Ten Groups of Faculty Receive Intellectual Community Planning Grants for 2020

Campus in winter.

The Provost’s Office has awarded Intellectual Community Planning Grants to ten groups for the 2020 calendar year.

A key goal of Together Duke is to invest in faculty as scholars and leaders of the university’s intellectual communities. To foster collaboration around new and emerging areas of interest, Intellectual Community Planning Grants (ICPG) ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 are available to groups of faculty. Recipients can use the funds to support the exploration of new collaborations, covering the cost of meeting venues, food, external speakers or other meeting costs, and research to identify potential collaborators at Duke and elsewhere.

The 2020 grants include faculty from all of Duke’s schools as well as the University of North Carolina, NC State University, and NC Central University.

Bridging Social Determinants of Health with Clinical Extensions of Care for Vulnerable Populations

Bridging team members.

This group will establish a partnership between Duke’s Clinical Translational Science Institute and the Social Science Research Institute in order to develop a portfolio of scholarly activity that tackles the interplay of social determinants of health, clinical health outcomes, and the advancement of health equity. Members will develop a compilation of resources to facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative research and take advantage of short-term synergies that allow for additional coauthored publications. They will also develop research proposals to design and test one or more interventions.

Developing a Neuroethics and Theological Studies Network

Developing Neuroethics team members.

What can theological studies contribute to neuroethics, and vice versa? How can the engagement of theological studies with neuroethics best be facilitated? How can further interdisciplinary collaboration at Duke shape such dialogue? This group seeks to foster and expand the work of an emerging international cohort of scholars working at the intersection of theological studies and neuroethics.

Duke SciReg Center: Science in Regulation, Law, and Public Policy

Duke SciReg ICPG members.

Bringing together Duke faculty and students from STEM disciplines, law, and policy, this group will seek to facilitate the provision of timely comments from Duke experts to state and federal agencies on pending regulations that implicate scientific and technical issues. Following a series of conversations and planning events, members hope to establish a center at Duke that would create a unique model for interdisciplinary education in science, law, and policy through actual participation in the regulatory process.

Entity Resolution with Applications to Public Policy and Business

Entity Resolutions ICPG members.

This collaboration will enable the formation of a multidisciplinary lab of social scientists, public policy analysts, business scholars, mathematicians and statisticians who seek to understand the practical issues related to entity resolution (ER)—the processes of removing duplicates from large databases and engaging in accurate record linkage across databases. There will be regular meetings of the member research groups to explore applications of ER tasks in public policy and business; one Ph.D. student will work on a project to implement members’ developed tools into software for public distribution and a working paper.

Housing and Health: A Multisector Community-driven Approach to Achieving Health Equity

Housing ICPG members.

Combining a community engagement process with interdisciplinary expertise, these faculty hope to address social, economic, and environmental influencers of health, with the eventual goal of transforming Durham into a healthier place for its most vulnerable residents. Members will participate in an interactive, facilitated pre-planning meeting and four design-thinking workshops with community partners, followed by a post-workshop debrief and a meeting to determine next steps and future directions.

Human Rights Futures

Human Rights ICPG members.

This community of human rights scholars plans will discuss a new temporal framing for human rights: one that remains aware of past grievances and the need for reparations, but that places such awareness in the service of a sustainable and desirable future. Involving graduate and undergraduate students, the group will explore a number of ideas for how this multiyear project might come to life. Following several working lunches, the group plans to launch a “speculative fiction book club,” host a guest speaker, and convene a day-long workshop.

  • Lead: James Chappel, History, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Kathi Weeks, Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Robin Kirk, Cultural Anthropology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Adam Rosenblatt, International Comparative Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Liliana Paredes, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Marion Quirici, Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jen Ansley, Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Emily Stewart, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute

Light-based Methods in Neuroscience and Biology

Light-based ICPG members.

This group aims to cross-pollinate ideas among neuroscientists, engineers, and data scientists. Each meeting focus on related questions requiring interdisciplinary engagement (e.g., How can we use light-based methods, such as scanless holography, adaptive optics, computational optics approaches, and genetically encoded activity sensors and actuators such as bacterial opsins, to investigate neural function?) Members will share information about resources for addressing these questions and communicate across Duke to strengthen imaging infrastructure.

North Carolina Saltwater Intrusion and Sea Level Rise

NC Saltwater ICPG members.

Predicting the impacts of sea level rise and the accompanying saltwater intrusion on freshwater coastal wetlands is a complex challenge. While the formation of “ghost forests”—the rapid death of trees due to salt stress—is gaining attention, our understanding remains fragmented. This group will convene a one-day workshop to develop an overarching research framework, with the goals of then pooling resources, sharing data, and submitting joint grant proposals.

Opioid Detection Technologies and Their Application to Addressing Various Aspects of the Opioid Crisis

Opioid ICPG members.

How can novel detection technologies be brought to bear on the opioid crisis? Members of this group will explore that question by undertaking two parallel activity streams: monthly collaboration meetings to share information; and acquisition of initial compound signatures on two fundamental detection technologies (X-ray diffraction and mass spectrometry). These faculty will pursue increased cross-disciplinary understanding of the opioid crisis and its detection needs; a baseline signature library of relevant compounds to support future analysis and design; and one or more joint proposals on topics related to detection and the opioid crisis.

Transformative Learning: A Shared Intellectual Interest across the University

Transformative Learning ICPG members.

This group’s primary goal is to identify transformative learning moments among Duke students. Members will meet monthly to develop a shared knowledge of transformative learning practices and assessment. They will host a dinner with Dr. Stacey Johnson of Vanderbilt University, a renowned expert in transformative learning in language education, convene two campus-wide discussions, and invite a nationally recognized speaker to give a public talk. The group will create a shared toolkit of assessment tools for transformative learning and develop conference proposals and a publication to showcase this work.

  • Co-lead: Cori Crane, Germanic Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Co-lead: Deb Reisinger, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Co-lead: Joan Clifford, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jennifer Ahern-Dodson, Thompson Writing Program, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Alessandra Dinin, Office of Assessment, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jennifer Hill, Office of Assessment, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • David Malone, Program in Education, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Liliana Paredes, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Melissa Simmermeyer, Romance Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Read about the 2019 recipients of Intellectual Community Planning Grants and view the 2018 summary report.

See all initiatives in the Together Duke academic strategic plan, including the current RFP for Collaboratories for Research on Immigration or on Science, Technology & Ethics (deadline: January 24, 2020; to learn more, attend an information session on Thursday, January 9, from 3:00 to 4:00 in the Karl E. Zener Auditorium, 130 Sociology-Psychology).

Inaugural Duke STEAM Forum Brings Together the Sciences, Arts, and Humanities

STEAM participants.

By the STEAM at Duke Team

If you were in the Ruby on September 18, you caught a glimpse of the beginning of something big.

The inaugural Duke STEAM Forum was designed to give visibility and voice to those who are passionate about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) at Duke. The forum was put forward by the team behind an Intellectual Community Planning Grant devoted to bringing together the sciences, arts and humanities at Duke, made available through the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. We lovingly call ourselves the Duke STEAM Team.

By providing space for collaborative brainstorming, highlighting speakers who lead incredible STEAM initiatives, and learning lessons from an expert who brings STEAM into his work and his classroom, the afternoon was full of energetic chatter revealing the value of STEAM, our goals, ideas to foster its growth, and knowledge of where we need to provide support to bring this all to fruition.

The first STEAM forum filled the Ruby lounge with about 50 attendees featuring participants from Duke Gardens, the Nasher, Duke Forest, OIT, the Co-lab, Duke Libraries, and so much more. There was also a mix of undergraduates, graduate and professional students, postdocs, faculty, and staff. This shows just how STEAM@Duke cuts across many dimensions of our learning, our service, and our scholarship at every level.

We kicked off the event with opening remarks from Jory Weintraub, the director of science communication for the Initiative for Science & Society. He made the case for why STEAM is important and why we are poised to make strides with STEAM here at Duke. Then he turned over the reins to Ariana Eily, who facilitated the afternoon sessions. We dove into a brainstorm to get our ideas flowing for what we want to do with STEAM and what we need to do it—all recorded on the wall with sticky notes. This was followed by vignettes of STEAM initiatives taking place at Duke and more dialogue about existing projects, including The Art of a Scientist, The Enviro-Art Gallery, the SLIPPAGE Lab, the Calla Campaign, THE_OPER&, and HEAR at Duke.

In having this collection of STEAM-minded folks in one room for the first time, we wanted to give them as much time to interact and talk to each other as we could. Sharing ideas, resources, questions, and more to put some energy behind STEAM at Duke.

To close, Vice Provost for the Arts Scott Lindroth delivered a wonderful address capturing the spirit of STEAM and its ability to change the world.

In bringing together the arts and the sciences, we learn so much more about the world and human experiences in it. We can paint a more complete, more compelling, and more authentic picture of our world.

The STEAM forum is just the first in a wave of STEAM-centric things coming from the Duke STEAM Team. We are conducting a survey to get a sense of our thoughts on STEAM, gathering a list of STEAM resources, compiling a report on STEAM at Duke which will be out soon, and developing a website to be home to STEAM all across Duke’s campus. Collectively, we’re a team of a postdoc, an MA student, an undergraduate who is working with the CAST program, and faculty from different departments. We look forward to seeing the way STEAM grows at Duke!

Originally posted on the Duke Arts website


  • Read about the 2019 recipients of Intellectual Community Planning Grants.
  • See all current initiatives in the Together Duke academic strategic plan.

Seed Funding Spotlight: Five Current Opportunities for Duke Faculty

Faculty and students.

Duke University faculty members can apply for any of these opportunities with deadlines between October 15 and November 4.

Faculty Fellowships for Collaborative Project Courses

Deadline: October 15, 2019

Duke Learning Innovation, in partnership with Bass Connections, is launching a Faculty Fellows program to support faculty interested in designing (or re-designing) courses that are collaborative and project-based. Participants will receive $5,000 and guidance from pedagogy experts, as well as the opportunity to collaborate on course (re)design with a group of faculty from across campus.

Intellectual Community Planning Grants

Deadline: October 18, 2019

The Provost’s Office is offering support to 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 2020 calendar year.

Faculty Teaching/Research Enhancement Grants

Deadline: October 31, 2019

The Provost’s Office is offering support to faculty to acquire skills, knowledge, or experiences outside of or beyond their main discipline or to underwrite a trip to scope out a new direction for research. Funds awarded will most likely fall within the range of $2,000 to $5,000.

Special Call for Proposals Related to Immigration

Deadline: October 28, 2019

Bass Connections is accepting proposals for new projects addressing research related to immigration. Project funding ranges from $5,000 to $25,000. This special call for proposals does not take the place of the normal Bass Connections RFP process; see below.

Bass Connections 2020-2021 Projects

Deadline: November 4, 2019

Bass Connections is accepting proposals for 2020-2021 projects that engage faculty, undergraduates and graduate/professional students in the interdisciplinary exploration of complex societal challenges. Faculty may apply for between $5,000 and $25,000 for a year-long project. When completing a proposal, faculty can take advantage of special opportunities in the following areas:

  • Joint proposal for a year-long Bass Connections project and a Summer 2020 Story+ or Data+ project
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Energy access
  • Ethics
  • Arts
  • Humanities.

Please see additional funding opportunities for faculty and postdocs and for students. For a more comprehensive search, visit Duke’s research funding database for all open opportunities.

Intellectual Community Planning Grants Offer Support for Faculty Collaborations

ICPG.

 Deadline: October 18, 2019

Overview

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 2020 calendar year. Recipients can use funds to cover the cost of food, meeting venue, external speakers or other meeting costs, and/or exploratory research (as by an RA) into potential collaborators at Duke, UNC, NC State, NCCU, RTI, etc.

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

Eligibility

  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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 dinner meetings, larger quarterly meetings, workshops. Meetings should be designed to facilitate potential collaboration.
  • 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:

  • 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);
  • a proposed budget;
  • 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 Carolyn Mackman, carolyn.mackman@duke.edu);
  • a listing of the organizing core faculty group with 2-page CVs for each.

To apply, visit dukeinterdisc.formstack.com/forms/icpg_fall2019.

Timeline

RFP released 09/04/2019
RFP deadline for submission 10/18/2019
Grant recipients notified 11/22/2019
Funds made available* (or sooner upon request) 01/06/2020

* Funds to be expended by 12/31/2020

Contact

For any questions regarding your proposal, please contact: Carolyn Mackman – Manager, Strategic Projects – at carolyn.mackman@duke.edu

FAQ

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

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

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 plan to have RFP requests again in 2020.

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 food, meeting venue, external speakers or other meeting costs, and/or exploratory research (as by an RA) into potential collaborators at Duke, UNC, NC State, NCCU, RTI, etc.

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, a Bass Connections project team proposal, a research project, a major collaborative research grant, etc.

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 are a newer opportunity that provides support to groups of faculty working on more established projects that seek to provide tangible solutions to targeted problems in specified thematic areas.

Duke Faculty Advance Shared Interests with Intellectual Community Planning Grants

ICPG 2018 grantees.

Background

Together Duke, the university’s 2017 academic strategic plan, outlines four goals that will bring new distinction to Duke over the next decade. One of these goals is to invest in the Duke faculty as scholars and leaders of the university’s intellectual communities.

Intellectual Community Planning Grants (ICPG) are among the resources available to faculty who are interested in convening a group of colleagues to begin or test a new collaboration around a shared intellectual interest.

ICPG can be used to cover the cost of food, meeting venue, external speakers or other meeting costs, and/or exploratory research (as by an RA) into potential collaborators at Duke and elsewhere. Groups can pursue their common interests in any of a variety of venues, such as during small monthly dinner meetings, larger quarterly meetings, or workshops.

For the 2018 calendar year, a September 2017 request for proposals invited all Duke faculty, from any discipline, to propose and form a new collaborative group around disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or multidisciplinary themes. Groups of at least five participating faculty were eligible to apply.

2018 Grantees

Eight groups received 2018 Intellectual Community Planning Grants. Faculty came from Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, Divinity School, School of Law, School of Medicine, Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy, Franklin Humanities Institute, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Duke Initiative for Science & Society. The average award was $4,738.

GroupKey Activities and AccomplishmentsFaculty Members
The Calla Project: An Art-based Initiative to Change the Narrative of Shame and Invisibility Associated with Cervical CancerTwo art education workshops at Rubenstein Arts Center facilitated by local artists; qualitative studies to understand women’s thoughts, experiences, and associations with their reproductive health; workshop on human-centered design for women’s health technologies at Triangle Global Health Annual Conference; continuation of work through Calla CampaignLead: Nimmi Ramanujam, Pratt–Biomedical Engineering

Wesley Hogan, Franklin Humanities Institute; Megan Huchko, Medicine–Obstetrics & Gynecology; Deborah Jenson, Trinity–Romance Studies; Gita Suneja, Medicine–Radiation Oncology
DEVNet (Duke Extracellular Vesicle Network)Meetings to discuss research directions, understand resources and expertise, and plan activities in pursuit of funding; discussions about partnerships with funding agencies, leading to successful prospectus and full proposal; graduate student attendance at conferences to understand opportunities at the intersections of fields; large group symposium to generate shared research questions and substantive text for NSF proposalLeads: Christine Hendren and Claudia Gunsch, Pratt–Civil & Environmental Engineering

James Andrew Alspaugh and Meta Kuehn, Medicine–Molecular Genetics & Microbiology; Rytas Vilgalys, Trinity–Biology; Mark R. Wiesner, Pratt–Civil & Environmental Engineering
Duke Cancer Institute Prostate Multi-parametric MRI and Targeted Biopsy Working GroupConversations leading to better understanding of each discipline’s strengths and limitations; monthly meetings; pathology report protocol that facilitates correlation between ex vivo whole-mount path reports and in vivo ultrasound and MR imaging data; progress toward building 3-D printed model of each man’s prostate that would allow group to section images (mpMRI and ARFI) in same planes as pathology for improved correlation; conference presentations involving ARFI+MRI data and ARFI prostate data; continuation of work through meetings and projectsLead: Thomas J. Polascik, Medicine–Surgery

Rajan T. Gupta, Medicine–Radiology; Jiaoti Huang, Medicine–Pathology; Kathy Nightingale and Mark L. Palmeri, Pratt–Biomedical Engineering
Duke Center on RiskFour faculty and student gatherings called Risk Watering Holes; two public lectures by external speakers (Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon and Jean-Francois Mercure of Cambridge); three discussion events; funding for two graduate students to assist in presenting at American Statistical Association’s Section on Risk Analysis and at Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting; further development of series of Bass Connections teams; continuation of work will occur through new university-wide research, teaching, and engagement program with three-year budget from Science & Society InitiativeLead: Mark Borsuk, Pratt–Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Jonathan Wiener, Law

Lori Bennear, Nicholas School; Nita Farahany, Law; Tyler Felgenhauer and Christine Hendren, Pratt–Civil & Environmental Engineering; Michael “Buz” Waitzkin, Science & Society
Environmental and Economic Justice in Rural AmericaConversations on environmental and economic justice in rural America; strengthened collaboration between Duke Human Rights Center at FHI, Nicholas School, and Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (ACRE); two events with external speakers (Ryan Emmanuel of NC State and Peter Hotez of Baylor, who also took part in two working dinners with faculty and students); trips to campus for Catherine Flowers of ACRELeads: Erika Weinthal and Betsy Albright, Nicholas School

Wesley Hogan, Franklin Humanities Institute; Kay Jowers, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions; Megan Mullin and Liz Shapiro-Garza, Nicholas School; David Schaad, Pratt–Civil & Environmental Engineering; Chris Timmins, Trinity–Economics; Norman Wirzba, Divinity
Governing the Oceans for Nutrition and Food SecurityAdditional co-funding; strategic partnership with Environmental Defense Fund through case studies; strengthened collaboration between faculty at Duke’s Marine Lab and on main campus through a commentary paper on elevating the role of fish in global food policy; major grant application to Belmont ForumCoordinating center: World Food Policy Center, Sanford; Lead: Xavier Basurto, Nicholas School

Lisa Campbell, Grant Murray, and Martin Smith, Nicholas School; Stephen Roady, Law; John Virdin, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Mindfulness across the DisciplinesSeries of four dinners each semester to discuss work, meet with visiting speakers, read current works; meetings on such topics as the nature of members’ research on mindfulness, how they used mindfulness in the classroom, and the nature of contemplative studies programs at Brown and UVA; expanded number of members; planning for half-day symposium on mindfulness in the academy (September 6)Lead: Richard Jaffe, Trinity–Religious Studies

Denise Comer, Trinity–Thompson Writing Program; Holly Rogers, Counseling & Psychological Services; Moria Smoski and Jeffrey Brantley, Medicine–Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Mark Leary, Trinity–Psychology & Neuroscience; Francesca Morfesis, Religious Life; Lesley Rink, Nursing; Thomas Szigethy, Wellness; Rebecca Vidra, Nicholas School
Race, Religion, and Volatile Political MovementsMonthly reading and discussion at lunch seminars; protocol and exemption from Duke IRB to conduct oral history interviews with political and community organizers in Durham and Raleigh; four interviews conducted; talk by Gerald TaylorLeads: Joseph Winters, Trinity–Religious Studies, and Amber Diaz Pearson, Kenan Institute for Ethics

Luke Bretherton, J. Kameron Carter, and Valerie Cooper, Divinity; James Chappel and Adriane Lentz-Smith, Trinity–History

Selected Examples

The Calla Project

Workshop participants.Invasive cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer in developing countries and the seventh in developed countries. Current screening relies on the bivalve speculum, which many women resist because of anxiety, fear, discomfort, pain, embarrassment, and/or vulnerability during the procedure. To address this limitation, Duke’s Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies developed the Callascope, an alternative to the standard speculum.

This faculty group believes that the Callascope can also be instrumental in creating an artistic platform for the cervix. Through the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies, the group created an art-based initiative to begin the process of changing the narrative of shame and invisibility, educating women on their reproductive anatomy, and empowering them to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

Using the grant, the group planned two unique art education workshops, free and open to the public, in the Rubenstein Arts Center. Both workshops were facilitated by local artists.

For Endogenous Zones, Saba Taj walked participants through a mindfulness exercise about their inner reproductive anatomy. She then taught everyone the parts of the anatomy while guiding them through a multimedia creative project to express their feelings about this part of the body. For the Playful Vaginas workshop, Meg Stein taught participants about myths or false hygiene methods that have been perpetuated. She then guided everyone through the process of sculpting the outer reproductive anatomy with clay and leftover feminine hygiene products.

Workshop flyer.Both workshops helped participants think about the associations they have regarding their reproductive health, in ways that helped them reflect on and also feel more comfortable discussing this part of their body. One first-year student talked about how uncomfortable the topic of the workshop made her feel at first and how the process of sculpting her outer reproductive anatomy made her feel more comfortable and realize it is not a shameful thing to discuss.

This grant also helped to fund further qualitative studies to understand women’s thoughts, experiences, and associations with their reproductive health, in order to better design art education interventions in the. Additionally, it funded the Calla Project team’s attendance at the Triangle Global Health Annual Conference, where they were able to learn more about women’s health and present another artistic workshop about human-centered design for women’s health technologies.

The group will further this work through the Calla Campaign. The campaign comprises a multimedia art exhibition, educational arts workshops, and a documentary film inspired by the potential that new visualizations of the cervix brings to one’s body’s well-being. Through these self-visualizations, the Calla Campaign is aimed at creating a new space for cisgender women, trans men, and nonbinary people who have been marginalized in the medical context.

DEVNet

Sticky notes on whiteboard.This working group focused on understanding and harnessing the nature and role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) in controlling intercellular communication and effects. DEVNet members met multiple times to discuss research directions, understand respective resources and expertise, and plan activities in pursuit of funding. The group included expertise in nanoscale fate and transport, colloid chemistry, environmental microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, soil science, mycology, biogeochemistry, data science, infectious diseases, and integration and implementation science (I2S).

DEVNet also worked to draw in partnerships with funding agencies. This work included discussions between Christine Ogilvie Hendren and NSF program officers in the area of convergence, resulting in an invitation for a prospectus submittal for a RAISE (Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering) proposal on the topic of interkingdom communication. The team pulled together a successful prospectus, and was invited to submit a full proposal.

Doctoral student Nicholas Rogers selected his dissertation topic as a result of DEVNet activities. With DEVNet and leveraged funds, he attended the 2018 and 2019 International Society of EVs conferences; 10th International Water and Health Seminar, Gordon Research Conference for EVs; and International Conference on the Environmental Effects of Nanoparticles and Nanomaterials.

Rogers.From the funding from my PI, my department, and DEVNet, I was able to attend a variety of conferences in the last year, focusing on topics ranging from EVs to nanomaterials to water/health. In all of these conferences, I was able to discuss DEVNet’s ideas with experts in multiple fields and draw on their experiences. I expanded my network at all of these conferences and was able to ask very specific questions about methods to my colleagues. At the Gordon Research Conference in particular, I connected with a research group from UNC, who have since become my primary collaborator for the isolation and purification of EVs from cell culture media. At all of these meetings, there were no other research groups that were even remotely close to working on topics related to those proposed in DEVNet. This was extremely encouraging to me, to have found a niche of highly interdisciplinary research that has been unexplored yet but also is highly intriguing to multiple different fields of research. These experiences and connections would not have been possible without the funding of the DEVNet community!

—Nicholas Rogers, Ph.D. student in Civil & Environmental Engineering

Duke Center on Risk

Through the Intellectual Community Planning Grant, faculty members confirmed that there is a wide array of risk-related research and teaching already happening at Duke across multiple disciplines and within most schools. At the same time, they were surprised that many people who attended the group’s events did not know each other, leading to many interdisciplinary conversations. There has been a clear demand to continue building collaboration around risk research at Duke.

Risk event.

To that end, members of the group worked with the Science & Society Initiative to create the Duke Center on Risk. Directed by Mark Borsuk and Jonathan Wiener, the new Center has a three-year budget from Science & Society, which funds a half-time program ma­nager, website development, and future campus-wide events and activities. The overarching goal is to enhance synergies among researchers, educators, and practitioners with diverse perspectives on risk while also sparking new initiatives that enhance Duke’s already significant scholarship on this topic.

By coordinating outreach, engagement, and networking with external partners, the Center will expand Duke’s ability to obtain extramural funding in this growing field as well as to inform decision-makers about better ways to address risk. A launch event in Fall 2019 will include a prominent keynote speaker, faculty panel discussion, and student hack-a-thon.

Race, Religion, and Volatile Political Movements

Through monthly reading and discussion, this group began exploring questions including: How has religion/spirituality shaped and informed contemporary movements against racial injustice? How does gender factor into contemporary freedom struggles and our understanding of historic movements? Is there still a space within new movements for adherents of older spiritualities and more traditional patterns of belief? How do historical legacies of segregation in major Christian denominations have lingering social and religious effects, and how might they be addressed?

As an outgrowth of these monthly group lunch seminars, members developed a protocol and received exemption from the Duke IRB to conduct oral history interviews with political and community organizers in Durham and Raleigh. Two research assistants trained in ethnographic interviewing methods conducted oral history interviews with four individuals engaged in community organizing work linked with racial justice issues.

Gerald Taylor.Following up on the stories and concerns shared in the oral history interviews, the group invited Gerald Taylor, former regional director for the Industrial Areas Foundation in the Southeast, to speak on campus about his community organizing work. Held on June 11, this conversation brought together 30 participants, including faculty and students from multiple Duke departments, Religious Life organizations, and the Duke Faculty Union, along with members of local faith communities, schools, and nonprofits.

The faculty reading group plans to resume meeting regularly during the 2019-2020 academic year. The group has been a way for members to begin to bridge methodological differences across disciplines, and it will allow the group to cultivate a research program that builds on the strengths and research interests of all members. Patrick Smith (Divinity School) will join in Fall 2019. The group plans to reach out to other faculty and continue looking for ways to contribute to the Durham community.

Looking Ahead: Overview of 2019 Grantees

Eight faculty groups received Intellectual Community Planning Grants for the 2019 calendar year.

GroupFaculty Lead(s)
Big Data and Social InteractionsJillian Grennan, Fuqua
Building Duke’s Community of Theoretical Chemists via a Summer Undergraduate Research ProgramDavid Beratan, Trinity–Chemistry
Exploring STEAM (Science, Arts, and Humanities) at DukeMisha Angrist, Social Science Research Institute, Initiative for Science & Society; and Jory Weintraub, Science & Society
Health as an Ecosystem: Expanding Our Imaginations of HealthJohn Moses and Jennifer Lawson, Medicine–Pediatrics
Launching a Triangle-Wide Seminar in the Economics of EducationSarah Komisarow, Sanford
Marine Medicine: Multidisciplinary Research at the Nexus of the Environment and Human HealthAndrew Read, Nicholas
Parasite-Host Evolution Network Optimization (PHENO) Working GroupJames Moody, Trinity–Sociology
Social Studies of Science Working GroupHarris Solomon, Trinity–Cultural Anthropology

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Download this report as a PDF. For more information, please visit the Intellectual Community Planning Grants page on our website or contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies (216 Allen Building, 919-684-1964, interdisciplinary@duke.edu).

Janet Prvu Bettger on Interdisciplinary Collaboration

I have found leading Bass Connections to be professionally transformational for me as an educator”

Veronica Sotelo Munoz, Jackie Xu, Sahil Sandhu, and Janet Prvu Bettger at Duke’s Global Health Showcase.
Veronica Sotelo Munoz, Jackie Xu, Sahil Sandhu, and Janet Prvu Bettger at Duke’s Global Health Showcase

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Janet Prvu Bettger is interested in what comes after a life-altering injury or illness, when a patient leaves the hospital and must learn to live with disability. She launched the Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation (GANDHI for short) to support innovative approaches that will help vulnerable people around the globe to gain functional independence and reintegrate into their communities after a devastating setback.

Bettger.This interdisciplinary project grew out of a 2015 Intellectual Community Planning Grant, when Bettger and her colleagues realized they “didn’t have the expertise in medicine and nursing alone to ask all of the right questions,” she said. They engaged additional faculty with different perspectives and brought students on board through a multiyear Bass Connections project in 2016.

Recently she reflected on some of the impacts of her involvement in collaborative inquiry at Duke.


A Series of Grants

We designed GANDHI in year 1 to compare strategies and policies in different countries that support patients’ transitioning home from the hospital and promote recovery from injury and illness. Faculty advisors who met in an April 2016 meeting supported by the Intellectual Community Planning Grant identified the need to study adult and pediatric systems of care separately. This led to a graduate student proposal (D-SIGN) to lead research focused on pediatric care.

GANDHI logo.

Faculty advisors also identified related research at Duke. This led to a proposal that was funded by the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation to support a global showcase of health systems strengthening research.

GANDHI leadership quickly learned that there was very little work in low-income countries. The PIs for GANDHI year 1 [Catherine Staton and Bettger] applied to NIH for a grant to build capacity for transitional care in Tanzania to support recovery after traumatic injury. We were funded with a two-year R21.

We designed GANDHI in year 2 to focus on stroke systems of care in the Asia-Pacific region. Our students’ interest in the potential of digital health technology led to a proposal to the Provost’s office for funding to create a China-based mHealth@Duke conference.

Bettger (third from right) with students and colleagues at the mHealth@Duke conference in China.
Bettger (third from right) with students and colleagues at the mHealth@Duke conference in China

The event quickly grew to be bigger than expected with a three-campus collaboration (Duke in the U.S., China, and Singapore). Duke Kunshan University secured funding from the City of Kunshan and a nonprofit partner AccessHealth to launch an academic, industry, and public partnership for digital health.

group photo from the conference.
Group photo from the the mHealth@Duke conference in China

Expanding Networks

We planned year 1 to give the students exposure to care in different countries. Every week in the fall semester we had a different country partner join our group meeting by video conference to describe hospital-to-home care transitions in their country. We had nine active non-U.S. collaborators who subsequently supported a group manuscript, key informant interviews, and several opportunities for students.

Student opportunities from the GANDHI network included a Bass Connections follow-on project for that summer (Uganda), an independent study in the subsequent year (China), a global health master’s thesis and summer field work (Argentina), and project planning for year 2.

I personally have continued to collaborate with many of these global partners. I am now on the steering committee for clinical trials in China, Argentina, Brazil (and Peru), have funded research with partners in China, Singapore, and Tanzania, and co-led symposia at international conferences with collaborators in the Netherlands, Argentina, and China.

year 1 funding diagram.

We planned year 2 to expose students to stroke care in the U.S. and China. Partnerships for year 2 are depicted below. These supported the symposium, clinical observations, three research studies, and several opportunities for students. Other student outcomes from the year 2 GANDHI network included two DukeEngage awards, two travel scholarships for conference presentations (Sanford policy and undergraduate research), and summer research funding.

Meetings at Duke Kunshan led to subsequent Bass Connections proposals (GANDHI 3.0 and mHealth in Nepal) with new partnerships.

year 2 funding diagram.

A Transformational Experience

I have found leading Bass Connections to be professionally transformational for me as an educator.

First, working with students across schools and programs brought new meaning to interdisciplinary research. Second, I learned the importance of establishing “baseline” with all content and skills, and leveraging unique talents, experiences, and knowledge.

Finally, I am forever committed to engaging undergraduate students in clinical and population health research and having these and other early career trainees understand their value in team-based science.


See the Together Duke academic strategic plan, and learn more about Bass Connections and Intellectual Community Planning Grants.

Christine Ogilvie Hendren on Interdisciplinary Collaboration

“One of the main things that makes our project work well is the sustained, diverse faculty engagement”

Christine Hendren.

Christine Ogilvie Hendren is Assistant Research Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as Executive Director and Research Scientist at the Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT). Since 2017, she has led a Bass Connections project team, DECIPHER, whose members work to understand and evaluate complex public health and environmental risk scenarios. Moving from the story of fluorinated chemicals to case studies in drinking water quality, the team has assessed decision-making from the perspectives of scientists and engineers, healthcare providers, legal and regulatory agencies and members of the public, as well as economic and cultural stakeholders across fields and interests. Next year will bring a focus on the risks and benefits of geoengineering the climate.

Hendren is involved in other interdisciplinary collaborations across campus. She received two Intellectual Community Planning Grants in 2018—one to lead the Duke Extracellular Vesicle Network, (DEVNet) and another to take part in the Duke Project on Risk and Resilience. She is also providing assistance to the first cohort of Collaboratory grantees on best practices in collaborative research.

Below are excerpts from Hendren’s remarks at a Bass Connections orientation for new team leaders.


Creating a Team

Our idea for DECIPHER (which stands for Decisions on Complex Interdisciplinary Problems of Health and Environmental Risk) was to explore a topic – risk – that is typically only learned about from one perspective. Even if you think you’re being interdisciplinary about risk, you’re often only considering engineering and policy, and you might not be looking at the problem through other lenses that really should inform risk-based decision making, including key insights from the humanities.

Bass Connections DECIPHER team.In the first year (2017-2018), our case study was the story of refrigerants (CFCs), ozone depletion and climate change. When creating the team, we decided that we needed perspectives from technology, we needed policy makers and stakeholders, we needed to question what it even means to say something with certainty, and we needed to have people holistically look at a problem and dissect it without the benefit of hindsight. We needed people to be able to grasp the larger issues to describe the “why” behind problems, with the idea that an understanding of how previous decisions proliferated risks we would have liked to avoid can provide insight for better current and future decisions.

At first, we thought we were going to create kind of an analog to Harvard Business case studies and our approach would be holistic environmental decision case studies. We thought we could break these case studies down and then teach others how to teach them. Instead, our final product ended up being a very detailed infographic and more of a meta understanding of how to bring people to the point where they could have an appreciation for these other lenses. For us, success meant all the students knowing the nuts and bolts of how a decision happened, understanding there were a lot of human factors and learning what had to go into the decision-making process.

Promoting Diverse Faculty Engagement and Academic Humility

One of the main things that makes our particular project work well is the sustained, diverse faculty engagement. In our case, it’s a recurring project with mostly the same faculty, but it’s all new students each time.

For us, the repeated engagement of different faculty members has been really important to success, and it’s what our students reflect on the most. I see the appreciation in the students for the fact that an undergraduate elsewhere may not ever have a relationship with a professor, outside of receiving information in class.

What multiple people have told me is that they found it interesting that we have people from different fields like law and engineering and decision science, and all around, the students can hear professors saying things like, “Oh, I don’t know!” or calling each other out and saying, “That’s actually incorrect, you need the backstory.”

For all of us in academia, it’s very common and comfortable to do that, but it was a real learning moment about academic humility and how to work together to create an environment for the students where they could point this out. This trading of relevant expertise and vulnerable questioning between trusted colleagues is such an important part of knowledge co-creation, but it struck me that it appeared novel to some of our students and made me really think about why that is. My advice is that anything you can do to disrupt those normal power dynamics of the classroom will be helpful, whether that be going to dinner together, going to a house of a person on the team or just being openly humble about what you know and what you don’t know and how you’re creating.

For the second year (2018-2019), we structured the project’s outputs to maximize those types of experiences a little bit more. We let the students break up into subgroups and each got to create its own narrative of a drinking water case. We ran the first part of the year as a boot camp where we had different experts from all different kinds of fields come in and teach the students different skills and lessons, such as how to use statistical analysis, how to understand and track the history of water treatment technologies and how to conduct a documentary-style interview.

Encouraging Student Reflections and Comfort with Uncertainty

We learned over time that these types of engagement experiences work best if you require the students to write a reflection, even if it’s just a paragraph saying “What did I get out of this? How do I think it’ll go towards the eventual output?”

I wish I had known beforehand how important it would be to continually remind the students, particularly if you have an undergraduate heavy team, that this is not a course; it’s a research project. Students might ask us, “Is this what you wanted?” In this case though, that shouldn’t be the question. The question we have to ask [the student] is, “What do you want to do?” The feeling of not being sure you’re doing it right is the feeling of research. That feeling of uncertainty should be a teacher to the students that encourages them to ask for help or use their resources. We had said at the beginning that this is not a class, but a joint research project. Then we said it again later, but I wish we would have explicitly said it every single week and explained the implications.

The Importance of a Good Project Manager

Kathleen Burns.The other piece of advice I have is to find a project manager. We couldn’t have done any of this without our excellent project manager [Kathleen Burns, Ph.D. student in English], who has actually been with us both years and makes all of this possible. And, working on this team has really helped her formulate her dissertation topic, so it has advanced her academically, too. We elevated her to be a co-instructor now, because she really is doing the work at that level, contributing to the knowledge development, the pedagogy and serving as a touchstone for the student projects with a much higher degree of availability than the individual faculty leaders might be able to provide. I highly recommend investing a lot of your budget in a good project manager; it has made a fantastic difference.


Join this Bass Connections project team on April 16 for Coal Ash, Lead, and Aging Infrastructure: Stories of North Carolina Drinking Water at Motorco Music Hall in downtown Durham.

See all current initiatives in the Together Duke academic strategic plan, and learn more about Bass Connections and Intellectual Community Planning Grants.

Faculty to Pursue Collaborations through 2019 Intellectual Community Planning Grants

ICPG 2019.

A key goal of Together Duke is to invest in faculty as scholars and leaders of the university’s intellectual communities. To foster collaboration around new and emerging areas of interest, Intellectual Community Planning Grants (ICPG) are available to groups of faculty.

These grants cover the cost of food, meeting venues, external speakers or other meeting costs, and exploratory research into potential collaborators at Duke and elsewhere. The offices of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and the Executive Vice Provost oversee this seed grant program.

For the 2019 calendar year, eight groups received Intellectual Community Planning Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Big Data and Social Interactions

Big Data and Social Interactions faculty members.

This group will facilitate interactions among faculty who want to learn how technological advancements and big data can improve our understanding of the ways in which social norms and interactions affect individuals’ and firms’ behavior. The primary goal is to produce sustained interactions and research papers capable of being published in leading scholarly journals. A kick-off event will include a visiting speaker. Subsequent meetings will invite faculty to provide overviews of recent research and discuss new ideas; review colleagues’ early-stage research ideas; and share early work with a guest speaker who is a pioneer in the field.

  • Lead: Jillian Grennan, Fuqua School of Business
  • Chris Bail, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Ines Black, Fuqua School of Business, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Ofer Eldar, Law School, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Sarah Gaither, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Sharique Hasan, Fuqua School of Business, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Rachel Kranton, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • David Robinson, Fuqua School of Business, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Building Duke’s Community of Theoretical Chemists via a Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Building Duke’s Community of Theoretical Chemists via a Summer Undergraduate Research Program faculty members.

An emerging community of theoretical chemists at Duke is spread across schools and departments. This group has begun to organize a Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Theoretical Chemistry, which will help strengthen the pool of graduate student applicants from North America. The Intellectual Community Planning Grant will enable the participation of more faculty (those who could not fully fund a student on their own) and support team-building excursions. All faculty will present multiple seminars and mentor the summer undergraduate researchers.

  • Lead: David Beratan, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Medicine, Duke University Energy Initiative
  • Hashim Al-Hashimi, School of Medicine
  • Volker Blum, Pratt School of Engineering, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke University Energy Initiative
  • Patrick Charbonneau, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Stephen Craig, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke University Energy Initiative
  • Bruce Randall Donald, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Medicine, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology
  • Jianfeng Lu, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Michael Rubinstein, Pratt School of Engineering, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Warren S. Warren, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Medicine
  • Weitao Yang, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke University Energy Initiative

Exploring STEAM (Science, Arts, and Humanities) at Duke

Exploring STEAM at Duke members.

A working group of Duke faculty, staff, administrators, and students will explore overlapping and complementary interests in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and humanities (broadly referred to as STEAM), and promote more robust interdisciplinary research, coursework, and public engagement in this space, both within and beyond Duke. The group will organize a half-day forum to catalog and describe innovative STEAM activities occurring at Duke and spark new collaborations among faculty, students, staff, and administrators.

  • Lead: Misha Angrist, Social Science Research Institute, Duke Initiative for Science & Society, Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Co-lead: Jory Weintraub, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Project manager: Ariana Eily, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Nicolette Cagle, Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Aria Chernik, Social Science Research Institute, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Claudia Gunsch, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University Energy Initiative
  • Jules Odendahl-James, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Nimmi Ramanujam, Pratt School of Engineering, School of Medicine, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Initiative for Science & Society, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Nina Sherwood, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Medicine, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Kearsley Stewart, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Victoria Szabo, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Health as an Ecosystem: Expanding Our Imaginations of Health

Health as an Ecosystem faculty members.

In ecology, an ecosystem is a community of living organisms and their interactions with the abiotic environment. Dynamic and complex, they may flourish in settings of balance, diversity, and responsive resilience, or they may flounder in contexts of deficit and disruption. This group will apply the ecosystem concept to health and explore new perspectives on health systems, population health, well-being, and disease. During monthly meetings, members will consider a range of questions and engage in activities whose focus will encompass capstone projects, seminars, and future grant proposals.

  • Lead: John Moses, School of Medicine, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Co-lead: Jennifer Lawson, School of Medicine, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Charles Nunn, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Richard Di Giulio, Nicholas School of the Environment, Pratt School of Engineering
  • Alice Ammerman, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  • Eliana Perrin, School of Medicine
  • Eric Richardson, Pratt School of Engineering
  • Jan Holton, Divinity School
  • Brett McCarty, Divinity School
  • Bill Walker, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Peter English, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Gopal Sreenivasan, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Medicine, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Norman Wirzba, Divinity School, Nicholas School of the Environment
  • Jon Fjeld, Fuqua School of Business, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Ray Barfield, School of Medicine, Divinity School, School of Nursing, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Warren Kinghorn, School of Medicine, Divinity School, Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Launching a Triangle-Wide Seminar in the Economics of Education

Launching a Triangle-Wide Seminar in the Economics of Education faculty members.

Currently, there is no regular forum for economists from the Triangle to discuss new empirical work on the economics of education. This group will change that by organizing a one-day workshop. Hosted by the Center for Child and Family Policy, the event will include invited presenters, discussants, and a keynote speaker. It will also serve as a means to explore the possibility of launching a year-long seminar series in 2019-2020 on the economics of education.

Marine Medicine: Multidisciplinary Research at the Nexus of the Environment and Human Health

Marine Medicine faculty members.

Marine medicine is focused on research that cuts across disciplines, including cross-species comparative analyses of cancer protective mechanisms, understanding the risk of disease from exposure to environmental toxins, and discovery of new drugs from marine compounds. This working group will convene monthly and invite guest speakers to provide critical feedback on papers and proposals. Members will also host an annual symposium with a keynote speaker and a networking event to establish collaborations between faculty across the School of Medicine and the Nicholas School of the Environment, and create a long-term strategy for sustained interactions.

Parasite-Host Evolution Network Optimization (PHENO) Working Group

Parasite-Host Evolution Network Optimization (PHENO) Working Group faculty members.

Better methods are needed to identify new pathogens or known animal pathogens with the potential to infect humans and cause disease. Given that pathogens transmit through chains of contact, network-based approaches that represent these epidemiological pathways offer great promise. Through regular meetings, this group of faculty and postdocs will investigate the application of network approaches to a wide range of disease systems and aim to develop new and fundable research projects.

  • Lead: James Moody, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Social Science Research Institute
  • Charles Nunn, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Craig Rawlings, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Gregory Gray, School of Medicine, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Chris Woods, School of Medicine, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Meira Epplein, School of Medicine
  • James Herrera, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dana Pasquale, Duke Network Analysis Center

Social Studies of Science Working Group

Social Studies of Science Working Group faculty members.

The social study of science, often referred to as science and technology studies, is an interdisciplinary field whose scholars explore topics ranging from the ethical implications of data hacking and the politics of nuclear power to questions of personhood emerging from neuroscience. This group will bring together faculty who are interested in the rapid scale-up of research in the biomedical sciences, data and computational sciences, and environmental sciences as well as the increasing overlap of science and technology studies, medical humanities, and environmental humanities. Members aim to build a network of Duke and Triangle faculty and foster linked research endeavors.

  • Lead: Harris Solomon, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Nicole Barnes, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke Global Health Institute
  • Nima Bassiri, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Paul Bendich, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke
  • Mark Olson, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke Initiative for Science & Society, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Cate Reilly, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Gabriel Rosenberg, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
  • Priscilla Wald, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Ara Wilson, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke Initiative for Science & Society