Duke University thrives on interdisciplinary research, teaching and civic engagement. Rich collaborations are taking place all across campus, both within and across academic disciplines and schools.
A cornerstone of Duke’s commitment to inquiry across disciplines, university-wide institutes and initiatives foster problem-focused education, research and engagement to generate knowledge in the service of society.
University-Wide Institutes and Initiatives
Duke developed university-wide interdisciplinary entities, then known as “University Institutes and Centers,” through the 2006 strategic plan Making a Difference. Today these entities include institutes, initiatives and other university-wide interdisciplinary centers. Each receives core funding from the Office of the Provost and has its own strategic plan and governance structure.
The university-wide institutes and initiatives convene new scholarly configurations, catalyze new research agendas and pedagogical frameworks and connect faculty and students across disciplinary, divisional and school boundaries. They also furnish an array of cross-cutting infrastructures that facilitate the work of faculty and students within schools.
They are reviewed regularly by the Provost, joined by the Dean of the School of Medicine for those that are jointly supported, and periodically undergo comprehensive external reviews.
In addition to the university-wide institutes and initiatives, schools offer a home to interdisciplinary centers that create collaborative research, innovative courses and opportunities for students and faculty to apply knowledge in service to society.
- Centers in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
- Initiatives in the Divinity School
- Research Centers in the Fuqua School of Business
- Centers and Programs in the Law School
- Centers and Institutes in the School of Medicine
- Research Centers, Labs, Programs and Partnerships in the Nicholas School of the Environment
- Centers, Institutes and Initiatives in the School of Nursing
- Research Centers in the Pratt School of Engineering
- Research Centers and Programs in the Sanford School of Public Policy
History and Strategy
Interdisciplinary studies has been a strategic focus at Duke University for more than 20 years. In the most recent university strategic plan, interdisciplinarity was reaffirmed as an integral part of the university’s identity. Key documents in the development of the culture of interdisciplinary engagement at Duke include:
- Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Planning for the Nineties
- 2006 Strategic Plan: Making a Difference
- 2010 Strategic Plan for Interdisciplinary Studies
- Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke: Context, Commitment, and Challenges
- Timeline: Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke
- Interdisciplinarity at Duke: A Brief Inventory of Connections among Schools and University-Wide Institutes, Initiatives, and Centers