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We are living through a period of unprecedented change, which raises questions of how to build happy and meaningful lives. These disruptions disproportionately affect emerging adults. The public expects colleges and universities to supply research-based insights on flourishing.

A signature course can have an outsized impact in translating a research insight into broad public conversations. The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) seeks to be a leading convener in interdisciplinary study of flourishing and the common good. With support from the John Templeton Foundation, the NDIAS will build an intensive residential fellowship program to support the design and launch of the next generation of signature courses on flourishing. Specifically, we will support 15 tenure-stream faculty from varied disciplines and highly-ranked colleges and universities as they design, implement, and evaluate their signature courses.

Residential fellowships afford time and support for faculty to focus on developing a signature course. A total fo five faculty will join one of two, one-semester cohorts, while 10 faculty will join a 4-week summer intensive program. A Project Vision Summit will build the network, coach faculty on design plans, and connect them with trainers and resources. During the residency, fellows will meet weekly to share key milestones on their course development and problem-solve collaboratively. Fellows will receive funding to build course assets and to sustain and enhance the courses over time. Mixed-method program evaluation will be embedded from the start, led by our advisory board. At the end of the grant, all grant participants will gather for a Summative Conference. A concept paper will follow, highlighting best practices for developing signature courses on flourishing and looking in detail at case studies from the grant.

Over time, these courses will serve as models for how higher education can enhance public understanding of flourishing.