Watt Faculty Fellows Program

For the second year, the Watt Family Innovation Center is recruiting faculty to participate in the Watt Faculty Fellows program. Up to 20 Fellows will be selected.

Members of the 2018-2019 Fellows cohort who are interested in re-applying for a second Fellows term should contact Barbara Speziale.

The 2019-2020 Fellows will assemble into small teams, with each team collaborating throughout the academic year.

This year, the Fellows will focus on a specific issue:

How to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve teaching and learning in all academic disciplines.

This is an issue that is gaining attention across universities globally, and it has many facets that are rich grounds for exploration. Picture a classroom in the near future where AI is available and used pervasively in a university – what AI technologies would there be, how would the form of teaching and learning differ from what we know today, how would the classroom be designed from an architectural perspective to facilitate the new teacher-student dynamics, and so on. To unveil this vision for tomorrow, many possible topics can be pursued to push forward our collective understanding and abilities, including, but not limited to:

  • Building a repository of AI teaching methods already being used at universities
  • Demonstrating selected AI teaching methods at Clemson
  • Surveying pedagogy and assessment methods for AI teaching methods
  • Identifying impacts to students and teachers due to AI teaching methods
  • Determining the extent of faculty knowledge about and interest in AI
  • Determining the resources needed to make AI more accessible to faculty and students
  • Identifying the forms of AI that are most useful or important in education.

Each team will collaboratively identify a topic, develop a proposal, and execute their deliverables. The teams will be responsible for acquiring necessary tools (e.g., open source software, trial use of licensed software). Fellows are welcome to use the IBM Watson Artificial Intelligence platform or other AI programs.

Prior knowledge of AI systems or computer programming is not required, but you should be willing to learn. Watt Research Associates will be available to help train Fellows on some AI tools, but the Fellows are ultimately expected to accomplish their proposed deliverables. Faculty from all academic disciplines are welcome to apply to be Fellows.



  • All Fellows will participate in working sessions throughout the Fall and Spring semesters (September, October, November, January, February, March)
  • August 14, 2019: Introduction to the Fellows program and AI (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
  • Monthly lunchtime sessions to explore AI features and use
  • Individual team meetings (monthly) to work on your team projects
  • January 7, 2020: Team presentations on project progress
  • May 6, 2020: Presentations of final team project results

Financial Support

  • Each Fellow will receive $5,000 in professional development funds.
  • Funds may be used for any expense permitted by University and state policy.
  • If used for summer salary, the $5,000 must cover salary and fringe benefits.
  • Funds will be disbursed in installments: $2,500 after participation in the August 14 introduction session and submitting a draft of the team project; and $2,500 after the team submits a report on the project.
  • Funds will be deposited to professional development accounts in each faculty member’s home department.
  • Up to 20 Fellows may be named in a year.
  • Fellows may apply for renewal for a second year.
  • Optional: If a Team identifies a professional development opportunity (such as a relevant conference) that would advance the team project, the Watt Center may support a cohort to participate in the opportunity.


  • June 15, 2019: 2019-2020 Fellows announced
  • August 16, 2019: Introduction to the Fellows program and AI
  • Fall/Spring Semesters: Monthly lunch sessions (optional, but useful)
  • Fall/Spring Semesters: Individual team meetings (required)
  • January 7, 2020: Team presentations on project progress
  • May 6, 2020: Final team project results presentations
  • June 30, 2020: Fellowship period ends

For questions, please contact:

Dr. Barbara Speziale
Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Watt Family Innovation Center
(p): 864-656-1550 (e): bjspz@clemson.edu