Request for Proposals


These funds are directed towards enhancing the creativity and novel research and scholarship of Duke’s early/mid-career faculty and will help our faculty pursue new directions and ideas that would otherwise be difficult to fund from other sources.


Full-time Duke Associate Professors who have been promoted or appointed within the last five (5) years and Duke tenure track Assistant Professors who have served a minimum of three (3) years are eligible to apply. For School of Medicine faculty, this includes Assistant Professors in the basic sciences departments. Assistant Professors in clinical science departments who have 75 percent of their effort committed to research are eligible. 

Only main campus, SOM, and SON faculty are eligible to apply. Duke-NUS and Duke-Kunshan faculty are not eligible.


Individuals should request funding sufficient to meet the proposed project scope. Budgets may request up to $150,000 with an award term of one year. Funding determinations will be made upon review. 

Recipients may request a single one-year No Cost Extension, approval will be at the discretion of the Office for Research & Innovation. 

Please note: This is an internal award that will not require an SPS record; No overhead,  F&A/or G&A should be included in budget requests.

Applicable to School of Medicine (SOM) faculty only:  SOM does not assess G&A on DST expenditures.

Allowable Costs

Funds may be used for salary/stipend and fringe of personnel (including PI, students, post-docs, project managers, technicians, participant compensation, etc.), tuition remission, equipment, travel, and/or consumables. Funding of collaborators outside of Duke will not be allowed.

Proposal Requirements

  • Title of project, name of PI, appointment information (current department, school, faculty title), date and title of first Duke faculty appointment, five (5) keywords (will be used to identify proper reviewers)
  • Up to two (2) pages describing the project and should include:
    • Justification of why this project is a departure from the faculty member’s current research.
    • Justification of why this project would be difficult to fund from other sources.
    • A plan to make substantial progress toward their aims within the one-year term.
    • Paper size no larger than 8 ½" x 11"
    • At least one-half inch margins (1/2") – top, bottom, left, and right for all pages.
    • Font size is at least 11 pt in size and generally recommend Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, or Palatino Linotype.
  • A short CV or biosketch of up to five (5) pages – should clearly include the date of the first tenure track faculty appointment and include all current sources of research/scholarship support.
  • A one-page budget and budget justification.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by an internal committee, and will be judged on:

  • Responsiveness to the RFA (ineligible applications will be returned unreviewed). The proposal should represent a new direction or new project for the faculty member.
  • Creativity of the proposal.
  • Potential impact of the proposal on the faculty member’s discipline.

Reporting Requirements

  • One-page summary at the end of the award period
  • Completing annual queries to award recipient will be made to ascertain whether any external funding, papers, books, performances, etc. have derived from this award.


RFP Released

May 15, 2024

RFP Submission Deadline

June 15, 2024

Anticipated Grant Notification

September 15, 2024

Funds Made Available

October 1, 2024

Funds To Be Expended By

September 30, 2025


Submissions closed on June 15, 2024, at 11:59 PM.

Applicant Instructions

  • To apply visit, click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account). Proposals must be submitted under the Principal Investigator’s name.
  • A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software is available here.
  • Access Code for the award is: ‘SPARK’ 
  • For any questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact Ms. Anita Grissom: or 919-668-4774.
  • For all other questions, please contact
Application instructions


Full-time Duke Tenure Track Assistant Professors who have been at Duke for a minimum of three (3) years and Associate Professors who have been promoted within the last five (5) years. Only main campus, SOM, and SON faculty are eligible to apply. Duke-NUS and Duke-Kunshan faculty are not eligible. 

The two-page proposal maximum does not include references. The budget, CV, and two-page proposal must be formatted as noted in the RFP. You may include videos and hyperlinks in the proposal.

No, parental leave would not count against you.

If you have undergone a tenure review at Duke, we will use that date as the starting point of the 5-year timeline.

Assistant professors in clinical sciences departments who have 75 percent of their effort committed to research are eligible to apply.

If the applicant is able to demonstrate that the proposal would benefit from the specific expertise of another Duke faculty member, they may list that faculty member as a co-PI or co-I. Their role, and willingness to serve as a co-PI/co-I may be indicated by a letter of support. We also encourage you to consider whether the proposal is appropriate for the DST LAUNCH opportunity. 

This is an internal award and will not require an SPS record to support the submission.

No, indirects/overhad/ (G&A) should not be included in the total budget. The budget should include all direct costs necessary for the completing the aims of proposal.

Although this program does not have a faculty effort requirement, applicants should follow their school's guidance around minimum effort on sponsored projects and satisfy a standard of reasonability for their Other Support documentation.

Yes, tuition remission is an allowable expense in the budget. 

All review committee members will be in the discipline but may not be subject matter experts.

MyResearchProposal is a web-based tool used for streamlining the management of competitive grant application processes, nominations, and other data collection mechanisms used by CTSI, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and other institutes and departments across Duke.