Faculty Can Tap FHI Support for Interdisciplinary Working Groups

Faculty Working Groups.

Deadline: June 18, 2021 (Summer) or September 24, 2021 (Fall)

The John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute seeks proposals for faculty-led Working Groups in the humanities, arts and interpretive social sciences for the 2021-22 academic year. We are interested in interdisciplinary projects that bring together Duke faculty, as well as graduate students and academic staff, across multiple departments. Humanities-centered projects that connect Arts & Sciences faculty with colleagues in Duke’s professional schools are also welcome.

Each group may apply for up to $5,000 in financial support. Funds may be used for meetings, speaker visits, books, film and video streaming/rentals, and other materials or activities that further the group’s collective intellectual work. Expenses for meetings, travel and in-person events are contingent upon University permission.

We will consider proposals in two rounds over Summer and Fall 2021. For the Summer round, please apply by Friday, June 18, 2021; for Fall, by Friday, September 24, 2021. Each proposal should include the following:

  • Names and affiliations of the working group’s conveners: an interdisciplinary group of 2 to 3 recommended; may include non-Duke faculty, as long as project is primarily Duke-facing
  • A brief narrative (1 to 2-page) describing the group’s intellectual project and proposed activities
  • A provisional budget for up to $5,000.

Please send your proposal as a single PDF by the Summer (6/18) or Fall deadline (9/24) to FHI Associate Director christina.chia@duke.edu.

Grow Your Research Idea with Incubator or Germinator Seed Funding

Research Incubator and Germinator Awards.

Deadline: June 11, 2021 (letters of intent); August 20, 2021 (full application)

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS) supports two seed-grant funding programs. These high-risk/high-return funding mechanisms provide funding for research that is exploratory and therefore not yet ready for external funding.

Research Incubator Awards

Incubator Awards, up to $100,000, are for teams of faculty representing at least two departments or areas of research. See more information.

Research Germinator Awards

Germinator Awards, up to $25,000, are for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, residents or faculty. See more information.

Important Dates for Both Award Mechanisms

  • Letters of intent: Due by 5:00 p.m., Friday, June 11, 2021
  • Full application: Due by 5:00 p.m., Friday, August 20, 2021
  • Award notifications: Anticipated in November 2021
  • Funding start: January 1, 2022

Learn More and Apply

See the DIBS website for full information.

Pilot Funds Available for Interdisciplinary Research on Global Environmental Health

Request for proposals.

Deadline: April 15, 2021

The Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE) and the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) invite pilot research proposals in the field of global environmental health. Through this RFP, NSOE and DGHI seek to provide pilot funds to stimulate interdisciplinary research in global environmental health, with the larger goal of enabling investigators to leverage preliminary findings and data to obtain larger awards of external funding.

We are especially interested in funding research around the effects of climate change on health outcomes. Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are required. Investigators are particularly encouraged to submit proposals that plan to leverage existing studies, population cohorts, or data sets to address an important and novel global environmental health problem. Junior faculty and newly appointed faculty are encouraged to apply and will be given special consideration.

  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are required. Teams including new investigators, investigators new to global environmental health, and/or investigators from low and middle-income countries, are encouraged.
  • NSOE and DGHI are looking for global health research ideas that will improve health equity and benefit hard-to-reach populations, low-resourced areas and partners.

Eligible Applicants

Duke regular rank faculty are eligible to apply for funding. Proposals that include collaborators from other institutions are encouraged. Study teams must include NSOE and DGHI participants and have a plan for leveraging this seed funding for additional external support.


The budget may include: supplies, support for technicians, research assistants, and graduate students/postdoctoral affiliates; research-related travel; and other justifiable and allowable research expenses. Faculty salary, travel to scientific meetings, and indirect costs will not be paid by DGHI and should not be included in the budget submitted. Applicants may apply for up to $50,000 for a 12-month project. Smaller proposals for shorter periods are also encouraged. Given current spending and travel restrictions at Duke, expenses must be approved by your Department. If possible, please discuss your budget with appropriate Department personnel before submitting; we will be confirming approval before an award can be made.

Application Requirements

Proposals must be for activities in low, lower- and upper- middle-income countries (a listing of eligible countries can be found at the World Bank website: http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-and-lending- groups) OR focused on health disparities in the American South. (If you wish to propose a global health project that does not include LMIC or American South activities, please contact  Kelly Deal to discuss and receive approval.) Applicants are encouraged to identify collaborating in-country/local investigators, and should describe plans for how the results generated will be  applied to future external funding, as this will be an important criterion in the review.

Cover Page. Must include the following information:

  • Proposal title
  • Name, title, departmental affiliation, address, email address, and telephone number of all proposed investigators
  • Designation of a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigators

Abstract (250 words maximum)

Research Plan (3 page maximum; single-spaced, 12 point font, 1” margins) including the following sections:

  • Statement of research objectives
  • Significance of the research (including significance to NSOE/DGHI and/or Global Health and to research setting)
  • Proposed methods and plans for data analysis (specific details recommended)
  • Work already completed related to the proposed work (if relevant)
  • Description of the research team and research setting, including site collaboration plan
  • Plan for leveraging this seed funding for future external grant support
  • [a bibliography can be included as needed and does not count toward page limit]

Appendix Materials (1-page maximum each; single-spaced, 12 point font, 1” margins) including:

  • Research timeline and milestones
  • Letter of support from a collaborating researcher at research site

Budget and Justification (1-page maximum)

NIH Biosketch OR Curriculum Vitae

  • Include current grant support and limit to 5 pages for each investigator

Submission Format

Please combine all required elements into a single pdf document and submit via email to kelly.deal@duke.edu with the subject line of “NSOE/DGHI Pilot Grant Submission.”


  • Application receipt date: April 15, 2021
  • Project start date: May 30, 2021


We welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Please submit inquires related to this funding announcement to: Kelly Matthews Deal, MPH Assistant Director, Research, Duke Global Health Institute: Kelly.deal@duke.edu

Apply for FHI’s Fall 2021 Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program

Book Manuscript Workshop.

Deadline: March 23, 2021


The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program provides support for the development and completion of scholarly monographs. It provides a structure for generating constructive, informed criticism on near-final book manuscripts, at a moment in the writing process when authors can most effectively utilize feedback. The aim of the program is to transform already excellent scholarly projects into superior published works.

The FHI introduced the Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program in 2008 and developed it with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2011 to 2015. In recognition of the support that the program provides for faculty research, it is now funded by the Provost as part of the university’s academic strategic plan, Together Duke.

The Book MS Workshop award includes funding as well as logistical support. (Note that it does not include fellowship or course-release funding.)


All regular rank faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, regardless of seniority, are eligible to apply, but Assistant Professors will receive priority consideration. We are also interested in translations, collaborative projects, and innovative major publications in a variety of formats and platforms.

Timing and Leave

Junior faculty are strongly advised to apply for the workshop in advance of their junior leave. While the award does not include funding for additional leave, the FHI commits to assisting workshop recipients who plan to apply for additional leave in order to support the final revisions of their manuscripts.

When applying, applicants should consider carefully their anticipated writing schedule.  The FHI will work with each awardee to schedule their workshop, based on a realistic due date for a complete draft of the book manuscript, which will be sent to participants at least one month prior to the workshop date.

For digital or multi-modal projects, a workshop earlier in the research and writing process might be more useful; feel free to consult the FHI about timing at fhi@duke.edu.

Deadline to Apply

The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

Workshop Details

Each workshop convenes two senior scholars whose work is relevant to the subject of the book in question, an acquisitions editor from a major scholarly press, and a select group of local faculty from Duke and area universities.

The faculty member whose project is the focus of the workshop will select each participant. The FHI will handle all logistics related to the workshop, including sending formal invitations to workshop participants, making travel arrangements for external guests, scheduling the workshop, reserving a room, printing and distributing manuscripts to workshop participants, providing catered meals, and issuing honoraria. This allows faculty to focus on finishing their manuscripts in the months approaching the workshop.

The half-day workshop begins with presentations from the invited guests, each of whom will be asked to make a formal presentation of their thoughts on the strengths of the draft and areas for further development. The author responds, and an open discussion with the group follows, continuing over a working lunch.

Workshops are closed, and groups are limited to 15 total participants, selected by the author.

Note About COVID-19 Arrangements

Since Fall 2020, the workshops have taken place via Zoom; participants value the stimulating and substantive discussions, and authors find them rewarding. In Fall 2021, we hope to resume in-person workshops if health and safety guidelines allow; nevertheless, please note that travel may still be restricted for health or budgetary reasons, and non-local guests will probably continue to participate virtually.  If you have questions about workshop arrangements during these unprecedented times, please contact Sylvia Miller at the email below.

Proposal Requirements and Selection Criteria

Proposals should focus on scholarly manuscripts being produced with the aim to secure a publishing contract.  One workshop per year may be dedicated to digital or multi-modal projects.

Authors and their projects will be selected based on the potential significance of the finished work to the field in question, and the potential impact of the work on the author’s career. The applicant’s academic accomplishments will also be taken into account.  Workshop proposals must include the following components:

  1. A one-page summary of the project in development, including a schedule for completion. In this summary, applicants should also include a statement indicating whether the work is under contract with a publisher, a list of publishers who have expressed interest, or a list of publishers the applicant feels would be ideal for the project but who have not yet been approached.
  2. A one-page narrative explaining why and how this opportunity will be important to the process of completing the work. If appropriate, applicants should include a brief statement specifying their tenure and/or promotion timelines in this narrative.
  3. A list of prospective invitees to the workshop, to include: (1) two scholars external to Duke; (2) one acquisitions editor at a major scholarly press (not necessarily an editor who has been approached); and (3) a list of general invitees to the workshops from Duke and area universities. The list may include no more than 15 people, and should be divided into areas of relevance, with each prospective participant in each area ranked according to preference. Please note that this list is intended to give the review committee a sense of the proposed workshop and will not be considered final. Applicants should not make advance commitments to anyone on their list beyond confirming the general interest of the prospective participant, if this is deemed necessary. Applicants should be sure to include more than one scholar in each category.
  4. A current curriculum vitae.
  5. A firm date for completion of the book manuscript.
  6. Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 via email attachment (Word and PDF) to fhi@duke.edu. Please include the phrase “Book MS Workshop Proposal” in the subject line.
  7. Applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been successful approximately six weeks from the submission deadline.


Email fhi@duke.edu or sylvia.miller@duke.edu.


Calling All Innovators: Apply for Seed Grants from the Duke Incubation Fund

Incubation Fund.

Deadline: April 23, 2021

I. Purpose

The Duke Incubation Fund (the “Fund”) supports idea-stage projects at Duke University. The Fund makes a number of awards each year to teams and companies to support novel ideas, applied research, potential products, nascent services, and creative projects that, if successful, will lead to new opportunities in the market.  To receive funding, projects must demonstrate a potential path to subsequent financial support, new company formation, licensing, partnering, or other channels to enable translation.

The Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, which administers the Fund, is interested in innovative projects that could lead to new products or services that will have a positive impact on society, including:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility of an idea or innovation for a commercial or social venture
  • Developing a working software or device prototype
  • Obtaining supporting evidence or proof-of-concept for new ideas
  • Developing new applications or markets for a technology under development
  • Creative projects that might lead to professionally produced content

Applications are welcome from all fields of inquiry.  At least one member of any team must be employed at  Duke in a faculty or staff capacity (including graduate students and postdoctoral researchers). Projects with a high likelihood of commercialization  and/or with existing Duke intellectual property or potential to generate new Duke intellectual property are highly encouraged to apply. Proposals submitted by undergraduates as the primary applicant will not be considered.

Awards will be contingent on the innovator or company representative entering into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with Duke.

II. Key Dates

  • Application Submission Deadline*: Friday, April 23, 2021, 5:00 p.m. EST
  • Final Selection and Notices of Award: mid- to late May, 2021
  • Funding Period: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

*Award Cycles will typically occur twice per year (Fall & Spring).

III. Eligibility

  • Proposals may be submitted by Duke faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), graduate students, staff (including postdoctoral researchers), and medical residents and fellows with approval of the appropriate mentor or unit coordinator.
  • Proposals submitted by undergraduates as the primary applicant will not be considered, though undergraduates may be a part of a project team for a proposal submitted by an eligible primary applicant as outlined above.
  • Individuals may submit more than one proposal, but are only eligible to receive one award per cycle. Promising projects that are not selected will be encouraged to reapply.

IV. Funding

Each award will consist of up to $40,000 (direct costs only). Preference will be given to applications with high potential for significant advancement. Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation. For projects without a company, one team member must establish a dedicated, project-specific cost object (WBS Fund) within their department to accept award.  No funds can be distributed directly to individuals.

Funding will be in the form a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with Duke (see FAQ for SAFE details). Proceeds from the sales of the equity obtained through these agreements will be used to finance future awards. Note: This award is internally funded and does not need to be routed through the Duke Office of Research Administration (ORA).

VI. Application Procedure

The Duke Incubation Fund Award uses the MyResearchProposal online application software to submit applications.

  • To apply visit http://bit.ly/myresearchproposal, click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account). Proposals must be submitted under the Principal Investigator’s name.
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is available – Please review this document.
  • Enter Access Code I&E then select the “Duke Incubation Fund Spring 2021” funding opportunity and follow the instructions.
  • For any questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact Anita Grissom or Kara McKelvey at myresearchproposal@duke.edu

Applicants will enter general project information via the web-based form:

  1. Project Title, Brief Description, and Amount Requested
  2. Primary Contact Name, Department/Company, phone, email
  3. General Project Information: Applicants will be asked to answer general questions regarding the project (e.g. type of business, relationship to Duke, stage of development, ongoing sources of funding).
  4. Intellectual Property (IP) Status (Character Limit: 500; list submitted Invention Disclosure Forms (IDF), pending patent applications, issued patents, copyright, trademarks, and intent to file patent applications or maintain trade secrecy; if no anticipated IP, indicate “none”)
  5. Compliance Plan as appropriate for adhering to IRB, IACUC, privacy, and confidentiality standards (Character Limit: 500)

Some proposal sections will be uploaded as individual PDF files. The application sections are:

  1. Intellectual Property: Summarize intellectual property, including any know-how, invention disclosure numbers, patent filings, copyrighted material, etc.
  2. Budget: Upload a one-year spending plan including a brief budget justification using the I&E Budget Form.
  3. Team Experience: Include a resume or NIH Biosketches for each key member of the research team (as a single PDF). Each individual resume may not exceed 5 pages.
  4. Project Description: The Project Description should include: Idea, Background, Justification, Problem-Being-Solved, Preliminary/Supporting Data, Methods, Quarterly Milestones to be achieved during the year, and a plan for follow-on funding (5-Page limit, including tables and figures; and shorter applications are welcome). References do not count toward the 5-page limit; single spacing, font no smaller than Arial 11 and margins greater than 0.5”. The follow-on funding plan may include  plans to apply for other sources of non-dilutive funding such as federal or foundation grants, internal funding, equity raises, licensing, selling product, or strategic partnerships.

VII. Budget Guidelines

Any requested funds should directly support the progress of the Incubation Fund project.

Grant funds may be budgeted for:

  • Salary support for the PI or collaborators; research support personnel
  • Research supplies and core lab costs, and
  • Travel and other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project

Grant funds may not be budgeted for:

  • Company G&A, legal, or IP expenses
  • Capital equipment, overhead, or
  • Student tuition and fees

VIII. Terms of the Award

  1. Approvals Required Prior to Funding Start Date: Prior to receiving funds, research involving human subjects must have appropriate approvals from the Duke IRB. If the research includes animals, the appropriate IACUC animal research forms must also be approved before the project’s start date. Failure to submit documents in the requested timeframe may result in cancellation of funding.
  2. SAFE Agreement: Prior to receiving funds, applicants must complete a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with Duke.
  3. Project Execution: Investigators agree to work in collaboration with Duke I&E and report the findings of their work at six months and twelve months. Duke I&E may terminate and reallocate residual funds for any team failing to submit required written reports in a timely manner. Proposed aims of funded projects may be changed, added or deleted during the funding period, pending Investigator and Duke I&E review and agreement. Any awardee who leaves his or her position should contact Duke I&E to discuss future plans for the project.
  4. Post-Award Reporting. When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates that they achieved as a result of the award. Awardees will contact Duke I&E when an equity financing triggers conversion of the SAFE to equity.

Contact Information

For additional information on this funding opportunity, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact Andrew Lerner.

Learn more and apply.

Duke Units, Send Us Your Ideas for Hosting PhD Summer Interns


Deadline: February 19, 2021


During Summer 2021, the Provost’s Office will support professional development opportunities for current Duke PhD students who do not have summer funding. Units that would like to host such an opportunity may submit a proposal by February 19, 2021. Proposals will be accepted in Formstack (https://dukeinterdisc.formstack.com/forms/phd_internships_duke).

We are seeking PhD student internships opportunities that align with Together Duke and will provide PhD students with research experience connected to their intellectual trajectory. Examples from last year:

  • A Duke Forest student intern assessed emerging risks to the Forest.
  • Duke University Press hosted two student 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 a student intern assist with development of curricular materials for K-12 schools (learn more and see other examples).
RFP released 2/9/2021
RFP deadline for submission 2/19/2021 at 5:00 p.m.
Anticipated unit/program notification 2/28/2021
Anticipated application/selection period 3/4 – 4/21/2021
Internship start/end 5/24 – 8/20/2021

Restrictions and Parameters

  • These opportunities will only be open to current PhD students without summer funding.
  • Interested students will apply for posted opportunities through a central Duke portal, though the selection process and decision will rest with internship hosts.
  • Internships should have an expectation of 19.9 work hours/week between May 24 – August 20, leaving time for students to engage with their own research.
  • The earliest date an internship may start is May 24, 2021; the latest an internship may end is August 20, 2021.
  • The Provost’s Office will provide the same funding as TGS Summer Research Fellowships – $6,500 plus summer health fee and fringe, paid across June – August payroll. The school of any selected student will be responsible for the provision of summer tuition scholarships.


  • Proposals may be submitted by the head of a unit (dean, director, chair, etc.).
  • Preference will be given to units that can provide a 50% cost share on the stipend and fringes.

Selection Criteria and Review Process

Host units and supervisors are asked to plan and design a program of work in advance, with clear goals and deliverables, preferably detailed in the proposed job description. We encourage host units to plan on having regular interaction with interns and to include them in team meetings. The interns may wish to participate in an experiential learning reflection course (meeting once per month) offered through Duke Summer Session Terms I and II.

Scope and Duration

The proposed internship will take place between May 24 and August 20, 2021, and interns will receive a stipend of $6,500 as well as coverage of summer tuition and the summer health fee across June – August payroll cycles.

Proposal Requirements

The Provost’s Office uses Formstack to submit applications. To apply: https://dukeinterdisc.formstack.com/forms/phd_internships_duke

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • The number of PhD students you anticipate hosting as interns;
  • The start and end dates for the internship;
  • The name and contact information for your department/program business manager;
  • The name and contact information for the internship supervisor;
  • A brief plan (maximum one page) articulating the work plan – this will be used for the website listing;
  • A confirmation of cost share, if applicable.


For questions related to the online application and/or other logistical questions, please contact Amy Feistel, amy.feistel@duke.edu.

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

Kenan Institute for Ethics Seeks Faculty Research Projects with Community Partners

Call for faculty proposals.

Deadline: January 15, 2021

The Kenan Institute for Ethics strives to engage Durham with a reciprocity that respects the knowledge of both the university and the local community and aims to mobilize these ways of knowing to address real world problems. This kind of community-based research brings together diverse perspectives from residents, local leaders and the university and allows us to develop, share and apply knowledge to find innovative ways to tackle historically intractable problems. To further this work, the Kenan Institute for Ethics is seeking community-based research projects from Duke faculty.

Community-Based Research Program Guidelines

  • Available to faculty in partnership with a local community or neighborhood organizations in Durham. The representative from the community organization must be identified as a co-PI with a substantive role clearly described in the proposal.
  • Awards up to $20,000 for a one-year period with an option for renewal for a second year. Projects must begin before June 15, 2020. We expect to make 2 awards.
  • KIE is particularly interested in the projects that might address issues in education, policing, healthcare, or housing.

Proposal Instructions

  1. No more than 2-page proposals.
  2. Proposals should include:
    1. Project Description – A brief description of the area of research, rationale for approach and expected outcomes – Who will benefit from the research? How will they benefit?
    2. Collaboration – Provide a description of the project leadership and partnership (list of partners and roles, infrastructure for participation, history of the partnership), an outline of how partners will work together to complete the project, and potential plans for future collaboration.
    3. Budget
    4. Timeline
  3. Submit to kie@duke.edu by 5pm, January 15, 2021.


Please contact Ada Gregory with questions or to discuss further.

Franklin Humanities Institute Invites Proposals for Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops in Spring 2021

Book Manuscript Workshop.

Deadline: November 10, 2020

The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program provides support for the development and completion of scholarly monographs. It provides a structure for generating constructive, informed criticism on near-final book manuscripts, at a moment in the writing process when authors can most effectively utilize feedback. The aim of the program is to transform already excellent scholarly projects into superior published works.

The FHI introduced the Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program in 2008 and developed it with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2011 to 2015. In recognition of the support that the program provides for faculty research, it is now funded by the Provost as part of the university’s academic strategic plan, Together Duke.

The Book Manuscript Workshop award includes funding as well as logistical support. (Note that it does not include fellowship or course-release funding.)


All regular rank faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, regardless of seniority, are eligible to apply, but Assistant Professors will receive priority consideration. We are also interested in translations, collaborative projects, and innovative major publications in a variety of formats and platforms.

See the full RFP on the Franklin Humanities Institute’s website.