Student Team Grants Available for Research Projects Starting This Summer

Deadline: March 5, 2022

Are you and a group of fellow students excited about testing a new idea or exploring a compelling research question? Do you want to extend work that you started through a course, extra-curricular activity, or Bass Connections, DukeEngage, Data+ or Story+ project?

Bass Connections and the Undergraduate Research Support Office are pleased to introduce a new research grant available for students involved in collaborative team-based research projects. This research award will provide funds of up to $5,000 to support collaborative research projects involving two or more students. Calls for proposals will be issued in January of each year and funds will be awarded for a period of one year. Five to eight awards will be issued each year.

Projects can address a broad range of research topics and result in an array of research outputs, from traditional theses, research papers and conference presentations to prototypes, exhibits, websites and media campaigns, data sets and apps, performances, and more!

We are now accepting proposals for 2022-2023. All proposals must be submitted through the online proposal form by March 5, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. You may work directly within the online form and save and return to the form as you work. You may also preview the proposal questions and draft your responses using the following Word template.

Eligibility criteria
  • Research projects must be conceived of and directed by students.
  • Projects must have a faculty mentor.
  • Projects must occur within the next year (from May 2022 to May 2023).
  • Students must be active students during the time of the proposed research (i.e., graduating students are not eligible).
  • Project teams must include at least one Trinity undergraduate student; Pratt undergraduate students and/or graduate students from any Duke School are also eligible to apply as long as their team includes at least one Trinity undergrad.*
  • Projects may be focused on any topic within, or across disciplines, with a preference for interdisciplinary projects.

*If you are seeking funding for a project that does not include a Trinity undergraduate student, consider applying for the Bass Connections Student Research Award.

A note about COVID-19:

While we aspire to support applied, student-driven research projects, the health and safety of students and the community are our top priority. All projects, if selected, will be expected to follow all applicable university policies.

For Summer 2022, we anticipate that students will be able to conduct on-campus research and live in on- or off-campus housing. Students may propose projects involving domestic or international travel, but all travel plans will be subject to change in accordance with the Duke Global Travel Policy, as it applies at the time of travel.

When submitting a proposal, you should carefully consider whether the proposed research will be feasible under the current circumstances, and address in the proposal how you might adapt your research plan if aspects of the project are not feasible due to COVID-19 restrictions. If the proposed research involves in-person contact or fieldwork, the proposal should address how the team will adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

Proposal requirements

All proposals must be submitted through the online proposal form by March 5, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. You may work directly within the online form and save and return to the form as you work. You may also preview the proposal questions and draft your responses using the following Word template. For planning purposes, key proposal elements include:

  • Details about the team composition
  • A description of the project including an abstract, a research plan, information about how the team will operate and how the project will contribute to the development of student team members, a timeline, and information about how the team will adapt as needed to emerging COVID-19 circumstances
  • Project details including whether the project includes research with animals or human subjects, and a risk management plan for any projects involving fieldwork
  • Budget (see additional guidance below)
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor: Your faculty mentor should submit their letter of recommendation directly by email to by March 5, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. Your mentor’s letter should address the scholarly value of your research project, their assessment of your preparedness for completing the project, and how they intend to support you (including how often the mentor and students will meet, how the mentor will provide guidance, oversight, and assistance).
Budget limitations

When submitting a proposal, you will be asked to submit a detailed budget plan for the entire proposed project, noting other sources of funding that you have secured or applied for. Maximum funding for this award is $5,000.

For planning purposes, please note the following limitations, which may be subject to change.

Reasonable expenses include:

  • Fees associated with use of archives, lab equipment, etc.
  • Software licenses
  • Research participant incentives
  • Research supplies and materials
  • Transcription services
  • Books/training to support your research
  • Travel for field research that cannot be conducted remotely (dependent upon COVID-19 travel restrictions)
  • Summer housing expenses to allow students to conduct research in instances when students need to be on-site

Funds may not be used:

  • As stipend or salary
  • To purchase personal equipment or durable items costing more than $1,000 (cameras, computers, clothing, etc.)
  • To cover personal living expenses at a permanent residence (funds may only be used to cover temporary living expenses to conduct field research, which can include Durham during the summer only)
  • To cover personal taxes

Please note that neither of these lists are all-inclusive, but rather are intended to help you consider common, allowable expenses.

Funds will generally be administered via a Duke “fund code.” To process expenditures, students will need to work with their faculty advisor to use a departmental purchase card, or file for reimbursement. Some expenses (such as housing) will be issued as a non-compensatory payment to students and will be considered taxable income.


We strongly encourage prospective applicants to attend the Bass Connections Foundational Research Module series for additional grounding in common research practices. In particular, if your project involves human subjects, you should make every effort to attend one of the two Institutional Review Board modules on February 25 or April 8. This module will satisfy the Human Subjects Certification requirement, allowing you to proceed with setting up an IRB protocol.


For questions or more information about the Student Team Grants program, please contact

These research awards are supported by the Eberts Family Fund, and are administered by the Undergraduate Research Support Office in partnership with Bass Connections.

Also see the Bass Connections Student Research Awards for another opportunity.