Duke Incubation Fund Awards Support Seven Promising Innovations

Congratulations to the 2019-20 Duke Incubation Fund Awardees.

The winners of the Fall 2019 Duke Incubation Fund awards have been announced, representing promising innovation happening across the University. Seven projects will receive funds totaling $129,000.

The Incubation Fund, run by Duke’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative (I&E), supports early-stage ideas from Duke’s innovation ecosystem with the potential to go to market. Whereas many resources exist at Duke to support research and commercialization, the Incubation Fund is among the only opportunities for innovations still in the ideation stage. The Fund is made possible by a gift from I&E advisory board member Jeffrey Citron and his wife, Suzanne.

One goal of the Fund is to foster innovation in all corners of Duke. While previous awards have supported faculty, staff, and students representing schools and departments ranging from the Nicholas School, to the School of Nursing, all the way to the Dance Program, this year’s awardees represent the Department of Pathology, the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, the Department of Radiology, the Department of Chemistry, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Incubation Fund Awardees for 2019-2020

Soman Abraham | Pathology Faculty

Mast cells are responsible for a wide range of inflammatory disorders, from mild skin rash to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. This team is exploring a novel mast cell inhibitor molecule to treat non-clonal mast cell activation syndrome (nc-MCAS), for which there are currently no FDA-approved treatments. In addition to potentially preventing nc-MCAS-related anaphylaxis and symptoms, this molecule could lead to the development of therapeutics to treat other mast cell-mediated diseases.

Mattia Bonsignori | Duke Human Vaccine Institute Faculty

Using an antibody type from a Zika-infected pregnant woman who bore a healthy infant—an antibody type that doesn’t cross the placenta or cross-react with the Dengue virus like other antibodies capable of neutralizing the Zika virus—this team seeks to generate critical data needed for preclinical studies that would pave the way for clinical vaccine trials.

Charles Kim | Interventional Radiology Faculty and Division Chief

Ultrasound probes were designed for diagnostic use and are thus limited when it comes to their use in needle guidance; this project seeks to develop a dedicated interventional ultrasound probe that utilizes a novel approach to image acquisition and processing, thereby optimizing needle guidance.

Maciej Mazurowski | Radiology Faculty

Using software based on an algorithm developed and tested by Duke scientists and clinicians, this team will work to create a clinical-use software prototype to evaluate knee radiographs in order to grade the severity of knee osteoarthritis. 

Samira Musah | Biomedical Engineering Faculty

Through the design and engineering of a novel microfluidic device that mimics the tissue structure and filtration system of a human kidney, Fixoria Biomimetics seeks to develop a vascularized 3D in vitro kidney model that can be used to discover novel therapeutics for human kidney disease.

Jesus del Carmen Valdiviezo Mora | Chemistry Graduate Student

Evolutionary Microfluidics looks to use AI algorithms to design, manufacture, and patent microfluidic devices that act as efficient analyzers and microreactors of biological samples, eventually commercializing these devices within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to reduce the time needed for research and development.

Zohair Zia | Biomedical Engineering Undergraduate Student

Neptune Access makes modifications to an IV port so it can be used to obtain blood samples, reducing the need for numerous blood draws through repeated venipuncture, especially for those patients who may require multiple attempts for each successful blood sample.

Tapping into Resources and Guidance

Many of these projects have already benefited from the support of innovation- and entrepreneurship-related resources across Duke. Zohair Zia’s work on an adapted IV port won the Duke Institute for Health Innovation’s annual Innovation Jam supporting pragmatic health innovations with the potential for immediate application or possible commercialization. Soman Abraham’s new venture focused on mast cell inhibitor therapy is receiving coaching and business strategy support from a mentor-in-residence and an MBA student through the New Ventures Program run by the Office of Licensing & Ventures.

These resources, as well as the early-stage support provided by the Incubation Fund, can prove decisive in whether progress continues on a project. Charles Kim, who received an award for an interventional ultrasound probe, said, “This will provide funding for the materials and expertise needed for the crucial step of formal prototype development, without which further progress would not be possible.”

Tracking Success

Now that the Fund, which was established in 2017, is entering its fourth funding cycle, “We’re starting to be able to track the success of previous awardees, which is exciting,” says Dr. Sharlini Sankaran, Director of Translational Programs at Duke I&E.

Duke spin-out inSomaBio has gone on to receive funding from the Duke Angel Network, whereas others are in various stages of obtaining follow-on funding from investor groups or local and federal entrepreneurial funding programs.

Michael Kliën, an Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance, received an Incubation Fund award last year for his work on the Hydrean, a unique physical meditation device that encourages embodiment and teaches a systematic practice of mindfulness. The Hydrean was featured at this year’s Invented at Duke celebration—and undergraduate students in the I&E Certificate, intrigued by Kliën’s product, decided to do a business development project for their capstone class focused on getting the Hydrean adopted into mainstream media.

“The Incubation Fund fills a critical funding need for early-stage projects that need a lift to get off the ground, whether that be prototype building, early-stage market research, or obtaining critical equipment and supplies,” said Sankaran. “In keeping with Duke I&E’s mission of being a catalyst and an enabler for innovation at Duke, we’re happy to provide support to these promising projects so they can ultimately benefit society at large.”

Originally posted on the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship website

Apply for StudioDuke to Join a Creative Lab and Mentorship Program

Studio Duke.

Deadline: September 29, 2019

StudioDuke is a two-semester creative lab and mentorship program providing students the opportunity to take their advanced, ongoing creative projects to the next level of awesome. StudioDuke is a collaboration among Duke I&E, the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN), and Duke Arts.

Students are matched with creative industry professionals (including Duke alumni) for one-on-one mentorship that kicks off on DEMAN Weekend.

Apply Now for StudioDuke! The deadline is September 29, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Here’s how it works: Project submissions can range from advanced screenplays, films, stage plays, choreography, comedy, music composition, or performance, to fine arts, digital media, and manuscripts—many developed during independent studies and in the classroom.

Submissions will be reviewed by the StudioDuke team to be selected into an annual StudioDuke cohort. Selected projects can be pursued by students as an independent study, an experiential component of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate, or for no academic credit whatsoever.

Mentors: Each StudioDuke student will be paired with a mentor based on the nature of the project, its genre, and the industry expertise needed to shape and refine the creative venture. Student-mentor teams will work together throughout the semester and perhaps beyond to evaluate the creative potential of each project and then to edit, evolve, and elevate the work through remote and in-person creative iteration.

The goal is to bring each project to the point where it is ready to be presented to industry professionals. The StudioDuke team will help facilitate connections, travel resources, and logistics to support the project. Students will participate in programming aimed to help advance their creative projects and career opportunities.

Requirements

Mentor Dinners: Students will meet for monthly group dinners featuring mentors, DEMAN alumni, local entrepreneurs and I&E faculty to help successfully develop and promote their creative projects and navigate career interests. 

Weekly Updates: In addition to our monthly dinners, students will share weekly updates on mentor communications, progress on projects, challenges, questions, next steps, etc. with the cohort.

Mentor Check-ins: Students will connect with mentors at least once a month by email, phone, or in-person. Students will also have one-on-one check-in and strategy sessions with Amy during the semester.

Final Presentation: Students will give a five-minute, pitch-style presentation on their projects and strategies, followed by a reception at the Rubenstein Arts Center.

Schedule

Date Activity
August 28  I&E Fest: Learn about StudioDuke
September 29 StudioDuke Applications Due
October 16 StudioDuke 101 & DEMAN 101
November 1-2 StudioDuke Reunion at DEMAN Weekend
Week of December 2 Monthly Dinner
Week of January 13 Monthly Dinner
Week of February 3 Monthly Dinner
Week of March 16 Monthly Dinner
Week of April 6 StudioDuke Final Presentations & Reception

Pathways

Example of StudioDuke and I&E Certificate pathway (for undergraduates): 

First Year
Gateway elective: I&E 140 Create, Innovate, Act! OR I&E 295S Arts Entrepreneurship

Second Year
Keystone: I&E 352 Strategies for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Third Year
Experience One (300 Hours) – StudioDuke
*Students get credit for Elective and 150-Hour Experience

Third Year Spring
Duke in LA*

Third Year Summer
Duke in Chicago* (Arts Entrepreneurship)

Fourth Year
I&E 499 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Capstone

Example of StudioDuke and AMI Certificate pathway (for undergraduates): 

First Year
AMI Gateway Course
AMI 101 Intro to Arts of the Moving Image or AMI 201 Intro to Film Studies or AMI 301 Moving Image Practice

Second Year*
300 level Practice Course

Third Year (Second Years* may also apply to Duke in LA)
Spring Semester, Duke in LA 

Apply for Distinction Project and put together Distinction Committee

Fourth Year
Fall Semester

AMI 499S Capstone

Spring Semester
Independent Study Distinction Project in conjunction with StudioDuke

StudioDuke is a collaboration between Duke I&E, DukeArts and DEMAN, and has been made possible by a generous gift from Clifford Chanler (T’82).

For more information about StudioDuke, please contact: StudioDuke@duke.edu

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Offers Incubation Grants for Idea-stage Projects

Incubation Fund.

Deadline: October 18, 2019 (extended)

Purpose

The Duke Incubation Fund (the “Fund”) was formed to support idea-stage projects at Duke University. The Fund will make a number of awards each year to support novel ideas, applied research, potential products, nascent services and creative projects that if successful, will lead to new opportunities in the market. To receive funding, projects must demonstrate a potential path to subsequent financial support, new company formation, licensing, not-for-profit partnering or other channels to enable translation.

The Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, which administers the Fund, is interested in innovative projects that could lead to new products or services that will have a positive impact on society, including:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility of an idea or innovation for a commercial or social venture
  • Developing a working software or device prototype
  • Obtaining supporting evidence or proof-of-concept for new ideas
  • Developing new applications or markets for a technology under development
  • Creative projects that might lead to professionally produced content

Applications are welcome from all fields of inquiry. At least one member of any team must be from Duke. Awards will be contingent on the innovator entering into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with the Incubation Fund.

Key Dates

  • Application Submission Deadline*: September 23, 2019; extended to October 18, 2019
  • Final Selection: October 24, 2019
  • Funding Period: December 1, 2019 – November 30, 2020

*Award Cycles will typically occur twice per year (Fall & Spring). However, the Selection Committee may elect to provide seed funds to particularly compelling projects off-cycle if it deems immediate funds are warranted. Preference will be given to requests of less than $5,000. To be considered for off-cycle award, contact Judd Staples.

Eligibility

  • Proposals may be submitted by Duke faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), graduate students, postdocs, and medical residents and fellows with approval of the appropriate mentor or unit coordinator.
  • Individuals may submit more than one proposal, but are only eligible to receive one award per cycle. Promising projects that are not selected will be encouraged to reapply.
  • Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation. For projects without a company, one team member must establish a project-specific cost object (WBS Fund) within their department to accept award. No funds can be distributed directly to individuals.

Funding

Each award will consist of up to $20,000 (direct costs only). Preference will be given to applications with high potential for significant advancement. Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation.

Funding will be in the form a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with the Duke Incubator Fund. Proceeds from the sales of the equity obtained through these agreements will used to finance future awards.

Note: This award is internally funded and does not need to be routed through the Duke Office of Research Administration (ORA). However, internal applicants should have a DPAF form to ensure accuracy of salary and effort.

Application Procedure

The Duke Incubation Fund Award uses the MyResearchProposal online application software to submit applications.

  • To apply visit http://bit.ly/myresearchproposal, click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account). Proposals must be submitted under the Principal Investigator’s name.
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is available. Please review this document.
  • Enter Access Code I&E then select the “Duke Incubation Fund Spring 2019” funding opportunity and follow the instructions.
  • For any questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact Anita Grissom or Kara McKelvey at myresearchproposal@duke.edu.

Applicants will enter general project information via the web-based form:

  1. Project Title, Brief Description, and Amount Requested
  2. Primary Contact Name, Department/Company, phone, email
  3. General Project Information: Applicants will be asked to answer general questions regarding the project (e.g. type of business, relationship to Duke, stage of development, ongoing sources of funding).
  4. Intellectual Property (Character Limit: 500)
  5. Compliance Plan (Character Limit: 500)

Some proposal sections will be uploaded as individual PDF files. The application sections are:

  1. Intellectual Property: Summarize intellectual property, including any know-how, invention disclosure numbers, patent filings, copyrighted material, etc. If appropriate, you will be asked to provide contact information from OLV.
  2. Budget: Upload a one-year spending plan using the I&E Budget Form.
  3. Team Experience: Include a resume or NIH Biosketches for each key member of the research team (as a single PDF). Each individual resume may not exceed 4 pages.
  4. Project Description: The Project Description should include: Idea, Background, Justification, Problem-Being- Solved, Preliminary/Supporting Data, Methods, Quarterly Milestones to be achieved during the year, and a plan for follow-on funding (5-Page limit, including tables and figures; and shorter applications are welcome). References do not count toward the 5-page limit; single spacing, font no smaller than Arial 11 and margins greater than 0.5”. The follow-on funding plan may include grant applications, internal funding, equity raises, licensing, selling product, or strategic partnerships.

Budget Guidelines

Grant funds may be budgeted for:

  • Salary support for the PI or collaborators
  • Research support personnel
  • Travel necessary to perform the research
  • Research supplies and core lab costs
  • Other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project

Grant funds may not be budgeted for:

  • Company G&A
  • Legal
  • IP expense
  • Capital equipment
  • Overhead
  • Student tuition and fees

Terms of the Award

  • Approvals Required Prior to Funding Start Date: Prior to receiving funds, research involving human subjects must have appropriate approvals from the Duke IRB. If the research includes animals, the appropriate IACUC animal research forms must also be approved before the project’s start date. Failure to submit documents in the requested timeframe may result in cancellation of funding.
  • SAFE Agreement: Prior to receiving funds, applicants must complete a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with Incubator Fund.
  • Project Execution: Investigators agree to work in collaboration with Duke I&E and present the findings of their work at six months. Duke I&E may terminate and reallocate residual funds for any team failing to submit required written reports in a timely manner. Proposed aims of funded projects may be changed, added or deleted during the funding period, pending Investigator and Duke I&E review and agreement.The investigators will interact regularly with Duke Venture Advisors, who will serve as a resource to identify and fulfill unmet project needs via OLV, Duke I&E and other key resources. Any awardee who leaves his or her position should contact Duke I&E to discuss future plans for the project.
  • Post-Award Reporting: When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates that they achieved as a result of the award.

Contact Information

For additional information on this funding opportunity, contact Judd Staples (judd.staples@duke.edu).

Learn more and view PDF

Duke I&E Offers Graduate Research Assistantship for 2019-2020

Duke I&E.

Deadline: April 15, 2019

This graduate research assistantship (GA) is offered by the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E) as a one-year appointment for the 2019-20 term.

The Duke I&E GA will support and contribute to scholarship and research programming at Duke I&E throughout their appointment as follows:

  • Collaborate on the design and management of research and evaluation studies
  • Collect, analyze and summarize qualitative and quantitative data
  • Participate in project management and project meetings
  • Prepare findings for reports and publication
  • Support the planning and execution of research events including, the annual research symposium, annual research conference, and research seminar series.

Compensation

In addition to access to the resources at the Duke I&E Initiative, the assistantship offers up to 100% stipend coverage (i.e.,19.9 hours per week or $31,800, annually).

This assistantship does not cover tuition, fees, or healthcare. Moreover, students cannot exceed the annual maximum supplemental stipend allotment see the Ph.D. Stipend Supplementation Policy.

Qualifications

This assistantship is intended to support Duke University doctoral students in their fifth or sixth year of study. Students must be enrolled as full time but may be in any program.

Candidates must have demonstrated proficiency in research methods, program evaluation, and/or data science; excellent written and oral communication skills; strong organizational and analytical skills; and demonstrated ability to work independently as well as in a team. Preference will be given to candidates who have an interest in subject matters related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Application

Application materials must be submitted electronically by April 15, 2019 via the online form.

The search committee will review applications and invite finalists in for interviews the week of April 22, 2019. The awardee will be notified in writing no later than May 6, 2019; the appointment is a one-year appointment, it will start September 1, 2019 and end August 31, 2020.

Contact

For questions or concerns about the assistantship, please contact the research team at the Duke I&E Initiative: ie-research@duke.edu or 919-613-9517.

Duke Partners with UNICEF to Accelerate Entrepreneurship for Social Impact

Duke alumna Selwyn Rayzor discusses the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator during UNICEF’s Annual Summit in March 2019.

At UNICEF’s recent annual summit, Duke alumna Selwyn Rayzor represented the University on a panel about UNICEF’s partnerships, speaking about the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator.

The Accelerator—a partnership between Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E) and UNICEF USA—will support social impact entrepreneurs in finding and implementing solutions to the most pressing challenges facing children and youth worldwide.

Rayzor, who serves on the boards for both Duke I&E and UNICEF USA, explained the vision of the Accelerator to support innovators in generating meaningful, sustainable change. “There’s not a lack of innovative ideas,” she said. “There’s a lack of human resources and capital to really grow those ideas.”

Applications for the Accelerator’s first year will be sought and accepted this summer. The first cohort will consist of innovations addressing an issue that impacts girls worldwide: menstrual hygiene management. Innovations that create solutions for a lack of knowledge about menstruation and insufficient access to materials have the potential to reduce stigma and shame, improve school absenteeism, and impact girls’ futures.

The program will support innovators in acquiring the knowledge, tools, and networks to achieve maximum impact. Innovators will identify problems and assess solutions, then develop, build, and scale an innovation, focusing on scale and sustainability. The goal of innovations generated in the Accelerator is to enable earlier, faster, and more effective responses to situations and emergencies endangering children and youth.

In addition to investing in specific projects, the Accelerator will increase engagement in the Duke community, presenting faculty and graduate/professional students with opportunities to learn and innovate. In helping the world’s most vulnerable children, Duke and UNICEF also hope to cultivate a new generation of humanitarian leaders and scholars.

Originally published on the Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship website

Image: Left, Duke alumna Selwyn Rayzor discusses the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator during UNICEF’s Annual Summit in March 2019; right, Accelerator logo

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

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Offers Incubation Funding for Idea-stage Projects

Apply now.

Deadline: February 25, 2019

I.  Purpose

The Duke Incubation Fund (the “Fund”) was formed to support idea-stage projects at Duke University. The Fund will make a number of awards each year to support novel ideas, applied research, potential products, nascent services and creative projects that if successful, will lead to new opportunities in the market. To receive funding, projects must demonstrate a potential path to subsequent financial support, new company formation, licensing, not-for-profit partnering or other channels to enable translation.

The Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, which administers the Fund, is interested in innovative projects that could lead to new products or services that will have a positive impact on society, including:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility of an idea or innovation for a commercial or social venture
  • Developing a working software or device prototype
  • Obtaining supporting evidence or proof-of-concept for new ideas
  • Developing new applications or markets for a technology under development
  • Creative projects that might lead to professionally produced content

Applications are welcome from all fields of inquiry. At least one member of any team must be from Duke. Awards will be contingent on the innovator entering into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with the Incubation Fund.

II.  Key Dates

  • Application Submission Deadline*: February 25th, 2019
  • Final Selection: March 18th, 2019
  • Funding Period: May 1, 2019 – April 31, 2020

*Award Cycles will typically occur twice per year (Fall & Spring). However, the Selection Committee may elect to provide seed funds to particularly compelling projects off-cycle if it deems immediate funds are warranted. Preference will be given to requests of less than $5,000. To be considered for off-cycle award, contact Judd Staples judd.staples@duke.edu.

III.  Eligibility

  • Proposals may be submitted by Duke faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), graduate students, postdocs, and medical residents and fellows with approval of the appropriate mentor or unit coordinator.
  • Individuals may submit more than one proposal, but are only eligible to receive one award per cycle. Promising projects that are not selected will be encouraged to reapply.
  • Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation. For projects without a company, one team member must establish a project-specific cost object (WBS Fund) within their department to accept award. No funds can be distributed directly to individuals.

IV.  Funding

Each award will consist of up to $20,000 (direct costs only). Preference will be given to applications with high potential for significant advancement. Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation.

Funding will be in the form a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with the Duke Incubator Fund. Proceeds from the sales of the equity obtained through these agreements will used to finance future awards.

Note: This award is internally funded and does not need to be routed through the Duke Office of Research Administration (ORA). However, internal applicants should have a DPAF form to ensure accuracy of salary and effort.

VI.   Application Procedure

The Duke Incubation Fund Award uses the MyResearchProposal online application software to submit applications.

  • To apply visit http://bit.ly/myresearchproposal, click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account). Proposals must be submitted under the Principal Investigator’s
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is available – Please review this document.
  • Enter Access Code I&E then select the “Duke Incubation Fund Spring 2019” funding opportunity and follow the instructions.
  • For any questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact Anita Grissom or Kara McKelvey at myresearchproposal@duke.edu

Applicants will enter general project information via the web-based form:

  1. Project Title, Brief Description, and Amount Requested
  2. Primary Contact Name, Department/Company, phone, email
  3. General Project Information: Applicants will be asked to answer general questions regarding the project (e.g. type of business, relationship to Duke, stage of development, ongoing sources of funding).
  4. Intellectual Property (Character Limit: 500)
  5. Compliance Plan (Character Limit: 500)

Some proposal sections will be uploaded as individual PDF files. The application sections are:

  1. Intellectual Property: Summarize intellectual property, including any know-how, invention disclosure numbers, patent filings, copyrighted material, etc. If appropriate, you will be asked to provide contact information from OLV.
  2. Budget: Upload a one-year spending plan using the I&E Budget Form.
  3. Team Experience: Include a resume or NIH Biosketches for each key member of the research team (as a single PDF). Each individual resume may not exceed 4 pages.
  4. Project Description: The Project Description should include: Idea, Background, Justification, Problem-Being- Solved, Preliminary/Supporting Data, Methods, Quarterly Milestones to be achieved during the year, and a plan for follow-on funding (5-Page limit, including tables and figures; and shorter applications are welcome). References do not count toward the 5-page limit; single spacing, font no smaller than Arial 11 and margins greater than 0.5”. The follow-on funding plan may include grant applications, internal funding, equity raises, licensing, selling product, or strategic partnerships.

VII.   Budget Guidelines

Grant funds may be budgeted for:

  • Salary support for the PI or collaborators
  • Research support personnel
  • Travel necessary to perform the research
  • Research supplies and core lab costs
  • Other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project

Grant funds may not be budgeted for:

  • Company G&A
  • Legal
  • IP expense
  • Capital equipment
  • Overhead
  • Student tuition and fees

VIII.   Terms of the Award

  • Approvals Required Prior to Funding Start Date: Prior to receiving funds, research involving human subjects must have appropriate approvals from the Duke IRB. If the research includes animals, the appropriate IACUC animal research forms must also be approved before the project’s start date. Failure to submit documents in the requested timeframe may result in cancellation of funding.
  • SAFE Agreement: Prior to receiving funds, applicants must complete a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with Incubator Fund.
  • Project Execution: Investigators agree to work in collaboration with Duke I&E and present the findings of their work at six months. Duke I&E may terminate and reallocate residual funds for any team failing to submit required written reports in a timely manner. Proposed aims of funded projects may be changed, added or deleted during the funding period, pending Investigator and Duke I&E review and agreement.The investigators will interact regularly with Duke Venture Advisors, who will serve as a resource to identify and fulfill unmet project needs via OLV, Duke I&E and other key resources. Any awardee who leaves his or her position should contact Duke I&E to discuss future plans for the project.
  • Post-Award Reporting: When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates that they achieved as a result of the award.

Contact Information

For additional information on this funding opportunity, contact Judd Staples judd.staples@duke.edu

Learn more and view PDF

Duke Incubation Fund Open to Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdocs, Residents/Fellows

Incubation Fund

Deadline: September 24, 2018

Purpose

The Duke Incubation Fund (the “Fund”) was formed to support idea-stage projects at Duke University. The Fund will make a number of awards each year to support novel ideas, applied research, potential products, nascent services, and creative projects that, if successful, will lead to new opportunities in the market. To receive funding, projects must demonstrate a potential path to subsequent financial support, new company formation, licensing, not-for-profit partnering, or other channels to enable translation.

The Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, which administers the Fund, is interested in innovative projects that could lead to new products or services that will have a positive impact on society, including:

  • Demonstrating the feasibility of an idea or innovation for a commercial or social venture
  • Developing a working software or device prototype
  • Obtaining supporting evidence or proof-of-concept for new ideas
  • Developing new applications or markets for a technology under development
  • Creative projects that might lead to professionally produced content.

Applications are welcome from all fields of inquiry. At least one member of any team must be from Duke. Awards will be contingent on the innovator entering into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with the Incubation Fund.

Key Dates

  • Application Submission Deadline*: September 24, 2018
  • Selection of Finalists: October 15, 2018
  • Oral Presentations: October (TBD)
  • Final Selection: November 12, 2018
  • Funding Period: December 1, 2018 – November 30, 2019

*Award Cycles will typically occur twice per year (Fall and Spring). However, the Selection Committee may elect to provide seed funds to particularly compelling projects off-cycle if it deems immediate funds are warranted. Preference will be given to requests of less than $5,000. To be considered for off-cycle award, contact Judd Staples, judd.staples@duke.edu.

Eligibility

  • Proposals may be submitted by Duke faculty (tenure and non-tenure track), graduate students, post-docs, and medical residents and fellows with approval of the appropriate mentor or unit coordinator.
  • Individuals may submit more than one proposal, but are only eligible to receive one award per cycle. Promising projects that are not selected will be encouraged to reapply.
  • Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation. For projects without a company, one team member must establish a project-specific cost object (WBS Fund) within their department to accept award. No funds can be distributed directly to individuals.

Funding

Each award will consist of up to $20,000 (direct costs only). Preference will be given to applications with high potential for significant advancement. Funds may be spent within Duke or within a start-up company formed to commercialize the innovation.

Funding will be in the form a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with the Duke Incubator Fund. Proceeds from the sales of the equity obtained through these agreements will used to finance future awards.

Note: This award is internally funded and does not need to be routed through the Duke Office of Research Administration (ORA). However, internal applicants should have a DPAF form to ensure accuracy of salary and effort.

Application Procedure

The Duke Incubation Fund Award uses the MyResearchProposal online application software to submit applications.

  • To apply, visit http://bit.ly/myresearchproposal, click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account). Proposals must be submitted under the Principal Investigator’s name.
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is Please review this document.
  • Enter Access Code I&E, then select the “Duke Incubation Fund Spring 2018” funding opportunity and follow the instructions.
  • For any questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact Anita Grissom or Kara McKelvey at myresearchproposal@duke.edu.

Applicants will enter general project information via the web-based form:

  • Project Title, Brief Description, and Amount Requested
  • Primary Contact Name, Department/Company, phone, email
  • General Project Information: Applicants will be asked to answer general questions regarding the project (e.g. type of business, relationship to Duke, stage of development, ongoing sources of funding).
  • Intellectual Property (Character Limit: 500)
  • Compliance Plan (Character Limit: 500)

Some proposal sections will be uploaded as individual PDF files. The application sections are:

  • Intellectual Property: Summarize intellectual property, including any know-how, invention disclosure numbers, patent filings, copyrighted material, etc. If appropriate, you will be asked to provide contact information from OLV.
  • Team Experience: Include a resume or NIH Biosketches for each key member of the research team (as a single PDF). Each individual resume may not exceed 4 pages.
  • Project Description: The Project Description should include: Idea, Background, Justification, Problem-Being-Solved, Preliminary/Supporting Data, Methods, Quarterly Milestones to be achieved during the year, and a plan for follow-on funding (5-Page limit, including tables and figures; and shorter applications are welcome). References do not count toward the 5-page limit; single spacing, font no smaller than Arial 11 and margins greater than 0.5”. The follow-on funding plan may include grant applications, internal funding, equity raises, licensing, selling product, or strategic partnerships.

Budget Guidelines

Grant funds may be budgeted for:

  • Salary support for the PI or collaborators
  • Research support personnel
  • Travel necessary to perform the research
  • Research supplies and core lab costs
  • Other purposes deemed necessary for the successful execution of the proposed project.

Grant funds may not be budgeted for:

  • Company G&A
  • Legal
  • IP expense
  • Capital equipment
  • Overhead
  • Student tuition and fees.

Terms of the Award

  • Approvals Required Prior to Funding Start Date: Prior to receiving funds, research involving human subjects must have appropriate approvals from the Duke IRB. If the research includes animals, the appropriate IACUC animal research forms must also be approved before the project’s start date. Failure to submit documents in the requested timeframe may result in cancellation of funding.
  • SAFE Agreement: Prior to receiving funds, applicants must complete a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with Incubator Fund.
  • Project Execution: Investigators agree to work in collaboration with Duke I&E and present the findings of their work at six months. Duke I&E may terminate and reallocate residual funds for any team failing to submit required written reports in a timely Proposed aims of funded projects may be changed, added or deleted during the funding period, pending Investigator and Duke I&E review and agreement. The investigators will interact regularly with Duke Venture Advisors, who will serve as a resource to identify and fulfill unmet project needs via OLV, Duke I&E, and other key resources. Any awardee who leaves his or her position should contact Duke I&E to discuss future plans for the project.
  • Post-Award Reporting: When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates that they achieved as a result of the award.

Contact Information

For additional information on this funding opportunity, contact Judd Staples, judd.staples@duke.edu