About Bass Connections

Companies, governments and organizations are looking for graduates with training and experience tackling complex issues. Through Bass Connections, Duke is channeling its unique culture of collaboration, ambitious entrepreneurial spirit and established record of applying classroom learning to pressing global problems, to create a distinctive new model for education.

Bass Connections is a university-wide initiative launched by a $50 million gift from Anne and Robert Bass. Bass Connections provides both graduate and undergraduate students with greater exposure to inquiry across the disciplines, partnership with unlikely fellow thinkers, sustained mentorship in teams and the chance to experience the intersections of the academy and the broader world.


The Bass Connections thematic areas are aligned with five of Duke’s university-wide interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives.

Starting with the request for project proposals in Fall 2017, we will launch a new avenue for faculty and students to engage in Bass Connections. Bass Connections Open is a temporary channel for projects and courses that otherwise meet the model of Bass Connections but do not align with one of the existing themes.

The Bass Connections Model

Bass Connections is creating a distinctive new model for education. Please see our vision, goals and objectives.

Program Evaluation

An annual program evaluation helps Bass Connections leadership to improve the program and to understand its impact on students, faculty and the societal issues addressed through the projects. Review highlights from the most recent evaluation report.


Duke’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and teaching is a signature part of the university’s identity and mission. Learn more about the history of Bass Connections at Duke.

Global Reach

Bass Connections bridges the classroom and the real world, giving students a chance to tackle complex societal problems alongside faculty from across Duke. Knowing that many challenges take place in villages, hospitals and schools around the world, many projects have a global reach—to date there have been activities in 23 countries on five continents.