Who we are

It all started with a simple promise.

After dreaming of becoming a scientist throughout childhood and imagining all the amazing research opportunities awaiting at college, Sheila Patek encountered the same issues faced by countless undergraduates before and since – an absence of a clear, equitable process for finding research opportunities.

Patek promised herself that if she “made it” and managed to become a professor someday, she would fix this problem. In 2008, in the early years of her faculty career, Patek and colleagues launched new software designed to change the culture of academic research experience and create much-needed social and structural change.

Patek and the many amazing colleagues and students from multiple colleges and universities who have participated in this effort have continued building this program ever since, guided by one shared vision: make all research opportunities accessible, equitable, and transparent for students and mentors across all disciplines.

Director: Prof. Sheila Patek, Ph.D., is the Director of Muser and the Hehmeyer Professor of Biology at Duke.  Prof. Patek leads the Muser software and program initiative at Duke and beyond, as part of a broad, multi-university effort to change the culture around access, equity and transparency for research experiences in academic institutions.

Duke’s Muser program for undergraduates:  Duke’s Undergraduate Muser program team is led by Duke’s Office of Undergraduate Education and an amazing group of Duke staff, undergraduates, and graduate students who work hard to bring this resource to Duke undergraduates while creating much-needed structural change for research access.

Software development: Jay Beaton Consulting is Muser’s software developer that contracts with Duke to support and develop the base software.

Funding: Muser development is funded by the National Science Foundation and Duke University.  At this time, none of the efforts for Muser yield any payment or profit for Patek, Muser at Duke, and Muser software.  We are actively searching out funders, backers, and donors to help us scale up this software technology and social/structural change effort to include all programs at all levels.

Contact Prof. Sheila Patek, Ph.D. for more information:
(919) 613-8306