Jesse Fine Fellowship

Jesse Fine Fellowship

Application Deadline: Monday, February 26, 2024, 11:59 pm


The Jesse Fine Fellowship supports the development of new and revised courses that address practical and professional ethics in curriculum across the University. The Fellowship is made possible by a gift from Dorothy Fine to honor the memory of her husband, IU graduate Jesse Fine.  


  • Courses in all fields and schools are eligible, with a special emphasis on courses from outside the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies.
  • Successful proposals may involve designing a new course that includes ethical questions as a significant organizing theme, or proposing a substantive revision to an existing course in order to include more ethics or improve its treatment of ethics.  (We discourage applications focusing on research ethics in standard methods courses.)
  • The course must be approved to be offered by the applicant’s home department or school before the end of 2025. 
  • Faculty at all levels as well as graduate students who teach may apply. 



Applications will be reviewed in a competitive process. Up to four recipients may be chosen each year. 

Each recipient receives two installment payments of $1,250 each, one receivable upon acceptance of the Fellowship, and the second after the course has been taught, as confirmed by a letter from the department chair and a brief report from the instructor regarding the project’s outcomes. The details of funding administration will vary depending on the recipient’s status as faculty or graduate student

In addition to receiving the funding, all recipients are expected to participate in a Fine Fellows meeting to share information about your course with other Fellows, and to acknowledge the Fellowship support on your course syllabus. 


Application Guidelines: 

  • Cover Letter indicating (a) your commitment to fulfill the requirements of the Fellowship, (b) your contact information, and (c) confirmation of the support of your Department Chair or Director, including that individual’s name and contact information. 
  • If this is a revision to an existing course, please provide the syllabus of the current course. 
  • A 100-word abstract of the project
  • An application essay of 2-3 pages: 
    • Begin with the title of your course, your department and school, a one-paragraph description of the course, and an overview of course learning outcomes. 
    • What are the basic or organizing ethical questions that you will examine in the class? 
    • Where will your course be situated within your curriculum, and what programmatic learning outcomes might it address? When will it first be offered? If it will be a permanent course in the curriculum, address how you will work with your department and colleagues to situate it. If this a revision to an existing course, describe the extent and nature of the revisions. 
    • What are your teaching philosophy and methods? 
    • What a few initial thoughts about readings and materials you might use? 
  • A letter of support from your Department Chair, confirming the department’s intention to offer the course if you are awarded the Fellowship. 
  • Please submit your application as a single PDF document with each element clearly identified (cover letter, syllabus of existing course if applicable, and essay) and all pages numbered. This PDF document should be submitted via email to

Laura Tscherry

Tscherry used the grant to design a new course for the advanced composition class ENG-W170 titled “Let’s Connect! Intimacy in the 21st Century.” In order to give students equitable access to the course’s inquiry question, they changed the standard composition assignment sequence to begin with a definitional essay. Allowing students to come up with their own definition gave them a sense of ownership over the discussion and created deeper engagement and investment in the topic, which in turn equipped them to change their minds, to critically examine their pre-conceived notions, and to interrogate the structural inequities that make intimacy (un)ethical. Tscherry’s course shows that the question of how we relate to others is one of our time’s most pressing—and according to students, most electrifying—ethical questions.