Special Call: Bass Connections Invites Proposals for Projects and Courses Related to Duke's Centennial

Funding Agency:
Duke University

Bass Connections is now accepting proposals for new year-long projects and courses that engage students in the exploration of an issue related to Duke’s past, present or future during Duke's Centennial. Faculty interested in proposing a project or course should read the full submission guidelines and submit a proposal by Monday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m.

Please note: This RFP is only for 2023-2024 projects or courses related to the centennial. Our next general call for Bass Connections projects will be issued in August 2023.

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

In 2024 and the first half of 2025, Duke will celebrate its centennial. This is a special call for Bass Connections projects or courses that seek to explore/examine elements of Duke’s past, present and future through collaborative research. This opportunity provides space for faculty and students to undertake an academic exploration of Duke during this milestone and represents an important avenue to engage the community in clarifying and advancing Duke’s aspirations for the next century. 

Research questions may include, but are not limited to, documenting, analyzing and exploring:

  • the evolving relationship between Duke and Durham (e.g., the community’s role in shaping the university; the university’s role in shaping Durham’s politics, culture and economy; relationships and power dynamics between the university and the community)
  • the changing social experience of Duke students, faculty, and staff, including the impact of twentieth- and twenty-first century social movements on the campus (e.g., civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, rights of indigenous peoples)
  • the internationalization of Duke as it has become a global university, attracting larger numbers of students from outside the United States, recruiting faculty whose research focuses on topics outside America, and developing partnerships with campuses in Singapore and China
  • the place of religion, sports and/or the arts in the life of the university
  • the influence of major events such as war, pandemics and financial crises on Duke’s campus
  • the impact of trends and transformations in American higher education on Duke (e.g., the dynamics of public funding, public perceptions of higher education, the embrace of interdisciplinary modes of scholarship and education, the links between academic research and innovation and policy)
  • the emergence of new areas of research and teaching, whether in response to curiosity-driven discoveries or engagement with societal problems

Such projects or courses could embrace a range of research methods including oral histories, engagement with Duke Archives, data analysis and text mining of digitized sources like the Duke Chronicle. Project teams or courses might result in an equally creative range of outputs such as exhibits, digital archives, websites, podcasts, data visualizations and white papers. Faculty are encouraged to propose projects or courses that engage with community partners where relevant and bring a range of voices to bear on these research questions. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Proposals may be submitted by faculty, staff, graduate/professional students, postdocs and trainees/fellows, but all projects must have at least one faculty team leader.
  • Individuals may propose more than one project but should not serve as a team leader on more than one project per year, unless those projects each have another committed co-leader who is a regular rank faculty member. Individuals may serve as a team contributor on more than one project.
  • Team leaders are expected to be regularly available (i.e., not on sabbatical away from Durham or extended leave) during the year in which the project would take place (2023-2024), and at least one team leader is expected to attend each team meeting. We recommend that faculty notify their department chairs of their intent to apply, in order to help with departmental planning.

Amount Description

This is a special call for proposals for Bass Connections project teams or project-based courses related to Duke’s Centennial. The maximum budget for a year-long project team is $25,000; funding for a course development grant is $5,000 (or $10,000 for co-taught courses) with the option of an additional $1,750 to support 75 hours of a doctoral student’s time to support elements of the course design. Course development proposals may focus on the creation of an entirely new course or embedding a Centennial-related collaborative project in an existing course.

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Post Doctoral Fellows


Arts & Humanities
Community Outreach and Engagement
Curriculum Development
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 3, 2023