Search Committee Announced for Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics

Anne Allison, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, will chair the search committee for the director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Interim Provost Jennifer Francis announced today.

David Toole was appointed to a 22-month term as interim director of the institute in 2021. It is university practice to conduct a search to select a director for a full five-year term.

In addition to Allison, the other committee members are:

  • Katherine Brading, Professor, Philosophy
  • John de Figueiredo, Russell M. Robinson, II Distinguished Professor of Law
  • David Hoffman, Steed Family Professor of the Practice of Public Policy
  • Megan Huchko, Hollier Family Associate Professor of Global Health, Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Luke Powery, Associate Professor of Homiletics and Dean of Duke University Chapel
  • Ann Saterbak, Professor of the Practice, Biomedical Engineering

The committee is soliciting feedback, nominations and applications from members of the Duke community. Nominations of prospective candidates and inquiries about the position can be sent to the committee at

See the position description and application/nomination instructions.
[The window for nominations and applications is now closed.]

Call for Proposals: Faculty-led DukeEngage Programs

Deadline: September 30, 2022

DukeEngage is accepting proposals for new faculty-led programs in the U.S. and abroad in 2023 and 2024.

DukeEngage is a signature initiative of the University consisting of more than 20 eight-week, faculty-led summer programs, each enabling small groups of students and faculty to collaborate with a community to address critical societal needs through an immersive summer of community engagement. Each program centers around a societal theme—for example, education, engineering, environment, health, human rights, migration, race, or social enterprise.

DukeEngage is considering new international and domestic programs.[1] We are especially interested in new programs in North Carolina (particularly in Durham and Charlotte), programs in rural U.S. communities, and programs that focus on arts, healthcare, STEM disciplines, race/identity, or the environment.

Proposals for a Summer 2023 program are due September 30. For faculty wanting to explore the possibility of a program in Summer 2024, DukeEngage has site exploration funding for logistical research and relationship building with potential partners. We will entertain exploration grants up to $5,000 per program. Site exploration funds can be requested at any time during the year. To request site exploration funds, please send a query to

The Basics

  • Most programs consist of eight students. Smaller and larger numbers are possible.
  • The core of the program for students is full-time work with one or more community organization(s) for eight weeks. Some programs disperse students among multiple organizations, while others work as a team with one organization.
  • Each program begins with mutually beneficial partnership(s) between a faculty Program Director and one or more community organization(s). Student work must be guided by the community and may consist of direct service, capacity building, or research.
  • Work is accompanied by cultural immersion and regular, intentional critical reflection.
  • 2023 programs can run between May 15 – August 25, 2023.
  • DukeEngage hires site coordinators who will be on site for the full eight weeks. Faculty must spend at least the first two weeks on site; ideally more.
  • The program is fully funded for all participants. In addition to travel and living expenses, program budgets include a small allotment for cultural enrichment.
  • The DukeEngage Program Director role description and general timeline of responsibilities can be found here. Faculty compensation is provided in the form of supplemental summer salary.
  • Additional program development considerations can be found here.


We especially value programs that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Arise from existing partnerships
  • Focus on a new or compelling theme
  • Are in a location where there are currently no other repeating DukeEngage programs

Proposals should include:

  1. Faculty director(s) + contact information
  2. Location (city/community, state, country)
  3. Theme (see our website for examples; new themes are welcome)
  4. How long you envision being on site beyond the first two weeks
  5. Potential partner organizations
  6. Potential full-time student projects/work
  7. Brief description of the community
  8. Your prior experience in the proposed community
  9. Potential prerequisites (language, skills) or academic connections for students

We’re happy to be a sounding board as you consider a proposal. Send any questions you might have to Inga Petersen ( Once we receive your proposal, we will be in touch for more details.

[1] Domestic programs may be limited to states on Duke’s “approved to hire” list. Contact us for more information.

Apply for the Religions & Public Life Graduate Fellowship

Graphic showing collage of buildings.

Deadline: August 3, 2022

Each year, Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics funds a Graduate Student Working Group that explores a theme related to religion’s role in contemporary society. In response to the global shifts of 2022, this year’s theme will be “Religion, Peace and War.”

The call is open to graduate and professional students wishing to take part in monthly, student-led seminars on “Religion, Peace and War.” A wide variety of projects exploring this theme are welcome, including topics such as: Religion, War and Refugees; Religion, War and the Environment; Peace, War and Interreligious Dialogue; Religion, Political Polarization and Violence; Religion, Nationalism, and Peacebuilding; Diasporas, Conflict Transformation and Peace. Members of last year’s group are welcome to reapply but preference will be given to new applicants.

Religions and Public Life provides an interdisciplinary platform that puts scholars, students, and practitioners in conversation with one another through collaborative research, innovative teaching, and community engagement. As part of Religions and Public Life, the Graduate Student Working Group contributes to an exploration of the role of religions in historical and cultural context as they influence the lives of their adherents, interact with each other across time and geography, and contribute to the formation of institutions that constitute public life. In addition to the Kenan Institute for Ethics, funding for the graduate scholars also comes from generous support from the Duke Center for Jewish Studies (CJS), the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC), and the Gerst Fund.


Graduate Student Working Group members will have the opportunity to develop their research interests and discuss recent scholarship. Members take active part in the events of Religions and Public Life and commit to attending monthly meetings throughout the academic year. At the conclusion of the fellowship, members will write a think-piece or blog post relating their research to contemporary issues, to be published on the Religions and Public Life website. Additionally, members will take part in an end-of-year research conference. Those receiving CJS or DUMESC funding are also expected to participate in at least two CJS or DUMESC events, respectively, during the academic year.


Graduate scholars each receive a stipend of $1,250 that supplements their current funding. The sum is provided in two payments, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester.

Application and Deadline

To apply, please submit the materials listed below to Michael Grigoni by 12 noon on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, with the subject line: “Religions & Public Life Graduate Fellowship.”

  • Curriculum vita
  • Project description (1-2 pages) describing how your research connects to the theme of “Religion, Peace and War.”

For further information, email Michael Grigoni with “Religions & Public Life Graduate Fellowship” in the subject heading.

Kenan Graduate Fellowships Open to Duke Ph.D. Students

Graduate Fellows graphic.

Deadline: August 3, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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


For further information, email Michael Grigoni with “Kenan Graduate Fellowship” in the subject heading.

Ph.D. Students, Apply for Fall 2022 Teaching on Purpose Fellowships

Applications are now open for Teaching on Purpose.

Deadline: June 17, 2022

Duke University doctoral students do you get excited about teaching undergraduates? Do you want them to lead lives of meaning and purpose in addition to gaining valuable knowledge and thinking skills? Do you wonder about how to connect your subject matter to the “big questions” that undergraduates are grappling with?

You can apply to be a Teaching on Purpose Fellow to develop greater clarity and confidence in your purpose as a teacher and to join a community of like-minded graduate students and faculty at Duke.

Faculty are also invited to nominate graduate students from their departments whom they believe are excellent candidates for this fellowship. To do so, please email Jesse Summers at

Applications are now open for the Fall of 2022! The deadline is Friday, June 17, by 11:59 p.m. Please review eligibility requirements and commitment before applying.


  • Discipline: Ph.D. student in any discipline taught at the undergraduate level (at Duke or other institutions)
  • Status: Must be ABD
  • No conflicts with other funding: Participation in this program must not conflict with policies of departmental or external funding sources.
  • Approval of DGS: Applicants must confirm at the time of application that their DGSs are aware that they are applying. The Purpose Project team will reach out to the DGSs of selected applicants to confirm approval of participation.


  • Weekly 2.5-hour sessions (Tuesdays, 12-2:30 p.m., lunch provided), September 6-November 29 (no session October 11)
  • Must be able to attend most sessions, with no more than 2 absences due to prior engagements (prior notification required).
  • Modest preparation outside of sessions, such as short readings and written reflections (~2 hours/week)


  • $3,000 stipend

Application Requirements

Short essays:

  • What do you find most rewarding about teaching undergraduates? If you have not had the opportunity to teach undergraduates yet, what would you most look forward to? (200 words max)
  • Why are you interested in the Teaching on Purpose Fellowship program? (200 words max)
  • If you could develop your own course on any topic, what would you love to teach? Write a brief course description. (150 words max)

You can also read an article about the program here.


Contact Katherine Jo ( or Jesse Summers (

Collaborate With Local Communities Through GradEngage


Deadline: November 28, 2021

GradEngage is a fellowship opportunity for graduate and professional school students to engage with Duke’s neighboring communities through projects with a community partner organization that seek to create social change. GradEngage is offered through the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Graduate studies can be all-consuming, and it’s too easy to live your years at Duke inside a bubble, even when you are committed to being part of the broader community. GradEngage, a program of The Purpose Project at Duke, helps graduate students from any academic or professional field create space to deepen community relationships, work with a partner organization to develop solutions to address pressing social issues, and participate in reflective conversation with like-minded students.

Based on DukeEngage—Duke’s signature immersive community engagement program for undergraduates—GradEngage enables graduate and professional school students to integrate community involvement that promotes the common good into their educational experience at Duke. In addition to a stipend, the program provides a learning community where Fellows reflect together upon the challenges of community engagement, what it involves in practice, and its impacts on their own sense of moral purpose.


  • $2,000 honorarium for projects of 100+ hours


  • Eligibility: Any graduate or professional school student may apply.
  • Time period: Must spend 100+ hours on projects between December 15, 2021 and April 30, 2022.
  • Collaboration with partner organization: Projects must be developed and implemented in collaboration with a non-Duke community organization serving Durham or its surrounding communities and contribute to ongoing efforts to advance the mission of the organization.
  • Existing relationship: The applicant must have an existing relationship with the partner organization that has been established through prior involvement in a clearly defined capacity.


  • Training: Two-hour orientation before starting the project (Friday, January 14, 2022, 12-2PM)
  • Time on project: Must spend 100+ hours on projects between December 15, 2021 and April 30, 2022
  • Monthly lunches: February 11, March 11, April 8; 12-1:30PM. In person unless otherwise required by university policy. Short readings or other materials may be assigned.
  • Written reflections: Four blog posts over the course of the project


Deadline: Monday, November 28, 2021 (11:59PM)
Apply now


Learn more and contact Katherine Jo at

Interdisciplinary Research Teams to Present Results at Bass Connections Showcase

Join the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and the Bass Connections Student Advisory Council for a special year-end showcase event and reception on Thursday, April 20, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Come learn more about Bass Connections and find out what these research teams of faculty, grad students, undergrads and community partners have accomplished this year.


Reception and poster session begin


Students from five project teams will present lightning talks:


Bass Connections leaders will recognize this year’s student award recipients:


Reception and poster session continue


Free parking is available in the Blue Zone accessed from the Towerview Road traffic circle. Please contact us if you require other parking arrangements.


Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology (GCB), Duke Council on Race and Ethnicity (DCORE), Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), Duke Initiative for Science & Society, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (DIBS), Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Energy Initiative, Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI), Information Initiative at Duke (iiD), Kenan Institute for Ethics, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Social Science Research Institute (SSRI)


Congratulations to the Spring 2016 Campus Grant Award Winners


Yemi Adewuyi | Sacrificial Poets Reunion
Duke’s Spoken Verb will bring in spoken artists CJ Suitt, G Yamazawa, and Kane Smego to campus for a night of poetry and a panel discussion, March 26.  The poets are founding members of Sacrificial Poets, the largest youth slam poetry organization in the Triangle Area.

Rachael Karasik | Template for Providing Access to Local NC Seafood to Low Income Communities
Rachael Karasik’s capstone Master’s project addresses concerns related food security, decision-making, public health and behavioral changes engaging students in a seafood sample preparation process.

Daniel Camacho | From Sit-Ins to Hashtags: Navigating Activism Before and After Social Media
Panel Conversation on navigating activism before and after social media featuring Asian-American activist Suey Park and former Duke student activist Dr. Brenda Armstrong.

Kati Henderson | Ambiguously Human
Public discussions about what defines the “human” as opposed to “thing,” using investigations across disciplines and media.

Learn more