Duke Support for Interdisciplinary Graduate Networks (D-SIGN)

Duke Support for Interdisciplinary Graduate Networks (D-SIGN) fosters intellectual communities among graduate students from different disciplines.

Through this internal funding mechanism, graduate students are encouraged to explore beyond disciplinary lines, both in research and coursework. The goal of this grant competition is to enable graduate students to build or extend their networks and to integrate collaborative, cross-school experiences into their programs, thereby increasing the number of individuals whose graduate training reflects Duke’s commitment to interdisciplinarity and knowledge in the service of society. We believe such experiences will lead to better preparation and training, whether for academic positions or other career trajectories.

D-SIGN grants are available to graduate student groups to propose an interdisciplinary project, training or experience lasting up to a year. All current graduate students (including master’s, professional and PhD students) in any program at Duke University are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to proposals that include participation across schools and that include professional students as well as doctoral students.

Proposals require a lead faculty sponsor who would agree to mentor the group; an organizational sponsor (preferably a department, school or institute/initiative) willing to handle funds and provide logistical support; endorsement from an additional faculty member from a different discipline or school; a plan of work; and anticipated outcomes. Where appropriate, these activities should count toward curricular requirements.

Proposed projects or activities could include a year-long research team (e.g., on the Bass Connections model that incorporates undergraduates and engages with external partners such as community organizations); groups to explore a compelling theme or problem that cuts across disciplinary lines (e.g., a reading group, group independent study, dissertation writing group); a joint effort to construct an interdisciplinary course for undergraduates, etc.

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