External Partner

Interested in Becoming a MIDS Capstone Partner?

Need help with a hard data problem that requires both data science skills and specialized field knowledge?

Consider a MIDS Capstone Partnership!

MIDS students working on projects

Partners are chosen in a two-stage process. Stage 1 allows you to provide some information we’ll use to plan a conversation with you about whether the Capstone Partnership fits the scope and goals of your project. If so, we will work with you to submit a Stage 2 proposal, which asks about the data and resources involved, the outcomes you hope to achieve, and the legal or data agreements that will be needed.

A unique opportunity.

Through Capstones, MIDS students make substantial contributions to real, complex projects between non-academic partners and Duke researchers who have interests and domain expertise aligned with partners’ goals.

Ideally, each Capstone is a one-year project within a larger multi-year collaboration, but one-year long collaborations are also possible.  Each project has at least one MIDS student, one Duke researcher, and one partner. 

Throughout the two semesters of a Capstone year, MIDS students also participate in a Capstone course with classroom time and assignments dedicated to establishing team expectations, creating work plans, providing weekly updates, and performing 360-degree evaluations of team performance. A trained project manager from the MIDS team supports each project to ensure participating entities are engaged and milestones are met. Although MIDS students work collaboratively in Capstones, each student must achieve a specific outcome of interest for the participating outside party and give a final presentation with an accompanying white paper about the outcome’s implications. 

The final deliverables are evaluated by a panel of MIDS core faculty and outside partners. Each Capstone team also has a mid-year review to receive targeted feedback about progress and to ensure that resources are available for unsolved technical and analytical challenges. 

MIDS students working on projects