MIDS Program Invites Proposals for Doctoral Fellowships in 2020-21

MIDS logo.

Deadline: June 1, 2020 (priority), June 15, 2020 (final)

The Duke Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) program is excited to invite proposals from Duke doctoral students interested in deepening their data-related skills, gaining experience working on applied data science teams, and learning to manage projects.

Through an NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) grant, six Ph.D. students will be selected as IGE Doctoral Fellows to engage with MIDS students throughout the 2020-2021 academic year in collaborating to address a hard data problem that requires both data science skills and specialized field knowledge. IGE Doctoral Fellows propose their own MIDS capstone project that is directly related to their thesis and will help serve its completion.

The main objective of the IGE fellowship is to allow students to work on their thesis in a collaborative, team-based, environment while learning from the various strengths of their teammates and sharing their own expertise. IGE fellows will also learn how to manage their project and teams to ensure success.IGE fellows may also request to join an existing capstone project team that will allow the student to work with an external client working with MIDS. In these cases, fellows must obtain the consent of their advisor as well as demonstrate how the fellowship may contribute to their education and/or career development.

  • IGE Doctoral Fellows must participate throughout 2020-2021 in all MIDS program classwork and activities designed to ensure Capstone Projects succeed, including meetings with stakeholders, meetings on team management, teamwork and leadership workshops, analysis plans, milestone reports, and mid-year reviews.
  • IGE Doctoral Fellows must complete all assignments designed to ensure that students understand the ethical issues related to their project, and have reflected on the larger impact their project may have on society.
  • IGE Doctoral Fellows are invited (but not required) to participate in any other professional development activities provided by the MIDS program (such as job fairs, interview preparation sessions, and seminars with non-academic data science partners).
  • IGE Doctoral Fellows may take any of the MIDS core courses with the incoming MIDS class.

Each IGE Capstone Project receives $3,000 in research/travel funds, will work on a team with a number of MIDS students, and receive guidance from a project director and support from project managers. The costs of the data curation, storage, and processing for each selected project will be covered by MIDS and provided through the MIDS/SSRI established procedures for sensitive data.

Proposed projects must:

  1. Be substantial and take at least 1 academic year
  2. Address an important problem and allow MIDS students to contribute meaningfully to the solution
  3. Have an important deliverable to a partner or stakeholder, including a company, a government agency, an internal Duke organization or a nonprofit, who will be available throughout the year to evaluate the project.
  4. Incorporate domain expertise from at least one Duke researcher.

To apply to become an IGE Fellow who proposes his/her own MIDS capstone project, please prepare a proposal that follows the directions in the RFP. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Ph.D. students will need a letter of recommendation from their advisor; a Ph.D. student’s submission of the proposal form automatically generates a request to their advisor for a letter.

Learn more and see the full RFP.