Together Duke Initiatives

As we advance the priorities in Together Duke, and create new opportunities for communities to begin, expand, and continue their work, we will provide information about efforts here.

Research Support

In efforts to invest in the Duke faculty as scholars and leaders of the university’s intellectual communities, and to provide new resources to support the faculty and their work, the Provost is pleased to offer the following opportunities for faculty and student support as part of Together Duke.

Intellectual Community Planning Grants

The Provost’s Office is 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.

Faculty Teaching/Research Enhancement Grants

This funding opportunity, being offered again in 2019-20, is designed to provide funds for Duke faculty members seeking to acquire additional skills, knowledge, or experiences outside their main discipline that will enhance their capacity to carry out original research and/or provide excellent learning experiences for Duke students. Supported activities include: a cognate training workshop; field work opportunity that includes specific training; short-term engagement with a community organization relevant to a new line of research; and travel to meet with a leading scholar or group of scholars working in an area highly relevant to the applicant’s scholarly growth or teaching trajectory.

New for 2019-20 is the opportunity to apply for funds to underwrite a trip to undertake fieldwork, interviews, or archival exploration in order to scope out a new direction for research.



Together Duke has established a funding program to support groups of faculty whose engaged research targets selected societal challenges in alignment with Duke’s strategic priorities. After the first two cycles in which we supported research on the themes of Energy and Water Resources, Race, Religion, and Citizenship, and Population Health, the Provost’s office has selected two new themes for the current (2020) grant competition: Immigration, and Science, Technology, and Ethics. Duke has the intellectual resources and organizational nimbleness to convene technical, legal, scientific, ethical, cultural and historical explorations of these issues. By drawing on disciplinary depth, interdisciplinary strengths, and commitment to engagement, we have the capacity to make crucial research contributions in these vital areas and to serve as an important node for convening stakeholders.

Provost’s Pilot Research Grants

The Provost’s Pilot Research Grants (PPRGs) support innovative research in the humanities and social sciences — across and between all disciplines — with the potential to have broad and sustained impact.

Note: PPRGs will not be offered in 2018-19.

Faculty Hiring and Advancement

To build on the excellence of our faculty, we are beginning a strategic hiring initiative across fields and disciplines, particularly those fields where synergies can build real Duke distinction. The first focus is on quantitative fields, which has already brought nine new faculty to campus, and plans are underway for a second round of appointments.

We have also created a new Office for Faculty Advancement, to provide leadership, guidance, and oversight of university-wide strategies and programs to enhance faculty excellence. The office oversees faculty development programs, including programs to recruit outstanding and diverse faculty, and to mentor and recognize faculty throughout their careers.

Quantitative Initiative

Provost Sally Kornbluth has established a signature program to hire outstanding junior and senior faculty in quantitative fields, focusing initially on mathematics, statistics, and bioinformatics, to build strength broadly in quantitative science, to fully leverage the tremendous amount of data generated by our health care system as well as by analytic initiatives in the social sciences, and to establish Duke as an internationally recognized leader in the methods and applications of quantitative science.

Nine faculty have been appointed so far, and efforts are underway for a second round of hires, focusing on chemical, biological and physics faculty and research.

In the News

$50 Million Grant Looks to Propel the Sciences with New Hires

A Quantitative Investment in Promoting the Sciences at Duke

Re-envisioning Graduate Education

Our graduate students are increasingly exploring connections across disciplines, seizing intellectual opportunities made possible by emerging technologies, and pursuing careers both within and outside of the academy. In order to facilitate top-notch graduate training, we are providing opportunities for graduate and professional school students to acquire a wider set of competencies that will position them to thrive in an increasing array of career options. We have designed these opportunities to build on Duke’s long-standing hallmark of graduate education: a rich blend of deep, specialized knowledge in a field of study, intersecting with the frontiers of other fields, while emphasizing the crucial importance of effective communication and exposure to collaborative research. To highlight just a few:

View the plan to read more about the initiatives planned within each of the goals.