Bring Academic Research to Life through the Story+ Summer Program


Deadline: February 14, 2020

Interested in bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling? Check out the new projects for the Story+ Summer Research Program before applications open on January 24. The priority deadline to apply is February 14, but applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

Explore the 2020 Story+ Projects

Body Work: Reanimating Policy Responses to Coal Mining Disasters

Critical Decisions: Perceptions of AI in Healthcare Management

Curating and Integrating New Visual and Sonic Experiences in the Duke University Musical Instrument Collections

Exhibiting the Blunt Family Papers: The Great Migration at the Rubenstein

Experiential Archive

If a Tree Falls: Hearing Data from Duke Forest

Joining the Electric Circus: Rural Electrification and Gender in the Papers of Louisan Mamer

Manipulated Materials: Documentary Sculpture

Unearthing Root Causes of Migration through Our Stories

How Story+ Works

Story+ is a six-week summer research experience for undergraduate and graduate students interested in bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling. It is offered through the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) and Bass Connections, with support from Versatile Humanists at Duke and Duke Libraries. It is open to all undergraduates, except graduating seniors, and all graduate students, with preference given to doctoral students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

Undergraduates work in small teams with graduate student mentors, in a collaborative and creative research environment. Each project has a sponsor. Students learn to conduct qualitative, humanities-based research (e.g., archival research, narrative analysis, visual analysis, ethnography) and to communicate their research through effective storytelling techniques. Final projects may take the form of writing, websites, exhibits, short films or other media, depending on the project’s goals.

Story+ takes place during Summer Session 1 (May 13 to June 26, 2020). Undergraduates receive up to $3,000 to defray housing and living expenses. Please note that amounts may be lower for projects with off-campus components, as special arrangements for housing, meals, etc. will be made for students at the field sites. For participating students receiving need-based financial aid, Duke will assume responsibility for half of the summer earnings requirement. Graduate students can receive a stipend or travel support up to $2,500.

How to Apply

Story+ applications open on January 24. When applying, students will be able to select and rank up to three Story+ projects. Applicants will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • One-paragraph statement of interest per project chosen
  • One-paragraph contribution statement per project chosen detailing the experiences, strengths, skills, interests and abilities in humanities research they bring to the project
  • Up to two references (no actual letters, just names and email addresses).

For any questions about the program or application, please contact

The priority deadline for all student applications is February 14 at 11:59 p.m., but FHI will evaluate applications on a rolling basis, so please get your application in as soon as you can. Full details about each project can be found on the Story+ page.

Talk with Story+ representatives at the Bass Connections Fair on January 24.