Story+ Summer Research Program


How do we tell compelling stories about complex historical, cultural and social realities? What goes into creating great stories that stay with the audience, and even change minds? Story+ is a six-week summer research experience for undergraduate and graduate students interested in bringing academic research to life through dynamic storytelling.

Undergraduates will work in small teams with graduate student mentors, in a collaborative and creative research environment. Each project will have a client. Students will learn to conduct qualitative, humanities-based research (e.g., archival research, narrative analysis, visual analysis, ethnography) and to communicate their research through effective storytelling techniques.

Final projects may take the form of writing, websites, exhibits, short films or other genres, depending on the project's goals.

Story+ is offered through the Franklin Humanities Institute and Bass Connections, in partnership with Versatile Humanists at Duke. It is open to:

  • All undergraduates, except graduating seniors
  • All graduate students, with preference given to doctoral students in the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

2017 Projects

A Pope Wrote a Dictionary: You Figure Out How

Race and Ethnicity in Advertising

RTI International 60th Anniversary Commemoration

Suckers and Swindlers in American History

Talking Wages: The Impact of Fight for 15 on the Political Discourse of Minimum Wage Fights

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Story+ will take place during Summer Term 1 (May 17 – June 28, 2017).

Undergraduate participants will work approximately 8 hours a day on projects and receive a stipend of $3,000. Students are responsible for arranging housing (residence halls are open for the summer term).

Each project team will be led by at least one graduate student mentor, who will dedicate approximately 12-15 hours per week and receive a payment of $2,500 in the form of a research fund.

Project teams will work in collaborative work space at the Franklin Humanities Institute, as well as at offsite locations to collect data. Students will also participate in regular learning lunches related to effective storytelling techniques. 

Students may apply to one or more of five projects. The application consists of two short essays, a resume, a writing sample, an unofficial transcript and contact information for two references. Graduate students interested in a mentoring role on a Story+ team should follow the same application process.

The deadline for priority consideration of applications is Friday, March 3, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Applicants will be notified by the end of March.