Explore Shared Interests Through Intellectual Community Planning Grants

Intellectual Community Planning Grants.

Deadline: November 15, 2021


The Provost’s Office is once again offering support to Duke faculty who are interested in convening a group of colleagues to begin or test a new collaboration around a shared intellectual interest.

Project funds ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be awarded for use during the 2022 calendar year. Recipients can use funds to cover the cost of meeting venues, external speakers, event materials, books or other meeting costs, and/or exploratory research (as by a student research assistant) into potential collaborators at Duke, UNC, NC State, NCCU, RTI, etc. Expenses for meetings, travel and in-person events are contingent upon university guidelines.

Recipients from grant cycles in previous years represent a broad range of groups and new projects.


  • Any Duke regular rank faculty member, from any discipline, is eligible to propose and form a new collaborative group.
  • Each group should have at least five participating faculty members.
  • Prospective collaborations may be framed around disciplinary, interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary themes. The search function at scholars.duke.edu is a useful tool to find other faculty who share a particular intellectual interest. Other resources to help identify and engage collaborators and stakeholders are available via Duke’s myRESEARCHpath.
  • Proposals should identify a faculty lead organizer (PI).
  • Collaborative groups that include faculty from the schools of Medicine and Nursing are welcome to apply, so long as that contingent does not comprise a majority of committed faculty.

Selection Criteria and Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential to build collaborations in exciting intellectual areas for relevant department(s), school(s) and/or cross-cutting institute(s), whether around fundamental/applied research, innovative teaching and/or civic engagement.
  2. Demonstration of an organizing group of faculty who have self-aggregated around a shared intellectual interest, and who want to pursue that common interest in a variety of venues, e.g., small monthly meetings, larger quarterly meetings, workshops. Meetings should be designed to facilitate potential collaboration.
  3. Extent to which proposals articulate a clear anticipated outcome and also provide 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.

The review process of submitted proposals will be overseen by the vice provost for interdisciplinary studies and the executive vice provost. All proposals, and discussions thereof, will be kept strictly confidential. The intent is that the collective set of award recipients will reflect the richness of intellectual approaches and modes of inquiry that make Duke a vibrant university.

Proposal Requirements

The Provost’s Office uses Formstack to submit applications.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  1. A brief (maximum two-page) narrative that articulates (1) the area of shared intellectual interest, (2) the 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 plans to conduct during the exploratory period, and (5) anticipated outcome (e.g., sustained interactions, joint grant application, new educational offering, Bass Connections project team proposal, research project)
  2. A proposed budget
  3. Information on other funding already obtained or requested (if applicants receive news about other funding proposals after the deadline, they should provide updated information to Mindy Miller, at mindy.miller@duke.edu)
  4. A listing of the organizing core faculty group with brief (maximum two-page) CVs for each.

To apply, visit: https://dukeinterdisc.formstack.com/forms/icpg_fall2021


RFP released


RFP deadline for submission


Anticipated grant recipients notification


Funds made available (or sooner upon request)


Funds to be expended by



For any questions regarding your proposal, please contact:

Mindy Miller, manager, strategic projects: mindy.miller@duke.edu


Who can apply?

Any group of Duke faculty members with a regular rank faculty lead organizer (PI) can apply.

Our project idea is not very interdisciplinary. Is this okay?

Yes, we are interested in collaborations of all types, including those framed around disciplinary themes.

Is this our only chance at submitting a project proposal?

No. We paused the program in 2021 due to the pandemic, but we plan to put out a call for proposals again in 2022.

Is there an optimal number of faculty for a proposal?

We are expecting to see at least five faculty interested in developing a collaborative group around the shared intellectual interest.

What kinds of items and expenses would ICPG funds be able to cover?

Funds can be used to cover the cost of meeting venues, external speakers, event materials, books, or other meeting costs, and/or exploratory research (as by an RA) into potential collaborators at Duke, UNC, NC State, NCCU, RTI, etc. Expenses for meetings, travel, and in-person events are contingent upon university guidelines.

What kinds of deliverables do you expect the ICPG groups to produce?

Examples of successful outcomes for an ICPG group include sustained and/or expanding interactions in the group, a joint grant application, a new educational offering or curricular framework, a Bass Connections project team proposal, a research project, a major collaborative research grant, etc. See reports from previous cycles for more examples.

How are the ICPGs different from other proposals, like Bass Connections and Collaboratories?

ICPGs are aimed at faculty groups in the initial stages of exploration of a topic, to begin or test a new collaboration around a shared intellectual interest. Thus, ICPGs provide a smaller level of initial funding. Bass Connections project teams require participation of students at multiple learner levels and a focus on applied problems; the application process also encourages engagement with partners from outside the university (NGOs, government agencies, corporations, etc.). Collaboratories provide support to groups of faculty working on more established projects that seek to provide tangible solutions to targeted problems in specified thematic areas.