Advance Excellence in Research

Advance Excellence in Research

To advance research in Trinity College, we will make strategic hires of high profile faculty in well-defined areas, partner with departments and schools, and challenge departments to think strategically about where they want to invest. We must also nurture and support our current faculty so that they serve as scholars and leaders of our academic enterprise.

Our Goals

  • Increase the distinguished profiles of our faculty as well as departments’ national and international reputations
  • Cultivate new areas of reputational strength
  • Maintain the high profile of the Humanities and Social Sciences, while developing the Natural Sciences analogous to the other divisions
  • Strengthen connections to other schools and institutes
  • Recruit and retain distinguished faculty and “game changers” who can advance departmental rankings
  • Augment support of current faculty
  • Enhance space, facilities, equipment, and infrastructure
The English department launched a pilot lab for the Humanities Unbounded proposal, “Representing Migration.” Shown are Professor

Humanities Unbounded: $3M Mellon Foundation Grant

Duke University will expand on its commitment to a strong humanities curriculum and forge new collaborations beyond campus with a $3 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announced on May 3, 2018. The funding establishes Humanities Unbounded, which will run from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2023. The initiative will focus on three major areas:

  • Developing new collaborative curricula models that blend undergraduate education with faculty research and graduate student training.
  • Deepening Duke’s relationships with liberal arts colleges and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
  • Piloting a new teaching partnership with Durham Technical Community College. 

Humanities Unbounded will build on the success of Humanities Writ Large (HWL), an initiative aimed at changing the role of the humanities at Duke. HWL supported labs that integrated undergraduates with faculty and graduate students engaged in humanities and social science research. With Humanities Unbounded, Duke seeks to scale up these efforts, such as embedding the humanities’ lab structure into humanities departments and curricula. 

 
The Quantitative Initiative

Cultivating New Areas of Reputational Strength

Duke’s Provost Sally Kornbluth has launched a Quantitative Initiative to build strength broadly in quantitative science and to establish Duke as an internationally recognized center of excellence in the methods and applications of quantitative science. The initiative seeks to expand quantitative faculty in schools across the Duke campus and to increase collaboration between those departments in Trinity, in Duke’s School of Medicine and in the Pratt School of Engineering.

Trinity’s goal in this first phase of the Quantitative Initiative was to strategically hire quantitative science faculty whose research portfolios have a strong biomedical focus. Our intention is that these individuals will augment our existing outstanding faculty core in this area and will catalyze greater interaction between the health system and university sides of Duke.

Learn More

Quantitative Initiative Faculty Hires

QI Faculty Hires

Faculty, from left to right, starting with the upper row:

Image of dorsal wound closure

Building ALIS

Investing in the Sciences

In the spring of 2018, we began construction of a new experimental capability called ALIS. When completed, the Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy (ALIS) facility will provide cutting-edge optical imaging technology that is beyond the capabilities of commercial instruments. The 980-square-foot facility represents a significant investment in the sciences at Duke, and complements the capabilities of the Light Microscopy Core Facility. The first instruments in the facility include a lattice light-sheet microscope, a deep-tissue serial sectioning microscope, and a multimodal pump-probe microscope. ALIS will offer the possibility of adapting these microscopes and co-developing novel microscopy approaches with researchers on campus.

illustration of biomolecules

Deepening Experimental Capabilities

Investing in the Sciences - Chemistry

In June 2018, we will install a Bruker Avance II HD 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer that will be used exclusively for the analysis of biomolecules. The new spectrometer broadly impacts faculty in the Department of Chemistry, and supports our research in the areas of organic synthesis, organometalic chemistry and catalysis, chemical biology, polymer chemistry, and nanoscience.

The Ruby

Enhancing the Reputation of the Arts & Humanities

The Rubenstein Arts Center opened in January 2018. The "Ruby" is a hub for artistic production at Duke University, a deepening of Duke's Arts Corridor, and a significant investment in the arts & humanities. Students, faculty, visiting artists, and other collaborators come together in flexible project studios to hone their skills and create new work. Public programs—including performances, film screenings and exhibitions—launch this work into the world. The Ruby is now home to the Trinity College's Dance Program and the Arts of the Moving Image, and courses in art, theater studies, music and visual studies will be taught here. The 70,000+ square foot building encompasses flexible multipurpose studios, seminar classrooms, a makerspace, the Ruby Lounge, the von der Heyden Studio Theater, a film screening theater, and more. It is also home to WXDU 88.7 FM, Duke’s student-run radio station.