Intellectual Community Planning Grants – Spring 2016


Deadline: February 8, 2016

Opportunity: Faculty who are interested in convening a group of colleagues to begin or test a new collaboration around a shared intellectual interest will be able to request funds provided by the Provost and the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, $1,000-$5,000 per group, for use during the 2015-16 academic year.

Eligibility: All Duke regular rank faculty, from any discipline, are eligible to propose and form a new collaborative group. Groups of at least 5 participating faculty are eligible to apply. Prospective collaborations may be framed around disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or multidisciplinary themes. Note that the search function at is a useful tool to find other faculty who share a particular intellectual interest.

Funding: Awards of $1,000-$5,000 will be provided to support each successful proposal. Funds can be used to cover the cost of food, meeting venue, external speakers or other meeting costs, and/or exploratory research (as by an RA) into potential collaborators at Duke, UNC, NC State, NCCU, RTI, etc.

Successful proposals will be submitted by groups of faculty who self-aggregate around a shared intellectual interest, and who want to pursue that common interest in any of a variety of venues, e.g., small monthly dinner meetings, larger quarterly meetings, workshops, etc. Meetings should be designed to facilitate potential collaboration.

Preference will be given to proposals that articulate a plan to sustain interactions, prepare joint grant applications, and/or create a product such as a class, shared research project, extra- or co-curricular offering, etc. Recipients of the first grant cycle represent a broad range of groups and new projects.

Proposals: Proposals will be accepted at two times throughout this year, in early October (due October 1, 2015) and early February (due February 8, 2016). Proposals should be submitted to Gloria Taylor Neal ( in the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, and should include:

  • a brief (maximum one-page) narrative that articulates (1) the area of shared intellectual interest, (2) any question or problem the group proposes to explore, (3) the proposed faculty group’s unique position and qualifications for engaging in the interest area and/or addressing the question or problem, (4) activities the group anticipates conducting during the exploratory period, and (5) anticipated outcome (e.g., sustained interactions, joint grant application, new educational offering, research project, etc.);
  • a proposed budget;
  • a listing of the initial core faculty group with 2-page CVs for each

Review and Selection: Proposals will initially be reviewed by the Vice Provosts for Research, Interdisciplinary Studies, Academic Affairs, Arts, and the Library. Final award decisions will be made in consultation with the Provost. Proposals will be evaluated based on the potential to build collaborations in exciting intellectual areas for relevant departments, schools and cross-cutting institutes, whether around fundamental/applied research, innovative teaching, or outreach/engagement. The intent is that the collective set of award recipients will reflect the richness of intellectual approaches and modes of inquiry that make Duke such a vibrant university.