Policies and Expectations for Students

Duke students participating in Bass Connections are expected to follow all university policies and adhere to the Duke Community Standard. The following policies and expectations underscore policies and practices that commonly relate to the work of Bass Connections project teams.

Commitment to your team and the Bass Connections model: A Bass Connections project team is not a traditional university course, but is instead a team-based project in which you will gain experience working with an interdisciplinary team to address social and cultural challenges. You should be prepared to work collaboratively with your team to address the challenges of conducting applied research in complex settings. This includes making the following commitments:

  • Commit to participating for the entire year (unless an unavoidable scheduling conflict emerges); it is disruptive when students leave a team, and you also have more to gain from an intensive experience.
  • Participate in all team events and meetings; contribute to group discussions.
  • Complete tasks in a timely manner and keep open channels of communication with the team on your progress, or areas where you need help.
  • Assist other team members as needed.
  • Recognize that working on a team is not always easy. As a member of the team, you have an obligation to help create a strong team culture and to work collaboratively to address issues – see our team resources for ideas on facilitating effective team-based research.
  • Regularly reflect on your personal and professional development and how you can gain the most from this experience. This could be through a personal or team journal, or you could share your thought process publicly via our website. See these ideas and examples of student reflections.

Required Bass Connections program-wide activities: In addition to the expectations set by your team leader, we expect all Bass Connections participants to take part in the following:

  • Bass Connections Showcase: Every team is expected to participate in the annual Bass Connections Showcase. This event, held each April, includes a poster session and an opportunity for a handful of teams to give short talks.
  • Evaluation survey: All students are expected to complete the pre-program and end-of-year evaluation survey.

Academic credit and paid positions: Most Bass Connections year-long project teams offer academic credit, frequently in the form of a research independent study, or sometimes a standard course. It is at the discretion of your team leader to determine what academic credit options will be available to students. In occasions where credit is not an option (often in the summer or for advanced graduate students), team leaders may provide paid opportunities to students. Students may not receive both credit and compensation for the same work. Further, students must speak directly with their team leader to determine the options available to them.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you enroll in the appropriate course before the end of the drop/add period. If you decide to leave a team, it is also your responsibility to drop the course. If you are receiving academic credit, you are expected to spend the same amount of time on your project activities as you would on other courses (about 10 hours a week for a full credit).

Acknowledgement: If you have the opportunity to author any publications, present at a conference or otherwise develop materials related to your team’s work, please acknowledge the support of “Bass Connections at Duke University.” Please also send any products, events or announcements to us at bassconnections@duke.edu so we can help share your team’s work.

Branding: You are welcome to use the Bass Connections logo and/or Duke logo on materials developed (download logos). However, you should take care not to represent your opinions, or those of your team, as the views of the Bass Connections program or Duke University.

Project expenses: All Bass Connections projects are awarded a budget to cover research expenses such as travel, supplies, events, communications, research participant payments, etc. Team leaders are responsible for setting and managing the team budget. You should not incur expenses on behalf of the project without first getting clearance from the team leaders. Any expenses should be in alignment with Duke University financial policies and students should maintain appropriate documentation (e.g., receipts) for any expenses. If you are unsure of financial policies, please talk to your team leader or theme administrator. As a student, you should not be expected to front costs related to your project except in exceptional circumstances. If you are being asked to do so, please talk to your team leader to clarify.

IRB: Your team leader should determine if your project needs to undergo a review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). However, if in the course of your project, you propose an independent project, or decide to pursue a new avenue, you should be aware of IRB requirements and first consult with your team leader. The IRB must review any research plans, prior to initiation, that involve human subjects. The IRB is concerned with protecting the welfare, rights and privacy of human subjects.

For more information about the IRB, and what types of activities require IRB review, please see the “Before You Begin” section of the Campus IRB website. To discuss whether your study needs IRB review, or to begin the IRB process, email campusirb@duke.edu to schedule a meeting.

Summer research through Bass Connections: Some teams offer students the opportunity to conduct research during the summer. If you work on Bass Connections during the summer, you will either be paid or receive travel funding if your summer experience is comprised of fieldwork. Every team operates differently, so it is your responsibility to clarify your compensation with your team leader. 

If you receive need-based aid during the academic year, you may be eligible for the replacement of all or a portion of your standard minimum student contribution, depending on how many weeks you participate during the summer. For more information, visit the Office of Undergraduate Financial Support or contact your financial aid counselor.  

Travel: Teams whose work includes travel outside of Durham will need to follow university travel policies. Students traveling internationally are required to register with the Global Administrative and Travel Support. Students who wish to travel to a country on Duke’s Restricted Regions List will need to submit a petition by the deadline listed on their website. Your team leader will provide you with additional expectations and requirements related to your travel, including a participation agreement that you will be required to sign.

If you are travelling locally, or elsewhere by car, you should follow the Off-Campus Road Travel Policy or consider using Lyft Rides. Students are discouraged from driving themselves and/or other students to project team activities. If you choose to drive yourself, please understand that you are not covered by Duke liability insurance.

Policy on minors: If your team plans to engage with minors (non-Duke students under the age of 18) as part of its research or outreach plan, your team will be required to comply with Duke’s Policy for Minors. Your team leader will guide this process, but students who are joining a team that involves interaction with minors should understand in advance that they may be asked to take a 15-minute training and possibly complete a background check (provisions will be made to support students needing a background check who do not have a U.S. social security number).

If you have questions or concerns at any time, please contact your theme administrator or our office at bassconnections@duke.edu.

Last updated: November 20, 2019