duke Learning Innovation. Decisions will be made by the end of February 2024.

FAQ Section

Can I apply to design a new class focused on climate or sustainability?

A: Not at this time. This fellowship focuses on redesigning existing classes to incorporate more climate and sustainability content.

Who can I follow up with if I have questions about the process?

A: For any questions related to the online application, logistical questions, questions about the proposal, or to talk through specific ideas for a proposal, please contact and

How might I infuse climate and sustainability topics into my class, to help my students build their knowledge and skills in these topics?

A: Some examples:

  • Debating merits and drawbacks of climate legislation in public policy, political science, or law classes.
  • Exploring anthropologic consequences of climate shifts in historic and prehistoric human communities.
  • Creating and analyzing works of art related to climate change or sustainability impacts locally or in the developing world.
  • Inviting sustainability experts as guest speakers or project clients for student team projects.
  • Visiting campus locations (such as the Duke Campus Farm, Duke Gardens, or Duke Forest) to investigate local connections to climate and sustainability.


For any questions related to the online application, logistical questions, questions about the proposal, or to talk through specific ideas for a proposal, please contact and