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DST Spark Seed Grants 2023-2024

May 31 @ 11:59 pm

DST Spark Seed Grants 2023-2024



These funds are directed towards enhancing the creativity and novel research and scholarship of Duke’s early/mid-career faculty and will help our faculty pursue new directions and ideas that would otherwise be difficult to fund from other sources.



Full-time Duke Tenure Track Assistant Professors who have been at Duke for a minimum of three (3) years and Associate Professors who have been promoted within the last five (5) years.



Budget submissions should be in line with the project’s scope. Budgets for scientific projects – May request up to $150,000 with an award term of one year. No-cost extension requests of a second year are possible, but a third year will not be approved. Projects in the arts, humanities, and social sciences will be granted up to $15,000 (exceptions will be considered based on the project’s scope).

Please note: This is an internal award that will not require an SPS record; No overhead should be included in the budget.

Applicable to School of Medicine (SOM) faculty only:  SOM does not assess G&A on DST expenditures.


Allowable Costs

Funds may be used for salary/stipend and fringe of personnel (including PI, students, post-docs, project managers, technicians, participant compensation, etc.), equipment, travel, and/or consumables. Funding of collaborators outside of Duke will not be allowed.


Proposal Requirements

  • Title of project, name of PI, appointment information (current department, school, faculty title), date and title of first Duke faculty appointment, five (5) keywords (will be used to identify proper reviewers)
  • Up to two (2) pages describing the project and should include:
    • Justification of why this project is a departure from the faculty member’s current research.
    • Justification of why this project would be difficult to fund from other sources.
    • A plan to make substantial progress toward their aims within the one-year term.
    • Paper size no larger than 8 ½” x 11″
    • At least one-half inch margins (1/2″) – top, bottom, left, and right for all pages.
    • Font size is at least 11 pt in size and generally recommend Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, or Palatino Linotype.
  • A short CV or biosketch of up to five (5) pages – should clearly include the date of the first tenure track faculty appointment and include all current sources of research/scholarship support.
  • A one-page budget and budget justification.


Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by an internal committee, and will be judged on:

  • Responsiveness to the RFA (ineligible applications will be returned unreviewed). The proposal should represent a new direction or new project for the faculty member.
  • Creativity of the proposal.
  • Potential impact of the proposal on the faculty member’s discipline.


Reporting Requirements

  • One-page summary at the end of the award period
  • Annual queries to award recipient will be made to ascertain whether any external funding, papers, books, performances, etc. have derived from this award.


RFP Released May 3, 2023
RFP Submission Deadline May 31, 2023
Anticipated Grant Notification July 14, 2023
Funds Made Available August 1, 2023
Funds To Be Expended By July 31, 2024



May 31
11:59 pm
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Duke Office for Research & Innovation
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