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 (mmo12@duke.edu) 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.

Humanities Projects Invited for Summer 2022 Story+ Program

Story+.

Deadline: November 1, 2021

Faculty are encouraged to link a Story+ project proposal to a 2022-2023 Bass Connections project team. Those wishing to do so must submit a joint proposal through the Bass Connections RFP process.

About Story+

Story+ is a six-week summer program that immerses interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty and staff in humanities research and public storytelling. Story+ promotes inquiry-based learning and vertically integrated collaboration through projects that may be driven by archival research, oral history, textual analysis, visual analysis, cultural criticism or other humanistic research methods.

Small teams of undergraduates, supervised by graduate student mentors, collaborate on focused projects that contribute to the broader research, teaching, scholarly communications, and/or public engagement agendas of Duke faculty, Duke librarians, nonprofit organizations and other University or non-University project sponsors. Story+ final projects have taken the form of writing, exhibits, websites, annotated archives, short films/videos, podcasts, social media content and other genres.

A typical Story+ team consists of a project sponsor, a graduate student mentor and three undergraduate researchers. Project sponsors benefit from the opportunity to engage a team of students, who are provided with appropriate guidance and mentoring through Story+, in producing a tangible product that may further their work. Story+ undergraduate students learn how to conduct rigorous interpretive research in a team setting, connect academic knowledge to broader social issues and communicate their research stories with diverse audiences – within and outside the University – in a complex media environment. Graduate mentors get the distinctive pedagogical and professional opportunity to manage a complex collaborative project and facilitate the network of relationships that such projects entail.

Call for Proposals Story+ 2022

The Franklin Humanities Institute invites proposals from Duke faculty, archivists, artists and other campus and community members for the Summer 2022 edition of Story+. We anticipate we’ll gather again full-time, fully in-person for Story+ Summer 2022. In order to provide options for our diverse student population, though, we are interested in accommodating proposals for projects that are full-time and fully remote. Please indicate your preferred format in your proposals.

We seek projects of any topic that are anchored in humanities research methods and questions, with well-defined project goals that can be feasibly completed in six weeks. Outcomes of past Story+ teams have ranged from finished products (e.g., a completed curatorial plan a physical exhibit or a published research report), prototypes or pilot projects (e.g., a prototype online teaching module or a proof-of-concept audio podcast), as well as preliminary, exploratory research that contributes to a larger ongoing project (e.g., oral histories, translation, transcription or archival discovery).

We encourage proposals that build upon or towards course offerings, Humanities Labs, or Bass Connections teams during the regular school year. As possible points of reference, please see our Story+ website for descriptions and outcomes from previous teams. P.I.s or projects previously supported by Story+ are eligible to apply, but note that priority may be given, in these cases, to projects that demonstrate a significantly new direction or outcome. Individuals are strongly encouraged to consult with Amanda Starling Gould about interest and available opportunities.

Story+ is built upon the foundational values of care, inclusion, and community. Our primary objectives are to enable undergraduate and graduate students to participate in rigorous, hands-on humanities research, to facilitate collaborative and creative research transmission and to promote teamwork and interdisciplinary as humanities modes of work.

Our values also animate how we reach out for partnerships across Duke and beyond Duke, in the projects we solicit and select, in the ways we recruit and support students, and in our common programming throughout the summer. We understand that our work is done with and within a privileged institution of higher education that has a historically complicated relationship with research subjects, objectification and positivism. To generate humanistic research means paying attention to how structures and systems influence the collection of evidence, methods of analysis and communication of results and to our particular identities and contexts as researchers.

This embrace of situated knowledge does not require that Story+ projects adhere to certain topics, modes of work; or presentation practices; it does however, require a self-awareness about the choices any particular project makes from subject matter, to methodology, to communication with the public, to divisions of labor and supervisory authority. As such, we ask all potential and participating partners to consider how, following our Story+ Code of Conduct, they and their projects will contribute to a research community where inclusion, consensus and reciprocity are at the heart of practice and communication.

Project sponsors should plan to be accessible to their teams on at least a weekly basis and are expected to be regularly available to collaborate with their full team. The most successful and highly ranked of our projects are those with dedicated sponsors and clearly articulated goals. All project leaders will be asked to oblige the Story+ Policies and Expectations for Story+ Team Leaders and the Story+ Code of Conduct included therein.

Please submit proposals via Qualtrics by November 1 at 5:00 p.m.

The application form will ask for the following components:

  • Brief description of the overall project. This year, we are inviting proposals for full-time, fully in-person and fully online projects. Please indicate your preferred format in your proposals.
  • Description of the specific project goal(s) and output(s) you hope to accomplish through Story+. Please include here a basic timeline (approximately May 11 to June 24), project milestones, expected outcome(s) and how/why this work is important to your research/your unit/your organization.
  • Description of how your project aligns with the mission and goals of Story+ to offer a rich humanities research and public storytelling experience for graduates and undergraduates
  • Workplan: this is optional but ideal. This might include a sketch of methods, methodologies, weekly schedule, opportunities for students, campus/community partners who might collaborate, post-Story+ afterlives of the research.
  • List of essential skills undergraduates will need to contribute to the project
  • Do you have a graduate student in mind for the role of your graduate mentor? If you would like us to help match you with a mentor, please list essential skills you would like this person to have.
  • Any funding from external sources or other Duke units that can support the work of the team

For queries about the program and/or to discuss specific project ideas, please email Amanda Starling Gould.

Story+ is co-directed by Amanda Starling Gould and Jules Odendahl-James. Story+ is funded by Together Duke and administered by the Franklin Humanities Institute in conjunction with Bass Connections, with additional support from the Duke Libraries.

Download a PDF of this call for proposals.

Learn More

Faculty, Send Us Your Ideas for Summer 2022 Data+ Projects

Data+.

Deadline: November 1, 2021

Data+ is a ten-week summer research experience for undergraduates interested in exploring data-driven approaches to interdisciplinary challenges.

Students join small teams and work alongside other teams in a communal environment learning how to marshal, analyze and visualize data, while gaining broad exposure to the field of data science. There are typically around 25-30 Data+ teams. We hope to be in-person this summer. If so, all teams will have dedicated workspace in Gross Hall, provided by the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke (iiD), the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) and the Energy Initiative. The last two summers we have successfully run Data+ as a remote/hybrid experience, and we are prepared to do so if this is required.

Data+ is offered through the Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke (iiD) and is part of the Bass Connections Information, Society & Culture theme. In 2022, the program will run from May 31-August 5. During this time, students are required to contribute to the team full-time and may not take classes or have other employment.

Request for Proposals

Rhodes iiD invites proposals for faculty-sponsored Data+ projects in Summer 2021. The deadline for submitting an application is November 1 by 5:00 p.m.

We are especially interested in proposals that involve a partner from outside the academy or a faculty member from a different discipline. We also encourage proposals that involve previously untested ideas or unanalyzed datasets, and we hope that the Data+ team can make a contribution with important proof-of-principle work that may lead to more substantial faculty work and/or connections in the future. We also welcome proposals that will lead to the undergraduates creating tools that might be used in the classroom or facilitate community engagement with data and data-driven questions. Finally, we are including a special segment within Data+ 2022 called Climate+ for projects connecting data science to issues around climate change.

Faculty may propose a Data+ project linked to a year-long Bass Connections project through the Bass Connections proposal process. Your proposal should articulate how you will connect the summer research experience with the year-long project. Please note that funding decisions will be made by each program individually, so it is possible that your proposal may be accepted for only Data+ or only Bass Connections. Please contact Laura Howes if you want to discuss how other faculty have linked these experiences in the past. Specific questions about Data+ should be directed to Paul Bendich or Gregory Herschlag.

Data+ Application Format

To apply, please prepare a document (three pages maximum) that responds to the following prompts, ideally in this order:

Name of project: Please use a short name that succinctly describes the nature of the project and is not overly technical. If your project is selected for Data+, this title will be used for the project web page and project listings, and we may ask you to shorten it later for that purpose.

Summary: Please write a project summary, including the basic ideas behind the proposal.

Faculty leads: Data+ is especially interested in projects that connect faculty from different disciplines, as well as projects that enable faculty to branch out in new directions. Please describe the intended faculty leads and the expected benefits from their participation.

Mentoring: Day-to-day faculty involvement in Data+ is not expected. Instead, each Data+ project has a mentor, usually a graduate student or postdoc, who is on hand to give the student team more focused guidance. The time commitment tends to be five to seven hours per week, and funding is generally available to cover the mentor’s time.

If you have a mentor in mind, please indicate who this is and why they are well suited. If you do not have a mentor in mind, please describe the skills you would like this person to have (we are generally able to find faculty-mentor matches).

Goals: Describe the intended goals and products of the project, in the following manner:

  • Describe entirely reachable goals that you fully expect the students to achieve: these could be answers to a question, explorations of a hypothesis or other things of that nature.
  • Describe a tangible product the students will create in the course of their research, which ideally will be of use both to future researchers at the university and to the students as something they can show off to future employers or graduate schools. This could be, for example, a good piece of well-commented software, a visualization device or a detailed curation of previously raw data.
  • Describe a more outrageous goal that you would be quite (pleasantly!) surprised to see the students achieve, along with a plan for them to build a potential roadmap toward that goal. For example, this goal might only be reachable if you had data that you currently do not have, and the students might build a speculative roadmap toward acquiring that data.

Data: Most Data+ projects involve analysis of datasets. Some of these are publicly available, and some are not. As it is essential that students be able to analyze the needed data for the project, we are very interested in plans to ensure that this will happen. Please address this in the following manner:

  • For each dataset that will be analyzed by the student team, please give a high-level description of the dataset (what’s in it, how was it collected and for which purpose, how large is it, etc.).
  • For each dataset, indicate whether you anticipate IRB approval will be needed for student access, and if not, why not. If IRB approval will be needed, indicate whether a protocol already exists and describe your plan for incorporating the student involvement. If it does not already exist, please describe your plan (including a timeline) for obtaining one.
  • For each dataset, indicate whether it is owned and/or is being provided by an outside party. If so, please describe the intended path toward ensuring that students will be granted the ability to access the dataset (we are often able to assist in crafting Data Use Agreements with outside parties, for example).

Outside partners: Some of the best Data+ projects have had a partner from outside the university. This might be someone who is invested in the data or the questions, and to whom the students will in essence deliver analysis and insight. Ideally, this partner will be able to come to Gross Hall two or three times during the summer to hear updates from the students and provide feedback.

For each such partner, please describe their expected interest in the project, how much they would interact with the team, whether or not they’d be able to contribute funds towards student stipends, and also identify a point of contact for this partner.

Funding: Please indicate if you or some other entity, including an outside partner, would be able to contribute funds towards the student stipends on your team.

Special Call for Climate+ Projects

This year, we are seeking to host four to five Data+ projects that are thematically focused on climate change. These projects will form “Climate+”. Climate+ is aligned with Duke University’s commitment to advancing interdisciplinary understanding of the causes and societal impacts of climate change as well as potential solutions for long-term sustainability including climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Climate+ takes a wide-angle view of relevant topics that extends well-beyond climate science stretching across disciplinary boundaries including (but not limited to) such areas as:

  • Climate and inequality (jobs, justice and economy)
  • Climate and health (lungs, heat and pollution)
  • Climate and oceans (fisheries, hurricanes and coasts)
  • Climate and biodiversity (forests, species and ecosystems)
  • Climate and energy (systems, resources and policy)

All projects must meet all Data+ requirements to be considered.

Project fit: Not sure if your project fits the Climate+ theme? If your project is thematically close, but you are not quite sure if it’s an exact fit, don’t hesitate to submit it as a potential Climate+ project. Projects that are submitted as prospective Climate+ projects but are not deemed to be thematically aligned during the review process will receive consideration as a prospective Data+ project.

Benefits to proposers: Compelling projects focused in this thematic area will receive preferential consideration.

Benefits to students: Climate+ students will be part of a subcohort of thematically related projects that will engage regularly, in addition to the wider Data+ content, with climate, environment, and energy researchers and practitioners.

How to be considered for Climate+: Projects proposing in this thematic area should note this on the top of their proposal. Data+ projects that fit topically as Climate+ may be considered for either program.

Deadline and Contact

The deadline for submitting this application is November 1 by 5:00 p.m. Please email your completed application to Ariel Dawn. If you would like help in developing your proposal, please contact Paul Bendich or Gregory Herschlag.

Please note that you may propose a Data+ summer project linked to a year-long Bass Connections project through the Bass Connections RFP (due November 1 by 5:00 p.m.) If you are proposing joint Data+ and Bass Connections projects, you only need to complete the Bass Connections RFP; you do not need to complete a separate application for Data+.

Learn More

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

Design a Collaborative Project for a Duke Undergraduate Course

Collaborative Project Expeditions.

Deadline: April 16, 2021 (priority)

The Bass Connections program offers Collaborative Project Expeditions, which 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.

While we will consider applications on a rolling basis, the priority deadline for applicants proposing a Summer 2021 expedition is Friday, April 16 at 5:00 p.m.

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 (with the caveat that no one student could do all of these tasks) 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 (mmo12@duke.edu) 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., Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 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 her 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.

Contact

Meghan O’Neil, Bass Connections (mmo12@duke.edu)

Propose a Project for the Bass Connections Student Research Award

Student Research Award.

Deadline: March 5, 2021

Opportunity

Bass Connections creates opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to work alongside faculty to explore societal challenges through interdisciplinary research teams. The Bass Connections Student Research Award provides funds of up to $3,000 (for one to two students) or $5,000 (for groups of more than two students) to support student-directed research projects that meet one of the following parameters:

  1. Undergraduate and graduate students who have completed (or are completing) a Bass Connections year-long project team or summer program may propose to continue some aspect of the team’s work through a faculty-mentored research experience. Such research experiences may be either individual or collaborative although collaborative projects are preferred.
  1. Students who have participated in Bass Connections may also propose a research project that is not related to their Bass Connections experience so long as the proposed project is collaborative (i.e., involving at least two students) and interdisciplinary in nature.
  1. Undergraduate and graduate students who have not yet participated in Bass Connections may also apply so long as the proposed project is collaborative (i.e., involving at least two students) and interdisciplinary in nature.

Special restrictions due to COVID-19: While we aspire to support applied, student-driven research projects, the health and safety of students and the community are our top priority. For Summer 2021, we anticipated that students will be able to conduct on-campus research and live in on-campus housing. Duke-sponsored domestic and international travel will not be allowed in Summer 2021. Local fieldwork will continue to be subject to approval. Students may propose projects involving domestic or international travel in Fall 2021 or Spring 2022, but students should understand that any travel is subject to change in accordance with university policy.

When submitting a proposal, you should carefully consider whether the proposed research will be feasible under the current circumstances, and address in the proposal how you might adapt your research plan if aspects of the project are not feasible due to COVID-19 restrictions. If the proposed research involves in-person contact or fieldwork, the proposal should address how the team will adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • All projects must have a faculty mentor.
  • Projects must involve research.
  • Projects must occur within the next year (from May 2020 to May 2021).
  • Students must be active students during the time of the proposed research (i.e., graduating students are not eligible).
  • Students who have previously received a Bass Connections research award may not apply again.

For examples, view previous awardees from 2020 and 2019.

Proposal Criteria

Proposals should be no longer than five pages and should be submitted as a single document using this online form. Proposals are due Friday, March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET and should include:

  • Abstract: Provide a brief summary of the project and the issue it will address (1-2 paragraphs, no more than 200 words).
  • Research plan: A brief narrative that articulates: 1) the goals of the research; and 2) a plan of how the research will be conducted, including a timeline for key activities.
  • Connection to Bass Connections: If this research follows directly from a Bass Connections team experience, please articulate this connection. For projects that are not connected to a Bass Connections team experience, please explain how the proposed project aligns with the Bass Connections model (team-based, interdisciplinary research around societal challenges), and the origins of the proposed work (e.g., inspired by an experience in a particular course, DukeEngage, Study Away, Duke Immerse, a humanities lab, an extra-curricular experience).
  • Team composition: List all students who will be involved in the research and any external partners.
  • Student development: For each student involved, explain how this project fits within their overall academic and professional plan.
  • COVID-19 contingencies: Please address any risks to your project plan based on evolving COVID-19 restrictions and how you might adapt the project as needed. If you are proposing research involving contact outside of the Duke community, please address how you will ensure that university COVID-19 protocols are followed.
  • Budget: Submit a budget plan (up to $3,000 total for projects involving one to two students or up to $5,000 total for projects involving more than two students) and timeline for the use of funds. Please list all other sources and amounts of support for the research project, both confirmed and anticipated/applied for (if applicable).

The following expenses are not allowable:

  • Students may not pay themselves for time spent conducting this research. This award is intended to cover material costs to enable you to accomplish your research goals.
  • Funds may not be used to purchase specific equipment costing more than $1,000 (e.g., computers, cameras).
  • Funds may not be used to cover personal living expenses at a permanent resident. Funds may only be used to cover temporary living expenses to conduct field research (which can include Durham during the summer only).

Allowable expenses might include: transcription services, local ground transportation, attendance at a conference to present your research (although note that this should not be the entirety of your proposal), travel expenses for field research (when COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted), minor equipment such as recording devices for interviews, lab tests and materials, minor software not already offered by Duke, minor payments to research participants, subscriptions to surveying/data management tools, printing/publication expenses and books/training to support your research.

Please note that neither of these lists are all-inclusive, but rather are intended to help you consider common, allowable expenses.

  • Faculty endorsement: Submit a letter or e-mail of support from the faculty mentor (can be submitted as a separate attachment, if needed). This letter should articulate the faculty mentor’s willingness to supervise the project; why they feel the research is worthwhile; and any other relevant information about their connection to the proposer(s).

Review and Selection

We anticipate awarding funds to at least seven projects, with a preference for collaborative projects. Proposals will be reviewed by the Bass Connections Faculty Advisory Council and Bass Connections leadership. Decisions will be announced by March 31, 2021, and funds will be awarded as appropriate to the timing of the project.

As a condition of funding, awardees will be required to provide a 400-600 word reflection on their research experience, with photos, by no later than April 30, 2022. The Bass Connections program team may also check in with awardees during the year to request a short update.

Contact

Laura Howes, Director, Bass Connections; (919) 684-9021

Bass Connections Announces 2021-2022 Project Teams

2021-22 project teams.

Deadline: February 12, 2021

Duke students from all levels and schools are invited to check out the new Bass Connections project teams for 2021-2022.

The deadline for applications is February 12 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

A university-wide program, Bass Connections engages students in collaborative research on complex societal challenges, working alongside faculty from across Duke. Most project teams collaborate with partners outside Duke, including companies, nonprofits, universities, school systems, hospitals and government agencies. Many team members take their research further through grants, theses and other opportunities at Duke and beyond.

Project teams last for two semesters, and some include a summer component. Academic credit and summer funding are available.

Browse the 2021-2022 Project Teams by Theme

Each project team page contains a detailed project description, anticipated outputs, student opportunities, timelines and a list of team leaders.

Talk to Team Leaders at the Bass Connections Virtual Fair on January 29

Students of all levels are encouraged to register for the Bass Connections Virtual Fair on Friday, January 29. Teams participating in the fair will each be available for live Q&A and discussion during a one-hour block of time between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. EST and 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. EST. Please review the times and Zoom links for each team and register for the fair to receive the passcode to access each Zoom room.

Students can drop into a Zoom session at any time to talk with project team leaders, Bass Connections staff, representatives from the Story+ Summer Program and Directors of Academic Engagement.

Students are also encouraged to view the short video overviews posted to the Virtual Fair page. Videos will be posted as they become available, but we expect the majority of videos to be posted by January 23.

Create Your Own Path

Need some help planning your Bass Connections pathway? Undergraduates can seek guidance from Duke’s Directors of Academic Engagement, who offer individualized, hour-long advising appointments to guide students through the process of integrating Bass Connections into their academic plans.

Graduate students can access a number of resources to guide their pathways, and the professional schools offer tailored advising services to their students. Ph.D. students in the humanities can consult with Duke’s Director of Graduate Student Advising and Engagement in the Humanities.

Before You Apply

Take some time to learn how project teams work, review FAQs, explore the benefits of participation and browse stories from students about their Bass Connections experiences. Please note that students can apply for up to three project teams.

Learn More

Duke Ph.D. Students Find Unexpected Benefits in an Unusual Summer

Six students share insights from their 2020 Provost’s Summer Fellowships
Amanda Rossillo.
“This experience looks great on a resume and it’s very fulfilling to apply your narrow research topic to something outside of academia,” said Amanda Rossillo, pictured in her lab.

When COVID hit last spring, many graduate students had to give up their summer plans for teaching, field research and internships. The Provost’s Office quickly pledged support, and Vice Provost Ed Balleisen spearheaded the effort to identify virtual opportunities.

Experiential fellowships with eight host organizations and research assistantships with more than 20 Duke units provided summer funding and career development for all 59 Ph.D. students in need. Every student who responded to Duke’s end-of-summer evaluation would recommend this kind of internship experience to other Ph.D. students.

Kim Bourne.
Kim Bourne chose a part-time fellowship, which she said was “a great way to gain experience in an area outside of my dissertation without hindering my progress.”

Kim Bourne (Civil & Environmental Engineering) got off to a strong start with Duke’s Bass Connections program. “It was incredibly helpful that my host gave me a list of goals at the beginning,” said Bourne, who developed resources for remote and in-person learning. “This experience helped me explore an area I am interested in professionally and is a great addition to my resume as I apply for jobs.”

Zach Levine (Cultural Anthropology) worked on syllabus design and modules for Durham Tech instructor Tom Magrinat’s psychology courses. “It’s very divergent from my dissertation,” said Levine, “but over time I’ve seen how helpful it is to think about other means of storytelling. It’s refreshed the importance for me of moving between different types of genre and tone.”

Four ingredients for natural selection.
A slide from a presentation Amanda Rossillo created for a lesson plan on evolution

Amanda Rossillo (Evolutionary Anthropology) benefited from constructive feedback as she worked with the Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine to create a lesson plan on evolution for teachers in North Carolina. “Working with Dr. Meredith Beaulieu as my mentor was an amazing experience,” Rossillo said. “Not only did she help me shape the content of my lesson plan, but more importantly, through this experience I became aware of one of my shortcomings, and my mentor helped me realize that and guided me in the right direction to work on improving.”

Khari Johnson.
Khari Johnson

Khari Johnson (Biomedical Engineering) spent his summer with RTI International to assess how misinformation affects people’s receptivity to health initiatives. Looking back, Johnson highlighted the value of collaborative research. “For me, the biggest takeaway was that you can always find [people with] similar passions in the place you least expected it, and building on those collaborations can be very fruitful.”

Also at RTI, Mavzuna Turaeva (Public Policy and Economics) conducted data analysis, coding and researching for the International Education division. “I think the most useful element [of the fellowship] was exposure to nonacademic literature,” Turaeva reflected. “It turns out there is a huge body of research conducted by economists with Ph.D.s who work in nonacademic institutions, and I don’t think we get enough exposure to that literature during our program.”

Brooks Frederickson.
Brooks Frederickson is currently working on a project for Duke Symphony Orchestra using some of the skills he honed over the summer.

Brooks Frederickson (Music Composition) helped Sō Percussion host its first virtual summer institute for college-aged percussionists and composers. Having developed and delivered an online curriculum, Frederickson said the experience “helped me to gain knowledge of tools and procedures that I immediately put into practice as a Tech TA for the Music Department this semester.” Frederickson thanked Duke “for stepping up in a major way to ensure that the graduate students had opportunities this summer. This internship was a huge lifeline for me.”

Deepening a Partnership with Durham Tech

Eight external organizations (American Historical Association, Durham Tech, Modern Language Association, Museum of Durham History, National Humanities Alliance, National Humanities Center, RTI International, Society for Biblical Literature) served as summer fellowship hosts. Three students worked with Durham Tech faculty, extending a partnership between Duke and the community college.

Through a Humanities Unbounded pilot program begun in 2019, Durham Tech faculty and Duke Ph.D. students team up over the summer to develop new pedagogical modules for courses at the community college. In the fall, the Ph.D. students help implement the projects.

In the first cohort, Lisa Blair of Durham Tech worked with Patricia Bass (Art, Art History & Visual Studies) to incorporate more Francophone African literature and culture. Marina DelVecchio partnered with Maggie McDowell (English) to redesign courses on American women’s studies and literature.

The 2020 Durham Tech/Duke pairings were Janel Thompson and Pratistha Bhattarai (Literature), Jason Moldoff and Caoimhe Harlock (English), and Tom Magrinat and Zach Levine (Cultural Anthropology).

By Sarah Dwyer, Duke Interdisciplinary Studies