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A Summer of Course Design for Five Departments

Five departments have been awarded 2023 Summer Course Development Grants from Duke’s offices of Undergraduate Education and Interdisciplinary Studies in partnership with Duke Learning Innovation.

Faculty members and Ph.D. students will collaborate on the development or redesign of five summer session courses that will be offered regularly to undergraduates beginning next year. Two courses will be revised, while three will be new.

2023 Summer Course Development Grants

German Studies

The History of Fantasy (New)

Marine Science & Conservation

Experimental Design & Research Methods (New)

Psychology & Neuroscience

Biological Bases of Behavior (NEUROSCI 102/PSY 107 Revised)

Religious Studies

Religion & Popular Culture (New)


Methods of Social Research (SOCIOL 332 Revised)

What Comes Next

Each department will receive a funding package for one Ph.D. student in Summer 2023 to work as a research assistant developing course materials in partnership with one or more faculty members, and for the faculty to receive research funding.

Duke Learning Innovation will provide formal guidance in course design through intensive kick-off workshops May 16-18 with faculty and student grant recipients. Ongoing consultation will be available throughout the summer.

The resulting courses will be offered regularly through Duke Summer Session beginning in 2024. In some cases, the Ph.D. students who helped create the courses will serve as the instructors.

Purpose of These Grants

Now in its second year, the Summer Course Development Grants internal funding program was designed to strengthen undergraduate education while furthering Duke’s commitment to excellence in Ph.D. training.

Departments gain new or redesigned courses that align with their curricular priorities, faculty members receive research funding, and undergraduates benefit from a greater number and range of summer courses that incorporate innovative approaches.

Participating Ph.D. students receive summer funding and build skills in course design and pedagogy. Those who go on to teach the resulting courses also gain experience as effective instructors.

Future Ph.D. students will benefit from these grants by tapping into an archive of course materials to support their own summer teaching.

Learn More

See which departments received 2022 Summer Course Development Grants and read about four of the courses in these stories: