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 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.
Budget submissions should be in line with the project's scope. Budgets for scientific projects - May request up to $150,000 with an award term of one year. No-cost extension requests of a second year are possible, but a third year will not be approved. Projects in the arts, humanities, and social sciences will be granted up to $15,000 (exceptions will be considered based on the project's scope).
Please note: This is an internal award that will not require an SPS record; No overhead should be included in the budget.
Applicable to School of Medicine (SOM) faculty only: SOM does not assess G&A on DST expenditures.
Funds may be used for salary/stipend and fringe of personnel (including PI, students, post-docs, project managers, technicians, participant compensation, etc.), equipment, travel, and/or consumables. Funding of collaborators outside of Duke will not be allowed.
- 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.
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.
- One-page summary at the end of the award period
- Annual queries to award recipient will be made to ascertain whether any external funding, papers, books, performances, etc. have derived from this award.
May 3, 2023
RFP Submission Deadline
May 31, 2023
Anticipated Grant Notification
July 14, 2023
Funds Made Available
August 1, 2023
Funds To Be Expended By
July 31, 2024
- Click here to access MyResearchProposal and log in or choose “Create New User” to apply. Proposals must be submitted under the Principal Investigator’s name.
- Enter access code ‘DST’ then select Apply for the “DST Spark Seed Grants 2023-2024 - Early/Mid-Career Awards” and follow the funding opportunity instructions.
- A step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal platform is available online here.
For any questions regarding your proposal or MyResearchProposal, please contact Anita Grissom by email at email@example.com or by phone at (919) 668-4774.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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.
This is an internal award and will not require an SPS record to support the submission.
No, it is not necessary to include overhead in your total budget.
All costs are to be covered by the award amount. This is an internal award.
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.
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.
Meet the 2022-2023 Recipients
The Duke DST Spark Seed Grants program has a proven track record of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and promoting innovative research. Last year's recipients of the Spark Seed Grants continue to push the boundaries of data science and technology, addressing complex challenges across various fields.