Collaborative Project Expeditions: Create or Redesign an Undergraduate Course

Deadline: Rolling

Collaborative Project Expeditions provides support for doctoral students to work with a faculty sponsor to create or redesign an undergraduate course at Duke that integrates collaborative, project-based work as a central element of the course design. Participating students will receive a stipend of $1,500 and will be 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. We expect to fund two to four doctoral students per year. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

What Are Collaborative Projects?

Collaborative projects are learning experiences that require students to work in teams on a research question using the academic knowledge and skills concurrently being developed in the course. Collaborative projects strengthen students’ ability to apply classroom learning to interdisciplinary or disciplinary challenges and work effectively on teams, and should culminate in the creation of new knowledge, tangible works and/or creative or artistic products.

Collaborative projects can take a variety of shapes and may be adjusted to fit different courses, disciplines, levels and goals. Examples of collaborative projects deployed in other courses include having teams of students:

  • Examine a collection of archival materials to develop an interactive library exhibit and research guides to “open” the archive to new scholarship
  • Develop, test and iterate an open-source application to address an identified problem
  • Work with nonprofit clients to design program evaluation plans that meet each client’s needs
  • Partner with an NGO to develop a white paper on a current or emerging policy issue

For an example of how faculty and doctoral students might leverage the Collaborative Project Expeditions program, read reflections from Professor of Sociology Jen’nan Read and Ph.D. student Colin Birkhead, who redesigned SOC 250: Immigration and Health to integrate client-based collaborative projects.

How Does the Expedition Work?

Participating doctoral students will be expected to work 75 hours over the course of the term to develop their collaborative project. Depending on the objectives of the faculty sponsor and participating student, this time may include:

  • Consultations between the student and faculty sponsor
  • Development or modification of a course syllabus and project modules
  • Design of course materials and resources for student teams
  • Development of assessment rubrics
  • Outreach to project partners and relationship cultivation

Specific tasks that doctoral students might think through as part of the expedition would include how to:

  • Plan and scope collaborative projects
  • Structure class time
  • Design project plans, milestones and deliverables
  • Identify and cultivate relationships with internal and external project partners (if applicable)
  • Create and manage student teams
  • Manage collaborative student projects in remote learning environments
  • Design and/or connect students to relevant project resources
  • Assess student work (including teamwork)

In cases where a doctoral student is helping a faculty member redesign a course that already includes a collaborative project component, a narrower focus on a particular planning area may be more appropriate. For example, a student could focus her work on identification and outreach to external partners and relationship building, or resource creation for project scaffolding, or another element of project design entirely. Expectations for how a student spends his/her time will be dependent on what is most needed.

Students will participate in a brief virtual boot camp at the beginning of the program (depending on the number of students selected) and will have the option to “meet” as a cohort to brainstorm ideas and share experiences and lessons learned. Students will also be expected to write a short reflection on their experience for publication or for use in a professional portfolio or relevant job market materials related to pedagogy, teaching, teamwork/collaboration and/or project management.

Benefits for Doctoral Students

Through this opportunity, doctoral students will have the chance to practice course design, collaboration, project scoping and management, team building and leadership.

Ideally, this experience will enable doctoral students to:

  • Work collaboratively with faculty (and possibly staff and external partners) on course design, project management and team building
  • Think critically about course pedagogy and when to integrate collaborative projects into courses
  • Develop concrete learning objectives and clear course syllabi
  • Plan and scope applied research projects, especially with short timelines
  • Facilitate teamwork (e.g., build effective teams, develop and scaffold key resources, troubleshoot interpersonal/team issues)
  • Broaden their intellectual networks and build strategic external partnerships
  • Teach and mentor undergrads

Application and Selection

To apply, please email Meghan O’Neil ( a proposal including a:

  1. Description of the course that you will be helping to design/update, including an overarching vision for the collaborative project, how the project will be integrated into the course and how this project will enhance student learning in the course
  2. Plan detailing when you plan to complete this program (e.g., Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022) and the specific tasks that you will undertake to develop this idea over 75 hours
  3. Statement of support from the faculty sponsor that includes a clear articulation of the faculty member’s commitment to the course design plan and the objectives of the proposed expedition
  4. Brief description of your other sources of funding during the period in which you plan to complete this program. Please include opportunities that are confirmed or in process, as well as those for which you plan to apply. (Please confirm that any awarded fellowships during the same period allow supplemental work and compensation.)

Applications will be reviewed by Bass Connections. The strongest applications will be those which include: a strong commitment from the faculty sponsor, clear rationale for how a collaborative project is integral to the course’s learning objectives, well-articulated expectations for what the student will achieve in their 75 hours of work, and evidence of a strong working plan between the student and their faculty sponsor.

Eligibility and Funding Restrictions

Participating students are responsible for adhering to financial policies and restrictions (including restrictions on hours of work per week) set by grantors of any other fellowships or positions held during the funding period. Please note that some fellowships do not allow supplemental funding. Please see the Graduate School Supplementation Policy for more information. We also advise that students consult with their advisor and Director of Graduate Studies about how this opportunity would fit in their academic and funding plans for the proposed period of work.

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 (

  • 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

Manuscript Migration Lab Seeks Graduate Student Projects

Migration Lab logo.

Deadline: September 30, 2021

The Manuscript Migration Lab invites proposals for graduate student projects related to the theme “manuscript migration.” The Lab investigates the lives and afterlives of manuscripts-as-artifacts, with particular attention to the Rubenstein Library’s remarkable collections.

Graduate Affiliates are active participants in the broader work of the Lab, conducting independent research, participating in Lab-sponsored workshops, symposia, and consultations. Affiliates also meet regularly to discuss progress, goals, and challenges.

Selected proposals will receive $500 in research funding.

To Apply

Call for proposals.Using this application form, please send a 500-word description of your proposed project to Lab Directors J. Andrew Armacost, Jennifer Knust, and William Johnson, indicating the collection that will serve as the focus of your work and Affiliated Faculty with whom you would like to collaborate.

Recipients will be announced by October 8. Research Grants and Graduate Affiliate Status are renewable (by application) for the duration of the Lab.

Learn More

The lab is administered and funded by the Franklin Humanities Institute, with support from the Office of Global Affairs’ Mellon Global Studies Endowment. See the lab’s website.

Send TriCEM Your Evolutionary Medicine Research Proposal

Deadline: October 15, 2021

TriCEM is currently inviting proposals to support research on evolutionary perspectives on human, animal and plant health from graduate students at Duke and NC State.

The Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM) is a nonprofit institute exploring the intersection of evolutionary science and medicine. The center is jointly operated by Duke University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Graduate Student Awards are one-year awards for graduate students to pursue research in evolutionary medicine relevant to their graduate research. To be eligible, a student must be actively enrolled at Duke or NC State and have completed one semester of their graduate program by the time the funding commences. We expect the graduate student to lead and author aspects of the proposed research under the mentorship of their advisor. Awards will include additional funds to support an undergraduate research assistant on the project. To use these additional funds, we expect that the graduate student will participate in training on effective mentoring and play an active role in mentoring the undergraduate.

Proposed activities should focus on evolutionary medicine, broadly interpreted to involve research that uses evolutionary and ecological perspectives to understand health and disease in humans, animals, and plants. Previously funded graduate projects are provided at, with topics that include: the ecology and evolution of infectious disease; psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease; evolution of antimicrobial resistance; evolutionary perspectives in global health; evolution of aging; autoimmune disease and allergy; evolution and cancer; evolutionary perspectives on emerging plant diseases and food security; One Health and comparative medicine; and the genetic basis of disease.

Funds should be used for direct research expenses; tuition, fees, and stipends are not allowable expenses. Award amounts will vary depending on funding availability, up to $7,500. Additional funding for an undergraduate student will be available to successful awardees. These funds do not need to be accounted for in the Graduate Student Award budget.

Proposals are due on Friday, October 15, 2021 and should follow the below guidelines. New for this year, applicants can also opt to apply for the Steve Meshnick Travel Award; applications for this award are also due by October 15 and full guidelines can be found here.

Before You Apply

Please contact Dr. Meredith Spence Beaulieu if you have any questions about eligibility, proposal requirements, or other questions. Proposals will be evaluated in terms of both the scientific value of the project and the qualifications of the applicant. Note that TriCEM funds do not cover indirect costs or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals are short, not to exceed 3 single-spaced (12-pt type) pages, and include a brief budget justification and references. References can be in an abbreviated format (e.g., Science or Nature style). In addition to the 3 page proposal, please include the applicant’s current CV. The proposal and CV should be uploaded in a single PDF. Proposals exceeding 3 pages (not including CV) will be returned without review.

All proposals must also include a single letter of support from the applicant’s faculty advisor/PI. The letter of support will be submitted separately by the faculty advisor, but must also be received by the proposal deadline of October 15, 2021. Faculty letters of support should be emailed to Meredith Spence Beaulieu at in PDF format by the applicant’s advisor/PI.

Proposals should be organized as follows, all within the 3 page limit:

  1. Program Track (please see our key research areas)
  2. Title (80 characters max)
  3. Short Title (25 characters max)
  4. Name and contact information for applicant and their Advisor/PI
  5. Project Summary (250 words max)
  6. Public Summary (250 words max) – This should be written for the public and will be visible on the TriCEM website if funded.
  7. Introduction and Goals – A statement of the outstanding question in evolutionary science being addressed and a concise review of the concept and the literature to place the project in context.
  8. Proposed Activities – This should include a clear statement of specific outline of hypotheses, predictions, and methods (including planned statistical analyses), as well as any data (include citations or urls) and analytical tools that will be required for the project.
  9. Rationale for TriCEM support – Why can this activity be most effectively conducted through TriCEM? Please explicitly address the proposal’s relevance to evolutionary medicine.
  10. Proposed Timetable – Include start date (month and year) and periods for data collection, analysis, and report writing. For successful fall 2021 applicants, the funding period is expected to be January 1, 2022 through January 1, 2023.
  11. Outcomes – Proposals should include a clear statement about the expected outcomes, including anticipated research products.
  12. Budget justification – Proposals must include a brief budget justification with the total amount requested and a simplified breakdown of expenses.
  13. References – Literature cited in the text of the proposal should be included at the end, using the abbreviated reference style of a journal such as Science or Nature. References count toward the page limit, and should be included within the 3 allowable pages.

Proposal Submission

Proposals will be accepted in digital format only as a single PDF file, including CV, with the exception of letters of support submitted as described above. Graphics should be embedded directly into the proposal document. Proposals should be submitted via this form: For submission, please ensure that your document is named in the format “LastName_FirstName.pdf”.

Team Kenan Fellowships Engage Students in Ethics Beyond the Classroom

Deadline: September 15, 2021

Team Kenan is a part of the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ social and intellectual community, creating spaces for students, faculty, and Institute staff to think and talk about ethics outside of the classroom in fun and engaging ways.

Team Kenan serves as a complement to the Institute’s curricular offerings, giving students who are interested in ethics additional opportunities to chat, think, and challenge one another and the wider Duke community.

Team Kenan.The team, made up of a diverse cross-section of Duke students, engages the Duke community through “couching,” Kenan’s mobile living room. Team Kenan members invite students to sit and discuss selected topics related to ethics. Meant to inspire spontaneous, unplanned moments of connection, the TK Couch brings ethical inquiry (and comfy chairs) to Duke students wherever they might be.

In addition to couching, Team Kenan also plans and participates in other events in coordination with the staff at the Institute. Team Kenan members are expected to be part of the Kenan community, which involves becoming familiar with and participating in Kenan’s wider programming.

Members of Team Kenan will develop interviewing and surveying skills, learn methods for effective communication in conversation, writing, and design, work on personal and professional presentation, and take part in event planning.

Team Kenan participants will receive a $1000 honorarium per term. The renewal of the contract for the spring semester is not automatic; members will be invited to continue as fellows based on their December evaluations.

Fellowship Activities

  • Lead Team Kenan “couching” sessions throughout Duke’s campus
  • Develop interviewing and surveying skills, learn methods for effective communication in conversation, writing, and design, and take part in event planning
  • Plan, participate in, and serve as ambassadors for Kenan’s wider programming


$1,000 honorarium


Wednesday, September 15, 2021 (11:59 PM)


Learn more and submit the online application form.


Contact Michael Grigoni at

Collaborate With Local Communities Through GradEngage

Deadline: September 12, 2021

GradEngage is a fellowship opportunity for graduate and professional students to exercise their moral purpose through a collaboration with communities in North Carolina. GradEngage is offered through the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

The GradEngage fellowship offers graduate and professional students an opportunity to deepen a local community partnership and participate in reflective conversation with like-minded students at Duke. Based on Duke’s signature immersive civic engagement experience for undergraduates — DukeEngage — GradEngage seeks to make community collaboration integral to a well-lived life for all students at Duke.  This fellowship program provides financial support and creates space for graduate and professional students to find, hone, and put into practice their moral purpose(s) through their work with community partners.


  • $3,000 honorarium for projects of 120+ hours


  • Eligibility: Any graduate or professional school student may apply.
  • Time period: Projects must take place during the academic year (August 23, 2021 to April 30, 2022)
  • Partnership: Projects must be in partnership with a local, non-Duke organization or community.
  • Prior relationship: The applicant must have a clearly defined prior relationship with the organization or community.


  • Training: Two-hour orientation before starting the project (Week of October 4)
  • Time on project: 120+ hours
  • Monthly lunches: In person outdoors or virtual. Short readings or other materials may be assigned.
  • Written reflection: Six blog posts over the course of the project


Deadline: Sunday, September 12, 2021 (11:59PM)
Apply now


Contact Katherine Jo at Learn more.

Apply for a Graduate Fellowship with the Kenan Institute for Ethics

Kenan Graduate Fellowships.

Deadline: July 30, 2021

Each year, the Kenan Institute for Ethics awards between 10 and 15 fellowships to outstanding graduate students at Duke University.

Students from any Duke graduate program may apply. What each cohort of Graduate Fellows will have in common is that their dissertation research engages in interesting ways with significant normative issues. Some students, for example – from disciplines such as philosophy, political theory, or theology – focus directly on fundamental ethical or political concepts and theories. Other fellows, from the sciences and social sciences, try to understand phenomena that are relevant to major, and often controversial, public policy debates. Still others attempt to resolve debates in their areas of research that seem to be sustained by long-standing disagreements over both empirical claims and ethical or ideological commitments.

The aim of the ongoing discussions throughout the year, among the Fellows and KIE faculty members, is to enhance everyone’s ability to contribute to debates involving ethical issues, and to do so in ways that engage scholars and others within and outside of their own academic disciplines.

Ideal Graduate Fellow candidates will be in the third, fourth, or fifth year of their Ph.D. studies, finished all (or almost all) of their coursework requirements, but still developing new ideas and approaches for their dissertation research. Fellows each receive a stipend of $3,000 that supplements their current funding.

Graduate Fellows meet virtually for a Monday seminar about a dozen times across the Fall and Spring semesters. These seminars often feature visiting speakers and do not typically require preparation in advance. There are also two half-day workshops – one at the end of each term – in which Fellows showcase their own research.

To apply: e-mail the application, along with a copy of your CV, to with the subject line “Graduate Fellowship.”


For further information, email with “Graduate Fellowship question” in the subject heading.

Explore Immigration and Religion with a Graduate Fellowship

“Immigration and Religion II”

Deadline: July 31, 2021

Each year, Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics (KIE) funds a Graduate Student Working Group around a theme important to religion and public life. The program has made Immigration and Religion a focus of its current interests, and this year’s group will continue the work begun in 2020-21. Members of last year’s group are welcome to reapply but preference will be given to new applicants.

2021-22 Overview and Theme

The call is open to graduate and professional students wishing to take part in monthly interdisciplinary student-led seminars on “Immigration and Religion.” A wide variety of projects exploring this theme are welcome, including topics such as: Immigrant Religion, the Place of Religion in the Support of Displaced Communities, Religious Activists and Immigrant Rights, Religion in the Refugee Crisis, Migration and Theology, and Religion, Migration, and Identity.

Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics explores the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that make up the public sphere. It provides an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement. Funding for the graduate scholars also comes from generous support from the Duke Center for Jewish Studies (CJS), the Duke University Middle East Studies Center, and the Gerst Fund.


The graduate scholars will have the opportunity to develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship. Members take active part in the events of Religions and Public Life and commit to attending monthly meetings throughout the academic year. Graduate scholars will write a think-piece or blog post relating their research to contemporary issues, to be published on the Religions and Public Life website at the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Additionally, scholars will take part in an end-of-year research conference. Scholars receiving CJS or DUMESC funding are expected to participate in at least two CJS or DUMESC events, respectively, during the academic year.


Graduate scholars receive $1,250 for full participation. The sum is provided in two payments, one in November and one in April.

Application and Deadline

To apply, please submit the materials listed below to Gair McCullough by 11:59 on July 31, 2021, with the subject line: “Religions & Public Life Graduate Scholars.” Awards will be announced by August 15.

  • Curriculum vita
  • Project description (1-2 pages) describing how it connects to the theme of “Immigration and Religion.” Please include your topic and research objectives.
  • Research budget

For further information, email Gair McCullough with “RePLi Graduate Fellowship Question” in the subject heading.