Propose a Humanities Project for the 2020 Story+ Summer Research Program

September 4, 2019

Story+ Call for Proposals.

The Story+ Summer Research Program is now accepting proposals for Summer 2020 projects that engage undergraduate and graduate students in collaborative research on humanities-based topics. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on November 4.

This year, there is an opportunity to submit a joint proposal for Story+ alongside a year-long Bass Connections project.

About Story+

Story+ is a six-week summer program that immerses interdisciplinary teams of students, faculty and staff in humanities research and public storytelling. Story+ promotes inquiry-based learning and vertically-integrated collaboration through projects that may be driven by archival research, oral history, textual analysis, visual analysis, cultural criticism or other humanistic research methods.

Small teams of undergraduates, supervised by graduate student mentors, collaborate on focused projects that contribute to the broader research, teaching, scholarly communications, and/or public engagement agendas of Duke faculty, Duke librarians, nonprofit organizations and other University or non-University project sponsors. Story+ final projects have taken the form of writing, exhibits, websites, annotated archives, short films/videos, podcasts, social media content and other genres.

A typical Story+ team consists of a project sponsor, a graduate student mentor and three undergraduate researchers. Project sponsors benefit from the opportunity to engage a team of students, who are provided with appropriate guidance and mentoring through Story+, in producing a tangible product that may further their work. Story+ undergraduate students learn how to conduct rigorous interpretive research in a team setting, connect academic knowledge to broader social issues and communicate their research stories with diverse audiences – within and outside the University – in a complex media environment. Graduate mentors get the distinctive pedagogical and professional opportunity to manage a complex collaborative project, and facilitate the network of relationships that such projects entail.

Each summer, Story+ designs a central curriculum for participating students based on the lineup of projects. An opening Boot Camp covers basic skills for undergraduate students that apply to all or most teams (e.g., note-taking practices, citation management, relevant digital tools and platforms) and a graduate Public Humanities workshop offers advanced training in the digital and public humanities for Story+ graduate mentors. During the six weeks of the program, there are opportunities to dig deeper into writing, narrative voice, visual storytelling, community engagement and other important aspects of engaged humanistic scholarship for public audiences.

The program covers student stipends and provides collaborative workspaces for teams, as well as modest project resources upon request (e.g., for books, software). Undergraduates are funded to work full time, Monday to Friday, during the six weeks of the program. Graduate mentors receive a stipend that covers 15-18 hours per week of work to support the undergraduates’ research and the project’s management. Story+ funding can be supplemented by other sources available to the project sponsors, internal or external.

Opportunity to submit a joint proposal for a year-long Bass Connections project and a Summer 2020 Story+ project: Note the opportunity to submit a joint proposal for Story+ alongside a year-long Bass Connections project. Contact Laura Howes at if you have questions.

Call for Proposals Story+ 2020

The Franklin Humanities Institute invites proposals from Duke faculty, archivists and other campus and community members for the Summer 2020 edition of Story+. We seek projects of any topic that are anchored in humanities research methods and questions, with well-defined project goals that can be feasibly completed in six weeks. Outcomes of past Story+ teams have ranged from finished products (e.g., a completed curatorial plan a physical exhibit or a published research report), prototypes or pilot projects (e.g., a prototype online teaching module or a proof-of-concept audio podcast), as well as preliminary, exploratory research that contributes to a larger ongoing project (e.g., oral histories, translation, transcription or archival discovery).

We encourage proposals that build upon or toward course offerings, Humanities Labs or Bass Connections project teams during the regular school year. As possible points of reference, please see the Story+ website for descriptions and outcomes from previous teams. PIs or projects previously supported by Story+ are eligible to apply, but note that priority may be given, in these cases, to projects that demonstrate a significantly new direction or outcome. Individuals are strongly encouraged to consult with Amanda Starling Gould ( about interest and available opportunities.

Project sponsors should plan to be accessible to their teams on at least a weekly basis (in person) and are expected to be regularly available to collaborate with their full team. The most successful and highly-ranked of our projects are those with dedicated sponsors and clearly-articulated goals.

Please submit proposals via Qualtrics, at by November 4, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

The Qualtrics application form will ask for the following components:

  • Brief description of the overall project
  • Description of the specific project goal(s) and output(s) you hope to accomplish through Story+. Please include here a basic timeline, project milestones, expected outcome(s) and how/why this work is important to your research/your unit/your organization.
  • Description of how your project aligns with the mission and goals of Story+ to offer a rich humanities research and public storytelling experience for graduates and undergraduates
  • Workplan: this is optional but ideal. This might include a sketch of methods, methodologies, weekly schedule, opportunities for students, campus/community partners who might collaborate, post-Story+ afterlives of the research.
  • List of essential skills undergraduates will need to contribute to the project
  • Do you have a graduate student in mind for the role of your graduate mentor? If you would like us to help match you with a mentor, please list essential skills you would like this person to have.
  • Any funding from external sources or other Duke units that can support the work of the team

For queries about the program and/or to discuss specific project ideas, please email Amanda Starling Gould at Story+ is funded by Together Duke and administered by the Franklin Humanities Institute in conjunction with Bass Connections, with additional support from the Duke Libraries.

Download a PDF of this call for proposals.

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