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.

Diversity & Excellence

With the overarching vision to “grow, connect, and empower diverse and inclusive communities of excellence to enhance the creation, delivery, and translation of knowledge for a rapidly changing world,” to attract, retain, and nurture a diverse community of faculty of true distinction, and to encourage and expand strong, creative, diverse, and inclusive communities at all levels of the university, the Provost is pleased to offer the following opportunities for faculty and student support as part of Together Duke.

Anti-racism, diversity, inclusion and equity: the view from the Provost’s office

The Provost’s Office is committed to addressing the historical structural barriers that support and perpetuate racism and inequities in our academic spaces and to promoting an anti-racist and equitable community.

Supporting Faculty

The Provost, through the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, has made diversity, equity and inclusion the core values that drive its mission for the success of all faculty. Opportunities are available to support faculty research related to race, racism, and History of the American South, to promote faculty development throughout their careers, and to build community and culture that is equitable, supportive, respectful, and professional.

Supporting Students

The Offices of Student Affairs and Undergraduate Education will advance anti-racism training and orientation for students, enhance support for students who are experiencing pain or trauma related to social injustice, strengthen Hate and Bias policies, and advance conversations on racism and social justice. Together with schools, we will ensure that anti-racism is woven into our curricula and university programs so that no Duke student will leave without a firm understanding of the societal problems of structural racism, social injustice, and inequality.

Supporting School and Unit Efforts

The Provost’s Office is working with each school and academic support unit as they develop and implement comprehensive plans to combat racism and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion for their faculty, students and staff.

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 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.



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:

  • Students can pursue training in methods and fields beyond their core programs through Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grants or the Graduate Academy;
  • Doctoral students can find support and network with peers from multiple programs through doctoral cohorts in the university institutes and centers;
  • Versatile Humanists at Duke provides resources to enrich and broaden PhD training for Duke students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, including internships, advising and mentoring, and collaborative research opportunities.

New: Full-time staff with an earned Ph.D. are invited to apply to pursue professional development through the Duke Ph.D. Transitions Coach Training Program, as part of a pilot program to coach and support Ph.D. students through all stages of doctoral training. More information is available here.

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