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Bass Connections Seeks Proposals for New 2018-2019 Projects

Bass Connections Seeks Proposals for New 2018-2019 Projects

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Team members chat during a Bass Connections event.Bass Connections, a university-wide initiative that facilitates interdisciplinary teams in exploring societal challenges, is calling for proposals from Duke faculty, graduate and professional students, post-docs, trainees and fellows for new project teams starting in summer 2018 or the 2018–19 academic year. The application process begins September 5 and closes November 3.

About Bass Connections

Bass Connections brings together Duke faculty and students to explore real-world issues in multilevel interdisciplinary teams. The program offers an innovative teaching model and an opportunity to mentor students in a small group setting. Some team projects lay the groundwork for external grant proposals while others use Bass Connections research projects to initiate or deepen engagement with community organizations and/or other collaborators outside of Duke. All projects further Duke’s mission of knowledge in the service of society.

Launched by a $50 million gift from Anne and Robert Bass in 2013, Bass Connections was created with the vision of a distinctive new model for education that actively engages both graduate and undergraduate students to tackle some of the world’s unanswered questions. Projects are aligned with five themes from Duke’s top interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives: 

  • Global Health
  • Brain and Society
  • Information, Society and Culture
  • Education and Human Development
  • Energy and Environment

This year, the program is also accepting proposals that don’t fall squarely into one of the five themes—an option called “Bass Connections Open.” 

Presentations during a Bass Connections launch for faculty. Bass Connections in Education and Human Development

Faculty, post-docs and research fellows are encouraged to submit proposals for projects in the Education and Human Development theme that focus on developing the data, tools, and practices that better link how we raise our children—in schools, families, and communities—to positive life outcomes in an interconnected global society.

Since the program’s inception, more than 70 projects have been funded or co-funded under the Education and Human Development theme. These projects have taken participants around the globe, including India, Ghana, and Brazil. They have also tackled research questions affecting Durham and surrounding communities.

The Education and Human Development theme is led by Thomas Nechyba, director of SSRI and professor of economics. Amy Finnegan is the theme administrator. 

The Bass Connections in Education and Human Development projects funded for 2017–18 include: 

Read what students are saying a bout their Bass Connections experiences.

Presentation during a Bass Connections launch event for faculty.Special Funding Opportunities

This year, in addition to their general request for proposals, Bass Connections is accepting project proposals that specifically focus on ethics, the arts, humanities, biodiversity conservation and sustainable energy transitions. Learn more about these special funding opportunities.  

Information Sessions

Laura Howes, director of Bass Connections, is available to answer questions. Faculty may also contact the theme leaders of any given theme to discuss project ideas. In addition, interested faculty, graduate/professional students, postdocs and trainees/fellows are welcome to attend any session that fits their schedule, though each session has a particular thematic focus.

  • Wednesday, September 20, 12-1 p.m.
    Sanford - Rubenstein Hall 242
    Projects with a significant legal/policy/business dimension.
  • Wednesday, September 27, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
    School of Medicine - Trent Semans Center 3019 
    Projects with a health dimension.
  • Wednesday, September 27, 12-1 p.m.
    East Campus - Friedl 225 
    Projects with a humanities/arts/ethics dimension.
  • Friday, September 29, 12-1 p.m.
    Pratt - CIEMAS 1425 
    Projects with an engineering/environment/natural sciences dimension.

Lunch or breakfast will be served at each session. RSVPs to are appreciated.

Learn More

Learn more about Bass Connections and the Education and Human Development theme.

Ready to submit your proposal? Review the proposal guidelines and be sure to submit your proposal before the deadline November 3. Decisions will be made by December 22.

Questions about Bass Connections Education and Human Development projects? Contact Amy Finnegan at 919.684.8479 or


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