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 facultyadvancement@duke.edu 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: https://finance.duke.edu/procurement/procure/ap/policies/eicmatrix.

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 hal.matthews@duke.edu.

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 eve.duffy@duke.edu.

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: https://duke.zoom.us/j/97463590331.

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 (https://duke.zoom.us/j/97463590331) 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, mmo12@duke.edu, Bass Connections.

New Opportunity: Summer Course Development Grants

Summer course development grants.

Extended Deadline: March 1, 2022


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 (extended) 03/01/2022 at 5:00 p.m.
Recipients notified 03/11/2022
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: https://dukeinterdisc.formstack.com/forms/scdg_2022


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.

Explore Shared Interests Through Intellectual Community Planning Grants

Intellectual Community Planning Grants.

Deadline: November 15, 2021


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

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

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


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

Selection Criteria and Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

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

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

Proposal Requirements

The Provost’s Office uses Formstack to submit applications.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

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

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


RFP released


RFP deadline for submission


Anticipated grant recipients notification


Funds made available (or sooner upon request)


Funds to be expended by



For any questions regarding your proposal, please contact:

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


Who can apply?

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

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

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

Is this our only chance at submitting a project proposal?

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

Is there an optimal number of faculty for a proposal?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Propose a 2022-2023 Bass Connections Project by November 1

Request for proposals, Bass Connections projects.

Deadline: November 1, 2021

Bass Connections is now accepting proposals for 2022-2023 projects that engage faculty, undergraduates and graduate/professional students in the interdisciplinary exploration of complex societal challenges. Please see the project proposal guidelines. The deadline to propose a project is November 1 at 5:00 p.m.

Projects may be proposed in relation to one or more of the five, broad interdisciplinary themes of Bass Connections, or to Bass Connections Open – a channel that invites proposals that align with the model of Bass Connections but otherwise fall outside the parameters of the existing themes.

This year, we have a new theme, Race & Society, that will support interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students in their exploration of race-related issues. In 2022-2023, we also particularly encourage projects across all themes that display the range of ways in which different forms of art intersect with how we understand, convey and engage with societal challenges.

Themes include:

Bring Your Questions to Drop-in Office Hours

Interested faculty, particularly those who have never led a Bass Connections team, are encouraged to contact a Bass Connections theme leader or Laura Howes, director of Bass Connections. Faculty can also discuss potential ideas or ask questions during our drop-in office hours (https://duke.zoom.us/j/96763627470):

  • Friday, September 10, 10:00-11:00
  • Friday, September 24, 10:00-11:00
  • Friday, October 8, 9:00-10:00
  • Friday, October 22, 11:00-12:00

Special Opportunities for 2022-2023

When completing a proposal, faculty may choose to take advantage of the following opportunities. Please note that applying for these opportunities will not increase your project budget, but rather may increase the likelihood that your project will be selected by allowing us to leverage funds designated for a specific purpose.

  • Joint proposals for a Bass Connections project and a Summer 2022 Data+ and/or Story+ project (You may propose a Data+ or Story+ summer project linked to a year-long Bass Connections project through the Bass Connections RFP. You do not need to complete a separate application for Data+/Story+. Please contact Paul Bendich or Gregory Herschlag with questions about Data+ and Amanda Starling Gould with questions about Story+.)
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Ethics
  • Arts
  • Humanities & Digital Humanities

Learn More

Pilot Your Research Project on Data Science in Global Health

Deadline: November 1, 2021

The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) invites interdisciplinary teams led by Duke faculty to submit research proposals in the area of data science and global health. Research and collaboration around data, machine learning and innovation are important to DGHI, the Duke School of Medicine, and Duke University. Through this RFP, DGHI seeks to provide pilot funds to stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations, with the goal of enabling investigators to leverage preliminary findings and data to obtain larger awards of external funding.

Eligible Applicants

Proposal teams require a Duke faculty PI and/or co-PI. Proposals that include collaborators throughout Duke and/or from other institutions are encouraged.


The budget may include: supplies, support for technicians, research assistants, and graduate students; research-related travel; and other justifiable and allowable research expenses. Faculty salary, travel to scientific meetings, and indirect costs are not allowable expenses. Applicants may apply for up to $25,000 for a 12-month project. Smaller proposals for shorter periods are also encouraged.


Kelly Deal

Learn more and apply: see the full request for proposals.

Propose a Faculty Working Group in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Deadline: September 24, 2021

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 and 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.