Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Tavey Capps
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Duke University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Tavey Capps
Environmental Sustainability Director
Office of the Executive Vice President
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Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:
1. Bass Connections is a university-wide initiative, funded by a $50 million grant, providing students (undergraduate and graduate) with greater exposure to inquiry across the disciplines, partnership with unlikely fellow thinkers, sustained mentorship in teams, and the chance to experience the intersections of the academy and the broader world. All Bass Connections participants will experience the complexity of global, societal problems in their real-world form, the value of integrating bodies of specialized knowledge, and the imperative of teamwork to begin finding solutions to the most pressing problems of the day. The interdisciplinary nature of these teams leads to strong ties to sustainability in project themes: Brain & Society: Many of the core problems of our time – climate change, financial crises, addiction, and social inequality – arise from individuals and their choices. Brain research on cognition, emotions, expression, and decision-making will be translated in this theme to address collective challenges and increase understanding of what makes us human. Curricular and project elements will build connections between basic research in neuroscience (and related biological sciences) and socially challenging questions in medicine, the humanities, public policy, economics, ethics, and law, to understand issues such as physical and social responses to transformative events; the workings of the brain in rhetoric and the arts; memory in legal testimony; and the role of decision processes in shaping our institutions and public policies. Project deliverables will be diverse, including, but not limited to: co-authored articles, artistic solutions, policy briefs, smartphone applications, curricula, and community outreach programs. Global Health: Through Bass Connections in Global Health, students – undergraduate through doctoral – have the opportunity to participate in courses, experiential learning and faculty-led field projects to find solutions to global health challenges. Its education programs and activities help develop participants’ ability to work creatively and collectively to address health disparities worldwide, and cultivate strong mentoring, research and teaching skills of graduate and professional students, and postdoctoral scholars. Energy: Bass Connections in Energy capitalizes on the University’s broader Energy Initiative, a university-wide interdisciplinary collaboration addressing today’s pressing energy challenges related to the economy, the environment, and security. Projects include research on energy communication, the intersection of energy & peace-building, energy efficiency in industry, distributed solar for Duke employees, behavior change and energy use, and the feasibility of an energy-producing digester on Duke's campus. Several of these programs are part of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, working to provide high-quality emissions offsets to help Duke become carbon-neutral. Education & Human Development: Based on the recognition that successfully reaching adulthood is about more than test scores, the Bass Connections Education & Human Development (EHD) theme encompasses an interdisciplinary framework to engage students and faculty to develop the data, tools, and practices that better link how we raise our children—in schools, in families, and in communities—to positive life outcomes in an interconnected global society. We see “education” not just as formal K-12 schooling but also as learning via families and social channels, and “human development” as encompassing valued life outcomes across ages including health, social and familial connections, happiness, income, and employment. 2. Graduate student fellowships in the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce: Each spring the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce accepts applications, and conducts interviews, with exceptional Duke graduate students from across the campus who wish to obtain fellowship status with the Center. Under the direction of Director Jay Golden and affiliated faculty, fellows are tasked with sustainability research projects and take on leadership roles that include coordinating our student led Innovation Awards Program and Thought Leader Seminar Series. The Center places graduate-level multidisciplinary student teams, trained in sustainable systems and life cycle analytics, with organizations to help them address real-world sustainability issues. http://center.sustainability.duke.edu/education/student-fellowships 3. The Global Health Doctoral Scholars: This program contributes 50% of the scholar's nine-month expenses for fees and stipends as well as office space. Initial funding lasts one year and can be renewed for up to three years upon student's successful application for continuation. A Global Health Scholar is a doctoral candidate with a substantive interest in global health from the perspective of the student's primary discipline. A global health perspective is interdisciplinary and is influenced by social, economic, and cultural contexts of health. The Scholar's dissertation would be based on a project undertaken in a low- or middle-income country. URL: https://globalhealth.duke.edu/education-and-training/graduate/doctoral-scholars

The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:
Duke has several programs that encourage faculty research in sustainability and the incorporation of sustainability into additional courses across campus. These include: 1. Duke’s Trillium Project is a faculty learning community dedicated to increasing the prevalence and quality of concepts of sustainability in academic courses at Duke. Each year, there is a campus workshop where “graduates” of prior Trillium Project workshops mentor other faculty in how to incorporate sustainability concepts into their new or revised syllabi across all disciplines and departments. To date, 66 faculty and staff have become Trillium Fellows. http://sites.duke.edu/trillium/ 2. The Bass Connections program described above, funded by a $50 million grant, offers funding to allow faculty leaders of interdisciplinary research teams to support students on projects the faculty oversee but does not provide faculty funding itself. The majority of these teams are thematically tied to sustainability. http://today.duke.edu/2013/01/bassconnections

The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:

Has the institution formally adopted policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:

A brief description or the text of the institution’s policy regarding interdisciplinary research:
Duke emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary research in the 2006 Strategic Plan (http://stratplan.duke.edu/pdf/plan.pdf), which identifies interdisciplinarity as an enduring theme for the University. A fundamental planning mandate of the plan is to “further develop our capacity to support creative, entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary teaching and research among our faculty and students,” which fed into the development of 2 strategic goals focused on interdisciplinarity. The first goal seeks to increase the capacity of Duke’s faculty to develop and communicate disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, which calls for the creation of a Faculty Enhancement Initiative that "foster[s] shared searches between schools and institutes and centers" and "enable[s] accelerated and cluster hiring for school and university strategic priorities." A second goal is to strengthen the engagement of the University in real world issues by recommitting to flagship interdisciplinary programs. This high-level emphasis on interdisciplinary research is also present in the tenure and promotion process; internal and external candidates are required to submit “synops[es] of…intellectual interests, especially concerning interdisciplinary research” (located at the URL below under "Solicitation of Dossier Items from Candidate").

The website URL where information about the treatment of interdisciplinary research is available:
Does the institution provide ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution's library support for sustainability research and learning:
The Duke University Libraries’ collections and librarians have supported interdisciplinary research in fields intersecting with sustainability for many years. Duke Libraries will customize sustainability resources upon request for specific research or educational activities. For example: http://guides.library.duke.edu/architecture-sustainability The Libraries currently provide extensive research and instructional support for key fields, that form the foundation for interdisciplinary work in sustainability, including earth and ocean sciences, economics, engineering, environment and public policy. Subject area librarians in Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, Public Policy, Political Science, Engineering, Economics, and Environment are committed to building the existing collections to undergird study and research in sustainability and are open to requests for additional materials that would be of interest to faculty and students. The Libraries have collected and continue to actively collect relevant books, ebooks, journals, research databases, reports and datasets in fields ranging from environmental science to economics to documentary studies. The David M. Rubenstein Manuscript & Rare Book Library has a long history of collecting material that documents activities focusing on social advocacy and social change. Areas of strength include the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the labor movement, women’s and children’s rights, LGBT materials, and prisoner’s rights and capital punishment. Finally, the Libraries maintain an extensive collection of feature films and documentaries on environmental issues and their impact on society. Many of Duke's journals and all of Duke's research databases are available online, and researchers may use the print and archival collections in all Duke University Libraries. The Duke Libraries also hosted a 2009 exhibit about sustainability at Duke: http://library.duke.edu/exhibits/sustainability/index.html

The website URL where information about the institution's library support for sustainability is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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