Duke Doctoral Student

The Duke Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS) program is excited to invite proposals from Duke doctoral students interested in deepening their data-related skills, getting experience with applied data science, and enhancing their professional readiness.

Through an NSF Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) grant, six Ph.D. students will be selected as IGE Doctoral Fellows to engage MIDS students throughout the 2020-2021 academic year in collaborating to address a hard data problem that requires both data science skills and specialized field knowledge. IGE Doctoral Fellows may either propose their own MIDS capstone project or may join an existing capstone project team. Currently, we are soliciting proposals from doctoral students who wish to propose their own MIDS capstone project. If IGE Fellowship spots remain unfilled once capstone projects have been selected, we will seek additional applications from PhD students who may wish to join a project they did not themselves propose.

Duke Chapel

Each IGE Capstone Project receives $3,000 in research/travel funds, and the requested number of MIDS students and appropriate MIDS project management staff will be assigned. The costs of the data curation, storage, and processing for each selected project will be covered by MIDS and provided through the MIDS/SSRI established procedures for sensitive data. 

IGE Doctoral Fellowships

include the following expectations and opportunities:

  • IGE Doctoral Fellows must participate throughout 2020-2021 in all MIDS program classwork and activities designed to ensure Capstone Projects succeed, including meetings with stakeholders, teamwork and leadership workshops, analysis plans, milestone reports, and mid-year reviews.
  • IGE Doctoral Fellows must complete all assignments designed to ensure that students understand the ethical issues related to their project, and have reflected on the larger impact their project may have on society.
  • IGE Doctoral Fellows are invited (but not required) to participate in any other professional development activities provided by the MIDS program (such as job fairs, interview preparation sessions, and seminars with non-academic data science partners).
  • IGE Doctoral Fellows may take any of the MIDS core courses with the incoming MIDS class.

Proposed projects must:


be substantial and take at least 1 year to complete.


address an important problem and allow MIDS students to contribute meaningfully to the solution.


have an important deliverable to a non-research oriented partner or stakeholder, including a company, a government agency, an internal Duke organization or a nonprofit, who will be available throughout the year to evaluate the project.


incorporate domain expertise from at least one Duke researcher.

Duke Student

To apply to become an IGE Fellow who proposes his/her own MIDS capstone project, please prepare a proposal that follows the directions in the link below. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis; those received by 5 p.m. January 30th, 2020, are guaranteed consideration. 

Ph.D. students will need a letter of recommendation from their advisor; a Ph.D. student’s submission of the proposal form automatically generates a request to their advisor for a letter.