Climate Change Grants Designed to Spark New Research Collaborations

University-Wide Collaboration Grants on Climate Change.

Deadline: February 18, 2022

Duke University is offering faculty and research staff the first in a series of opportunities to shape a university-wide research agenda for confronting climate change.

The new grant program is part of the university’s broader effort to accelerate sustainable and equitable solutions to the climate crisis while developing the next generation of thought leaders. The climate initiative will build on Duke experts’ track record of substantial contributions to understanding and addressing climate change and its impacts.

Duke will provide funding up to $5,000 for faculty and staff who are interested in collaborating with colleagues—either within or across disciplines—around a shared intellectual interest that targets a climate-related challenge. Each selected group will also be able to propose an idea and to suggest speakers to include in one of several Duke-hosted climate symposia over the next few years. The symposia will engage Duke experts and invited partners in designing research priorities with linked external engagement and funding strategies.

Proposals should focus on one or more of the initiative’s priority areas:

  • Energy Transformation
  • Climate Resilience
  • Natural Climate Solutions
  • Climate & Data
  • Climate & Social Justice

As many as five rounds of collaboration grants will be offered to Duke faculty and research staff over the next three years. Additional seed funding opportunities are expected to become available in 2023. Faculty and staff who receive collaboration grants will be well-positioned to access additional seed funding as it becomes available.

Any Duke faculty member or Duke research staff member, from any discipline, is eligible to propose and form a new collaborative group. Additional eligibility information, selection criteria, and proposal requirements are available in the request for proposals (RFP).

Submissions for the first round of grants are due by Friday, February 18, 2022. The newly merged Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke University Energy Initiative, with advice and counsel of senior university leadership, will review proposals and select grantees. First-round grant recipients will be notified of awards on or about March 15, 2022.

To submit a proposal or for any questions, please contact Colette Watt at

Download detailed request for proposals (RFP)

Democracy and Governance in a Polarized World: Call for Proposals

Text: Democracy and Governance in a Polarized World.

Deadline: March 31, 2022

Bass Connections is now accepting proposals for new year-long projects addressing issues related to democracy and the challenges of sustaining strong democratic institutions in a polarized world. Faculty interested in proposing a project should read the full submission guidelines and submit a proposal by Thursday, March 31 at 5:00 p.m.

Proposed projects may begin in Summer or Fall 2022. Funding for project teams is between $5,000 and $25,000.

Please note: This RFP is only for 2022-2023 projects related to democracy. Our next general call for Bass Connections project proposals will be in August 2022.


Bass Connections brings together faculty, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates and community partners to tackle complex societal challenges in interdisciplinary research teams. The five interdisciplinary themes of Bass Connections support research related to persistent societal challenges such as health inequities, race and social justice, environmental sustainability, the intersection of technology and society and the brain’s role in making us human.

As broad as these themes are, they are not all-encompassing, and we recognize the need to respond nimbly to new challenges confronting society. As a result, since 2018, Bass Connections has launched three “pop-up themes,” the first focused on hurricane recovery and resilience; the second on research related to immigration; and the third on issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemicThis call is for project proposals related to a new pop-up theme around research related to democracy and governance in a polarized world.

Recent Threats to Democracy

By many measures – including freedom of the press, free and fair elections, and government transparency – democracy is declining in much of the world. Indeed, the nonprofit Freedom House’s 2021 report concludes that nearly 75 percent of the world’s population lived in a country that faced deteriorating conditions for democracy last year. Here in the U.S., 2021 began with an insurrection on the Capitol, to be followed by many states passing new laws restricting voting access and reconfiguring election oversight. A CNN poll from September 2021 found that 93% of Americans say that democracy is either under attack (56%) or being tested (37%). A November 2021 NPR poll found that just 62% of Americans say they will trust the 2024 election, regardless of who wins.

Bass Connections issues this special call for proposals for teams interested in tackling solutions aimed at strengthening democracy, at home or abroad, through a Bass Connections project in 2022-2023. Research questions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Why is democracy worth defending? Where has democracy proven effective, and in what contexts has it failed? What reforms might help democratic institutions live up to their ideals?
  • What has contributed to the increase in authoritarianism worldwide? What are the historical roots of these contemporary challenges, and how might the past offer critical perspective and lessons for the future of democratic ideals, institutions and practices?
  • How important are the concepts of the rule of law and the existence of an independent judiciary to democracy? How have societies effectively negotiated the trade-offs between democratic decision-making and the protection of individual and minority rights?
  • How have other emerging issues, including climate change, rising inequality and inflation, and the COVID-19 pandemic, impacted democracy in the U.S. and internationally? What interventions might seek to strengthen democratic resiliency in the face of social crises and economic inequality?
  • Access to strong local media has been linked to political engagement and increased transparency. What new models might shore up and/or invigorate local media and journalism?
  • How are the arts and humanities inspiring new conversations about democracy and polarization? How do the arts push us to think differently about democracy or inspire new and innovative forms of political organization?
  • How should technology platforms be governed to ensure accountability and promote democracy?
  • How might we restore trust in the media and voting systems, reinvigorate popular engagement in civic life, and/or fashion new institutions for popular participation in democratic processes?
  • What solutions might bridge growing levels of political polarization, or what policy changes might allow government to operate more effectively in a continuing polarized environment?

In partnership with the Digital Humanities Initiative at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, we also strongly encourage projects with a substantial digital or computational humanities dimension.

Submission Instructions

The deadline for proposals is Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Please read the full submission guidelines and use the online proposal form to submit your proposal. 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.

Interested faculty, particularly those who have never led a Bass Connections team, are also encouraged to contact a Bass Connections theme leader or Laura Howes, Director of Bass Connections, at with questions or to discuss potential ideas. Faculty may also drop in at any time to one of our informal Zoom office hours (

  • Friday, February 11, 10:00-11:00
  • Thursday, March 17, 12:00-1:00

Faculty are also welcome to reach out to members of the Bass Connections Faculty Advisory Council to discuss project ideas or possible collaborators within their school.

Learn More

Support for Duke Units to Host Ph.D. Student Internships in Summer 2022

Request for proposals.

Deadline: January 28, 2022


During Summer 2022, the Provost’s Office will support professional development opportunities for current Duke Ph.D. students who do not have full summer funding. Units that would like to host such an opportunity may submit a proposal by January 28, 2022. Proposals will be accepted via Formstack (

We are seeking Ph.D. student internship opportunities that align with Together Duke and will provide Ph.D. students with research experience connected to their intellectual trajectory. Examples from past years:

  • A Duke Forest intern assessed emerging risks to the Forest
  • Duke University Press hosted two interns who worked on an innovation team that explored digital strategies for authors to engage with readers during the pandemic
  • The Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine had an intern assist with development of curricular materials for K-12 schools
  • An intern with the Modern Language Association designed and marketed a resource toolkit around curricular innovation and teacher training.
RFP released 1/7/22
RFP deadline for submission 1/28/22 at 5:00 p.m.
Anticipated unit/program notification 2/4/22
Anticipated student application period 2/18/22 – 3/20/22
Anticipated priority application/selection period (rolling consideration thereafter) 3/21/22 – 3/25/22
Internship start/end 5/16/22 – 8/19/22

Restrictions and Parameters

  • These opportunities will only be open to current Ph.D. students without full summer funding. Students who will matriculate in the summer/fall of 2022 are not eligible.
  • Interested students will apply for posted opportunities through a central Duke portal, though the selection process and decision will rest with each internship host.
  • Internships can involve six weeks, eight weeks or twelve weeks of engagement, and must take place between May 16 – August 19 with no more than 19.9 hours/week, leaving time for students to engage with their own research, study and/or writing. Stipend amounts vary by the amount of time required.
  • The earliest date an internship may start is May 16, 2022; the latest an internship may end is August 19, 2022.
  • Ph.D. students must receive a stipend commensurate with the three options for length of engagement, plus summer health fee and fringe, paid across the June – August payroll cycles. Interns may receive other Duke summer funding; however, total Duke summer funding may not exceed $8,750. The school of any selected student will be responsible for the provision of summer tuition scholarships.
  • Any proposal for an internship must comply with Duke University coronavirus response policies and the residency requirement detailed below.
  • International Ph.D. students who reside in North Carolina or an approved U.S. jurisdiction detailed below and who wish to apply for a summer internship should consult as soon as possible with Duke Visa Services for assistance with filing applications for Curricular Practical Training and any other visa-related requirements.
  • Internship hosts must either be based in North Carolina or an approved U.S. jurisdiction available for Duke employment: California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
  • All student interns will be required to take the experiential workshop, GS950, during Duke Summer Session I or II.


  • Proposals should be submitted by the head of a unit (dean, director, chair, etc.).
  • Units must provide a 50% cost share on the stipend and fringes.

Selection Criteria and Review Process

Host units and supervisors must detail a program of work, with clear goals, deliverables and identification of a supervisor, in their proposed job description. We encourage host units to plan for regular interaction with interns and to include them in team meetings. The review process will be overseen by the vice provost for interdisciplinary studies.

Scope and Duration

In-person, remote and/or hybrid internships will be considered. The proposed internship experience should last for up to three months in the summer and proposals may be configured in one of the following formats:

  1. Three-month (19.9 hours/week) internship; intern will receive a stipend of $8,250 as well as coverage of summer tuition and health fee
  2. Two-month (19.9 hours/week) internship; intern will receive a stipend of $5,500 as well as coverage of summer tuition and health fee
  3. One and a half month/6-week internship (19.9 hours/week); intern will receive a stipend of $4,125 as well as coverage of summer tuition and health fee

The proposed internship will take place between May 16 – August 19, 2022, and interns will receive a stipend as well as coverage of summer tuition and the summer health fee across the June – August payroll cycles.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals will be accepted via Formstack ( through January 28, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Title and brief description (one paragraph) for your proposed internship position
  • Number of interns your unit anticipates hosting
  • Start and end dates for the internship
  • Name and contact information for your unit business manager
  • Name and contact information for the internship coordinator and the direct supervisor (if different)
  • Brief plan (maximum one page) that articulates the anticipated project or projects, describes the nature of engagement with organizational staff members, and specifies how the organization envisages a remote/virtual work experience (if relevant)
  • Confirmation of cost share.


For questions related to the online application and/or other logistical questions, please contact Amy Feistel,

For questions related to internship work plans or cost sharing, please contact Edward J. Balleisen,

Duke SSRI Offers Grants for Faculty Research in the Social Sciences

Social Science Research Institute Grant Program for Academic Year 2022.

Deadline: March 1, 2022

The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) invites grant applications from Duke University faculty to study social science research topics of their choice. The size of the grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000, and SSRI anticipates providing at least $100,000 through this program. The number and size of grants awarded will depend upon the applications received.

This is an open call for research in the social sciences—tell us what research you want to do, how this funding will help you to do that work, and what research product this grant will enable or enhance (paper, chapter, grant proposal, book proposal, etc.). If faculty intend to use this grant to fund preliminary work for a larger grant application, SSRI will help to develop your grant writing plans, including identifying grant opportunities if that is useful to you. It is not a requirement to view this funding as preliminary work for a grant application.

Who is eligible to apply?

Faculty in the social science departments in the college of Arts and Sciences, and social scientists in the Schools of Divinity, Fuqua, Law, Nicholas and Sanford are eligible to apply. Faculty in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine can apply only in conjunction with a faculty member in one of the above departments or schools. Faculty from other Arts and Sciences departments may apply with permission if they are addressing a social science topic; interested faculty should write a short email to to get approval to apply.


*Proposal deadline: March 1, 2022
*Funding notification: April 8, 2022
*Acceptable start dates: May 1, 2022 to September 1, 2022 (grants will run for one year)

Submit proposals to:

Submission requirements

Single PDF that contains the following information: (100 word abstract that states research question(s) to be answered; 1-page single space proposal that says how the money will help provide an answer(s); budget requested, with a 1 paragraph justification; note whether this grant is a seed project. Money can be used for any approved Duke Research expenditure, including course buy out and staff funding. SSRI may be able to help link faculty with graduate students at a subsidized rate in addition to this grant program. If this is of interest, please reach out to SSRI Director Don Taylor at

Faculty Can Propose Research Projects on Racial Inequality

Racial Inequality: Request for Proposals.

Deadline: February 1, 2022

Thanks to generous funding from The Duke Endowment, the Office of the Provost is accepting research proposals to study “Racial Inequality.” We anticipate awards to range from $5,000 to $50,000 with start dates as early as July 1, 2022 and ending by June 30, 2024.


Societal inequities along racial lines have deep historical and systemic roots, and span many areas, such as education, housing, health, economic security, voting and political participation, and the criminal justice system, among others. Interrogating racial inequalities that exist in our society and identifying mechanisms to address them is critical to achieving a more equitable society.

As a major research institution, Duke is well positioned to leverage its strong research expertise and resources to deepen our understanding of racial inequalities and to apply that knowledge to produce more equitable outcomes.


We invite proposals that engage topics related to the issue of racial inequality. There will be priority consideration for proposals that engage with issues of particular relevance to Durham and North Carolina, but we will also consider projects that focus on other locations in the US, as well as comparative analyses within the US or between the US and other regions. We welcome both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches from across the social sciences, humanities, and arts, as well as proposals from a single faculty member or from groups.

Examples of themes with a focus on racial and socioeconomic inequalities include (but are not limited to):

  • Education
  • Health
  • Economic Security
  • Housing
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Laws, Policies and Practices


Duke regular rank faculty can serve as Primary Investigators (PI), with the exception of faculty with primary appointments in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, who are NOT eligible to serve as Primary Investigators, but may participate as research team members provided that the research team has at least 50% of faculty from schools outside of Medicine and Nursing.

Eligible Types of Expenditures

The budget may include: stipends for research assistants; research-related travel and materials; workshops; transcription services, statistical consultants, and other justifiable and allowable research expenses such as open access publication subventions (in the case of research that has already reached an advanced stage), interactive multi-media installations, and multi-media platforms. Faculty summer salary up to $10,000 is also allowed, per project. Fringe rate is in addition to this allowance.

Proposal Requirements

The Provost’s Office is using Formstack online application software to receive applications. Proposals should include the following information and documents:

  1. general proposal information, to include the following: proposal title; name, title/rank, departmental affiliation, email address, and telephone number of all members of the research team; designation of a Principal Investigator
  2. a brief abstract or summary of the proposal (250 word maximum)
  3. a brief narrative (three-page maximum) that articulates (1) the plan for research, (2) statement of research objectives, (3) description of significance and innovation of the research, and (4) work already completed related to the proposed work (if relevant)
  4. a proposed budget (one-page maximum)
  5. two-page CVs for each faculty member of the research team.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee to be named by the Provost and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Originality of proposed research
  • Opportunities for students to engage in the project
  • Potential implications for public understanding of racial inequality

Submission Instructions

Please submit proposal information via Formstack here.


RFP released 12/01/2021
RFP deadline for submission 02/01/2022
Awardee(s) notified 04/30/2022
Funds made available (or sooner upon request) 07/01/2022

Contact for Questions

Please contact the Office for Faculty Advancement at with any questions about this Request for Proposals, including questions about using Formstack.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a non-regular rank faculty member, can I be a PI on a grant?

No, however you are welcome to participate as a research team member.

As a regular rank faculty member in the School of Medicine or School of Nursing, can I be a PI on a grant?

No, however you are welcome to participate as a research team member.

Does the category of research assistants include staff?

No, research assistants can be students or postdoctoral fellows at Duke or from another higher education institution (i.e., outside of Duke).

Can I pay an outside consultant for training purposes, as a scholar activist or as a community partner?

Yes, you may establish payment through an independent contractor form as long as the individual complies with the independent contractor status. Non-Duke individuals can only be paid using The Duke Endowment funds by this method. Please review this resource and check with your business manager:

Does the faculty summer salary of $10,000 include fringe?

Fringe is in addition to the $10,000 allowance. Please check with your business manager for the current fringe rate.

Is the $10,000 faculty salary maximum per grant proposal or per year?

The $10,000 salary component is for the duration of the grant project, not per summer.

Do “materials” include equipment purchases?

Yes, you may request equipment and it is recommended that the purchase not reflect a large portion of the project budget.

What deliverables or reporting will you expect from awardees?

A final report describing the use of funds, the outcomes of the project, and, if relevant, a description of the engagement of the students and the community in the project will be requested in February 2023, and due March 2023. A report template for the submission will be provided.

Collaborate With Institutions Abroad on Global Courses

Duke Globally Taught Courses logo.

Deadline: March 15, 2022

The Duke Globally Taught Courses program supports faculty wishing to collaborate with peers at institutions abroad to co-create graduate courses or course modules delivered virtually via online technology.

Globally Taught Courses (GTCs) allow graduate students to participate in interactive learning, provide vehicles for international project and problem-based activities and foster a context for cross-cultural interaction to enhance global competency. GTCs contribute to Duke University’s aim to integrate global perspectives and introduce new teaching practices into the curriculum, as well as address global racial inequities.

GTCs should foster partnerships with institutions located outside of the United States. Preference will be given to collaborations with institutions located in the Global South where Duke already has an existing footprint. Preferred locations include Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Peru,  South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Proposed partnerships with institutions in other countries will still be considered.


Tenure-track and regular rank faculty who are members of the Graduate Faculty, with a minimum of a half-time appointment at the time of application, are eligible to apply. Collaboration between faculty and graduate students is allowable if the eligible faculty member is the principal applicant and the instructor of record.

Funding and Activities

Supported grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded. Allowable costs include faculty stipend/honorarium, technology (such as webcams, audio equipment or software), graduate assistant support and educational resources.

Grant Period

Spring semester 2023 – Fall semester 2024

General Information

Duke Globally Taught grants are applicable to new graduate courses. They can be applied to an entire semester course or modules within a semester course. Students earn credit and receive grades from their home university. Virtual exchange courses must include the following:

  • Collaboration with one (or more) colleagues at one or more institutions of higher education abroad
  • Duke courses must be led by a Duke faculty member who is responsible for evaluation and giving a grade.
  • Duke courses must be delivered in a hybrid model (e.g., discussion section).

Preference will be given to course proposals that include the following:

  • One or more course learning objectives focused on integrating global perspectives and addressing global racial inequities
  • Course activities demonstrably selected in alignment with course learning objectives
  • Project or problem-based learning, ideally requiring an authentic product
  • Plans to actively engage all students during all course activities using inclusive teaching practices
  • Innovative teaching practices, such as: virtual field trips, labs, or performances, collaborative group work across institutions, class chat or discussion boards, community-building activities, student projects and student-led group discussions.

Proposal Requirements

GTCs must be credit-bearing, include eight synchronous sessions and have a minimum enrollment of 10 students.

Application Process and Materials

Proposal Narrative (2-5 pages)
  1. Project abstract: Identify the course, your international partner and explain why it makes sense to teach the course as a globally taught course.
  2. Intellectual rationale: Explain how the proposed course and collaborative online international learning experience will enhance students’ understanding of the subject matter and expand global competencies at both institutions. Share examples of activities that you consider particularly well-suited for this learning environment. What do you expect to gain from this collaborative transnational teaching experience?
  3. Detail the student-to-student exchange, including how you and your peer collaborator(s) will facilitate the proposed project-based learning and any additional learning activities. Indicate how you will incorporate at least eight synchronous sessions throughout the semester.
  4. Identify your peer collaborator abroad and explain why this partnership will yield a successful global course. If you do not have a peer collaborator but you have identified a partner institution, provide evidence that you have established contact with the institution, and there is interest in matching you with a faculty member at that institution.
  5. Outline your sustainability plan for how the proposed virtual exchange will continue or expand beyond the grant period. Explain the potential impact of the virtual exchange for your students, your partner, their institution and their students, your department and/or your school.
Required Documents – Course Content
  1. Submit a proposed timeline of course development.
  2. Include a preliminary course syllabus and highlight the planned virtual exchange activities, including the project-based learning.
Letters of Support
  1. Letter of support from the international partner expressing commitment to co-develop and teach the GTC for both iterations during the grant period.
  2. Letter of support from Duke University department chair confirming a two-semester commitment for the proposed course to be taught. Ideally, the goal should be to continue teaching this course after the grant period has ended.

Submission Instructions

Submit a complete application along with all required documents via email to

Award Responsibilities

Grant recipients will join a collaborative cohort of Duke GTC faculty to share ideas, discuss best practices and reflect on their experiences in teaching GTCs. Grant recipients commit to:

  • Teach the proposed course once during the grant period.
  • Collaborate with Office of Global Affairs staff to help promote the overall exchange and individual faculty efforts through Duke communications channels; and
  • Complete assessment requirements including faculty surveys and submitting a final report.

Review Criteria

The following criteria will be used in evaluating each proposal:

  • Clarity about how inclusion of virtual exchange enlivens teaching methods and course design
  • Extent to which course addresses global inequities and incorporates multiple perspectives into the proposed subject matter
  • Specificity and viability of plans for student interaction
  • Degree to which plan integrates interdisciplinary project-based learning or team-based projects that require substantial collaborative research, communication, or creative output
  • Complementarity of faculty partners’ research/teaching strengths
  • Degree to which proposal will mutually benefit students of both universities
  • Strength of letters of endorsement and institutional commitment to global virtual exchange
  • Impact on Duke University community. For example, course will advance campus internationalization in broader curricula, co-curricular activities or in directly increasing future international opportunities for students (such as language acquisition, study away or international internships).

Process and Timeline

  • Grant application deadline: March 15, 2022
  • Grant start date: Spring semester, 2023
  • Grant period end date: Fall semester, 2024

Additional Information

For additional information about the GTC program, contact Eve Duffy, Associate Vice Provost for Global Affairs at

Join a Cohort of Faculty Fellows to Design Collaborative Project Courses

Logos of Duke Learning Innovation and Bass Connections.

Deadline: February 14, 2022

The Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows Program provides support and a peer learning community for faculty who are interested in designing Collaborative Project Courses – courses in which student learning is driven by collaborative engagement with applied projects that extend across an entire semester. Participating faculty will receive $5,000; support and guidance from pedagogy experts and faculty experienced in this form of teaching; the option to request funding for a doctoral student to support the course design; and the opportunity to collaborate on course (re)design with a group of peers from across campus. This program is a partnership between Duke Learning Innovation and Bass Connections.

  • Application deadline: February 14, 2022, at 5 p.m. (note: the original deadline of January 31 was extended to allow faculty more time to apply given the move to remote learning in early January)
  • Applicants notified: Late February 2022 
  • Program dates: May 2022 – December 2022

To learn more about this opportunity or discuss your course ideas, visit our drop-in office hours on December 15 from 11:00-12:00:

What are Collaborative Project Courses?

Collaborative Project Courses are courses in which student learning is driven by collaborative research, analysis and communication on applied projects that extend across an entire semester. Such courses often bridge the classroom and the world beyond the university, giving students a chance to bring their academic knowledge and skills to bear on complex problems under the mentorship of faculty, graduate students and, in some cases, community members.

Collaborative Project Courses help students grasp the relevance of their work while also demanding rigorous study and original research, often alongside engagement with a community of practice. When done well, this approach creates a dynamic learning environment and inspires students to take greater ownership of the learning process. For a more in-depth summary of Collaborative Project Courses, and the unique pedagogical questions they pose, visit our Collaborative Project Courses: Course Design Resource Center.

About the Faculty Fellows Program

Collaborative Project Courses often raise new challenges for faculty – challenges related to course design, the framing of projects, the provision of guidance to teams and the management of group dynamics. The Faculty Fellows program establishes a cohort of faculty who will learn and work together, with support and advising from Duke Learning Innovation, to develop Collaborative Project Courses for Fall 2022 or Spring 2023. Please note that based on the program timeline, this opportunity is likely to work best for faculty planning to teach their course in Spring 2023; however, we will work with faculty on an accelerated timeline if they wish to teach their course in Fall 2022.

Participants in the program will reimagine an existing course, or design a new course, to include project-based pedagogies in which students work together to create new knowledge, tangible works and/or creative or artistic products. Courses can be designed at any level (undergraduate; undergraduate/graduate; or graduate/professional).

The Faculty Fellows program includes regular meetings for the first four months, followed by eight months of periodic engagement to support faculty as they implement their new course (see full description of the time commitment below). We aim to create an active and engaged learning community where faculty will provide one another with support and advice throughout the program, creating new faculty networks along the way. We will also invite faculty with experience using this teaching model to share their experiences with the cohort and provide advice to participants at different stages of the program.

Recognizing the time that it takes to design project-based courses, Faculty Fellows will receive $5,000 to be used at the faculty member’s discretion (e.g., for summer salary to design the course, funding to pay a doctoral student for assistance in course design, discretionary research funds, funds to support course activities or a TA, travel funding to explore best practice models or seek professional development).

Faculty may also request supplemental funding of $1,500 to cover 75 hours of a doctoral student’s time to support elements of the course design through the Bass Connections Collaborative Project Expeditions program. This is an optional element of the program. Faculty Fellows would be responsible for identifying/recruiting a graduate student to work with them. Bass Connections can also help faculty recruit a graduate student partner but cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify a suitable candidate.

Topics covered through the fellowship will include:

  • Choosing and scoping projects
  • Writing achievable learning objectives and designing a syllabus
  • Structuring in- and out-of-class time effectively
  • Identifying and working with partners/clients for projects
  • Designing course/project milestones and deliverables
  • Creating and managing student teams
  • Mentoring students to be effective team members
  • Using journaling/reflection to support student learning
  • Assessing student work
  • Preparing for team teaching, if applicable
  • Other topics identified by fellowship participants

Program Details

Fellowship time commitment

The fellowship will require participation in:

  • A three-day intensive kick-off on May 2-4 from 10:00-2:00 (including an optional cohort dinner tentatively planned for May 2) (in-person)
  • Four, one-hour virtual meetings throughout the summer (May 18, June 15, July 13, August 3 at 10 a.m. ET)
  • In-person meeting on August 17 from 10:00-2:00
  • In-person meeting on December 12 from 10:00-2:00

In addition to cohort meetings, Fellows will participate in hands-on activities in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 including:

  • Draft a course syllabus (Summer/Fall 2022)
  • Review 3-4 draft syllabi developed by other Fellows and provide feedback (Summer/Fall 2022)
  • Conduct a classroom visit to another Collaborative Project Course (Fall 2022)
  • Work with Learning Innovation to collect student feedback on your course (optional; Spring 2023)
  • Participate in Visit a Classroom with 2-3 other Fellows in the cohort (optional; Spring 2023)
  • Participate in an end-of-program debrief and lessons-learned discussion with the cohort (Spring 2023)

Fellows are expected to attend all meetings, complete work between meetings, be prepared for meeting activities and design a Collaborative Project Course to be taught in Fall 2022, Spring 2023, or Fall 2023.

Fellowships are limited – apply by Feb. 14 at 5 p.m.


Faculty of any level and rank and from any Duke school may apply. We hope to form a diverse cohort of faculty who can learn from one another. Faculty must be available to participate during the dates/times listed in the “Program Details” section above. If you cannot make the session dates and times, we encourage you to visit our Course Design Resource Center and schedule a consultation with Duke Learning Innovation.

The course that participating faculty design can be either a new or an existing course and can be targeted at undergraduate, graduate and/or professional school students. We expect participants to offer the course in either Fall 2022 or Spring 2023, but proposals for courses starting in Fall 2023 will also be considered. For existing courses, faculty should have support from their unit for offering the redesigned course on a regular basis, at least three times in the subsequent five-year period. New courses can be more experimental in nature, but there should be commitment from the unit for offering the course multiple times (assuming sufficient enrollment).

We also welcome faculty who are co-teaching a course to apply. In such an instance, one or both faculty may apply. If both faculty participate, the pair will receive $7,500 to use at their discretion.

Course and faculty support

Faculty who fully participate in all required meetings and activities will receive $5,000 to be used at the faculty member’s discretion. As noted above, faculty will also have the option of receiving $1,500 to cover 75 hours of a doctoral student’s time to support elements of the course design through the Bass Connections Collaborative Project Expeditions program.

Faculty will also have the opportunity to learn from and share ideas with a network of faculty, including other Fellows in the program and faculty who are experienced in this form of teaching who have offered to provide consultation to this group. Duke Learning Innovation and the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies will provide course design guidance and will also be available to connect faculty to other faculty or resources to support their course goals.

Application and selection

Applications should be submitted by Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. via this online form. You may draft your application directly within the online form and save and return to your work. The application will ask you to provide a brief description of the course you intend to design and upload a statement of support from your unit.

Faculty who are co-teaching a course (or faculty who teach different sections of a core course) can submit one application, with one letter of support. The application should make clear that the course would be co-taught and should clarify whether one, or both, faculty intend to participate in the program.

The strongest applications will be those in which: 1) the faculty demonstrate a commitment to the goals of the fellowship, and 2) the proposed course aligns with the curricular goals of the department/school (e.g., redesign of a core/gateway course; creation of a new course to fill a gap in the curriculum).

Decisions will be announced in late February 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Collaborative Project Courses different from service-learning courses or courses with team assignments?

There are two facets that should be incorporated into Collaborative Project Courses: student teamwork and generation of an authentic product through project-based work. Because of their applied nature and the existence of an external partner, many service-learning courses align with this model, but not all do. Courses with team assignments can also be Collaborative Project Courses if the team/project work is intensive, takes place throughout the semester and involves the creation of an authentic product (usually this means the product is for an audience beyond just the course participants and instructor).

What are some examples of a Collaborative Project Course?

This is a flexible model that can be applied in unique ways depending on the focus and goals of a course. That said, several examples include:

Read about the inaugural cohort of Fellows, which included faculty affiliated with six Duke schools and a wide array of university institutes.

Does the course have to be a new course, or can I propose to redesign an existing course?

We aim to form a diverse cohort of faculty working on a range of courses. Courses that address a strategic curricular goal of a given unit will be given preference. Often, this might mean reimagining a core or gateways course. It can also mean designing a new course that fills a gap in the curriculum. Courses can be targeted at any level of student and can be of any size.

How refined does my course idea need to be before I apply?

We don’t expect you to have a fully fleshed out idea before you apply, but your general idea should embody the ethos of a Collaborative Project Course. If you’re not sure whether your idea is a good fit, feel free to attend our drop-in office hours on December 15 from 11:00-12:00 ( and/or request a meeting before the application due date with Laura Howes, Director of Bass Connections, or Andrea Novicki, Senior Teaching Consultant in Learning Innovation.

Do I have to participate in all the fellowship sessions?

Yes, Fellows are expected to attend and participate in all of the scheduled sessions.

Can we propose a co-taught course? What if a course has multiple sections taught by different faculty? Would both faculty need to participate in the program?

Many courses of this type are co-taught. If you plan to co-teach a course, it is up to you and your co-teacher whether or not you both wish to participate in the program. If both faculty choose to participate in the program, you only need to submit one application. Instead of $5,000 per faculty member, the pair will receive $7,500 to use at its discretion.

We also welcome pairs of faculty who teach different sections of a core course. The same arrangements apply (one or both may participate; if both, the pair would receive $7,500).

Do all Collaborative Project Courses involve research?

Many do, but this is not a requirement.

Do all Collaborative Project Courses involve community partners?

Many do, but this is not a requirement.

Are all Collaborative Project Courses interdisciplinary?

No, these courses may be deeply rooted within a discipline or interdisciplinary. All types of courses can benefit from this mode of pedagogy.

Is this program primarily focused on undergraduate courses?

No! Faculty who teach graduate and/or professional students or mixed-level courses are encouraged to consider this fellowship. All schools and programs are invited to reimagine their coursework to include Collaborative Project Courses.

What is the Collaborative Project Expeditions program and how would it fit in with this fellowship?

The Collaborative Project Expeditions program provides support for doctoral students to work with a faculty sponsor to create or redesign a course that integrates collaborative, project-based work as a central element of the course design. Participating students receive a stipend of $1,500 and are expected to spend approximately 75 hours over the course of the summer or a semester developing the collaborative project in consultation with their faculty sponsor. Common tasks that graduate students could assist with include cultivating client relationships and lining up projects with external partners, developing resources to support teams (e.g., project charters, peer assessments) or curating archival or other materials/resources for teams to work with throughout the duration of their project.

This is an optional element of the CPC Fellows program. If you are interested in having a doctoral student work with you, please indicate whether you have a doctoral student in mind or if you would need help recruiting a student.


Please contact Meghan O’Neil,, Bass Connections.

New Opportunity: Summer Course Development Grants

Summer course development grants; apply by December 10.

Deadline: December 10, 2021


For the summer of 2022, Duke’s offices of Undergraduate Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, in partnership with Duke Learning Innovation, are offering Summer Course Development Grants (SCDG) to schools, departments and other units that offer undergraduate curricula. These grants seek to foster the development or redesign of summer session courses that:

  • Align with the curricular priorities of the school, department or other unit
  • Have a good chance of attracting significant student interest from year to year
  • Incorporate innovative pedagogical approaches, which may include asynchronous components as part of an in-person class experience, or the development of hybrid courses
  • Will be taught by one or more Ph.D. students on a regular basis, beginning in Summer 2023.
RFP released 11/02/2021
RFP deadline for submission 12/10/2021 at 5:00 p.m.
Recipients notified 01/10/2022
Funds made available 05/01/2022
Funds to be expended by 08/15/2022


The last two summers have demonstrated significant demand by Duke students and undergraduates from other institutions for summer courses, including many offered online, that enable them to make progress on their educational plans. We see an opportunity to capitalize on that interest, while allowing departments and programs to expand and improve their undergraduate curricula, and provide Ph.D. students with opportunities to receive summer funding and gain experience as teachers.

This RFP offers schools, departments and other units that offer majors, minors or certificates the opportunity to develop or redesign a regular summer course that fulfills a critical curricular niche and will likely attract strong student interest. The data from Duke summer sessions indicates that broadly-based courses, particularly those fulfilling widely needed curricular requirements, are most likely to attract significant enrollment. More specialized offerings that dovetail closely with doctoral research topics, by contrast, typically under-enroll and risk cancellation.

One challenge for many Ph.D. students who teach in the summer has been the need to develop course materials. Through this funding opportunity, we hope to generate departmental or program resources that instructors of record can build on from year to year, lowering the time summer instructors must invest to get a course up and running. Those resources might include asynchronous elements (e.g., recorded lectures, interviews, or conversations), and guidelines for assignments, such as guided research, data analysis, primary source analysis, group projects, and ongoing partnerships with Durham- or Triangle-based organizations related to those projects.

Grant Details

Departments or other units that are awarded an SCDG will receive a funding package for one Ph.D. student in Summer 2022 (a half-stipend of $4,125, including fringe, coverage of the full summer health fee, and tuition) to work as a research assistant (RA) developing course materials in partnership with one faculty member. Departments or other units must commit to providing the remaining Ph.D. student stipend ($4,125, including fringe). The faculty member overseeing the RAship will receive $3,000 in research funding; applications with more than one faculty member will receive up to $5,000 in shared research funding.

Duke Learning Innovation will provide both formal course design guidance, which may take the form of an intensive kick-off workshop, and ongoing consultation to faculty and RAs funded by SCDGs. Learning Innovation will also convene the RAs periodically to share ideas, offer feedback on initial plans and build a cohort experience. In many cases, we presume that the Ph.D. student who works on developing or redesigning a course in Summer 2022 will have the chance to teach the resulting new or redesigned course in Summer 2023.

Restrictions and Parameters

  • Funds may only be used for Ph.D. student research assistantships and faculty research funds.
  • The research assistantship must take place between May 16 – August 19, 2022.
  • Ph.D. students should spend approximately 19.9 hours/week on course development work, which should include not just syllabus creation, but also the creation of course materials, structures for assignments, and any asynchronous modules, such as recordings of conversations or interviews with faculty members.
  • Courses must be offered during one of the two 2023 summer sessions.


  • Any school, department or other unit that offers an undergraduate major, minor or certificate is eligible for the grant. Applications should be submitted by the relevant director of undergraduate studies.
  • Two or more units may submit a joint application for a course that is or will be cross-listed.
  • International doctoral students who are included in the application as the RA should consult with Duke Visa Services for assistance with any visa-related requirements.

Review Process

The selection process will be overseen by the vice provosts for undergraduate education and interdisciplinary studies.

Proposal Requirements

Applications should consist of:

  • A description (maximum two pages) of the new or revised course, including:
    • The expected mix of asynchronous and synchronous components
    • Anticipated assignments
    • Anticipated role of the course within the unit’s curriculum
  • A brief overview from the department or unit providing a high-level sketch of course development activities to be completed during the RAship
  • A letter of support from the faculty partner or partners, discussing their role in assisting/overseeing the course development process
  • A CV (maximum two pages) for each faculty partner.

If a department or other unit has already identified an interested Ph.D. student who would serve as RA, and likely teach the developed course in Summer 2023, the application may also contain a letter of interest from that student.

To apply, visit:


For any questions related to the online application and/or logistical questions, please contact Amy Feistel. For questions about the application, or to talk through specific ideas for a proposal, please contact Gary Bennett, vice provost for undergraduate education, or Ed Balleisen, vice provost for interdisciplinary studies.


I am a faculty member with a new course idea. Am I eligible to apply for this grant?

Any school, department or unit that offers an undergraduate major, minor or certificate is eligible for an SCDG. Please coordinate an application with your department director of undergraduate studies, who will need to bring the idea forward.

Our program offers a certificate but we do not have Ph.D. students in our program. Am I eligible to apply for this grant?

Yes, any school, department or unit that offers an undergraduate major, minor or certificate is eligible for an SCDG. Ph.D. students from other programs can be added to the application as a possible RA. Please contact Ed Balleisen if you need assistance with finding a Ph.D. student for your application.

Our department received a grant but we have been unable to hire a Ph.D. student for the RA position. Do we still receive the grant?

No; disbursement of funds is dependent upon recruiting and hiring a student for the RA position.

Can a master’s or professional student be hired for the RA position?

No; only Ph.D. students are eligible for this funding.

Our proposed course will be a special topics course and will only be taught once. Are we eligible?

No. We are looking to seed courses that will be taught from summer to summer and that address curricular needs.

Our proposed course will be cross-listed. Are we still eligible for an SCDG?

Yes, though in that case, both units should endorse the proposal.

We would like two faculty members to serve as advisers for the course development process. Is that allowed?

More than one faculty member may partner on the grant. Awardees with more than one faculty partner will receive up to $5,000 in shared research funding.

We have more than one Ph.D. student whom we would like to hire for the RA position. May we hire more than one student?

No; this funding is for one RA position filled by one Ph.D. student.