The Eads Family Undergraduate Research Endowment Fund provides funding to encourage undergraduate public policy majors to become involved in faculty research projects. 

To receive EADS funding over the summer, you must reside in NC. No exceptions can be made to this rule, as Duke policies dictate that EADS recipients live in NC. Summer positions begin the day after graduation.

Please apply directly to the person listed in the position description, providing a resume and explanation of your interest in the position.

Juniors or sophomores might have an opportunity to build on the experience by choosing to write an honors thesis. 

Summer 2022 projects

NC Leadership Forum Research Assistant

Faculty: Abdullah Antepli

Contact: Deborah Goldstein

The NC Leadership Forum works with cohorts of political, business, and nonprofit leaders to develop the will, skills and relationships to work together in constructive engagement on important issues of interest in the state, with a focus on conversation across differences in ideology, identity, or geography. This summer, we will be planning our 2022-2023 programs, including research into expanding beyond NC. Student research will include fact sheets on important policy issues in NC and other states, supporting writing projects that describe NCLF's work for a public audience, and due diligence on potential new partners and sites. Students will also have an opportunity to support development and communications needs of NCLF and may be able to attend some leaders' discussions as they are scheduled.

DCCS:  ESL and classroom teachers working together with students and families

Faculty: Leslie Babinski

Contact: Laronda Blessing                                                                

The Developing Consultation and Collaboration Skills (DCCS) program provides English as a Second Language (ESL) and classroom teachers with a framework for collaboration, skills for implementing high-impact instructional strategies, and approaches for incorporating families’ cultural wealth into the classroom. We are conducting a randomized controlled trial in elementary schools in central North Carolina. Our research assistant will support the team by conducting literature reviews, contributing to coding qualitative data, participating in team meeting, and preparing materials for working in schools.

Public and Private Health Insurance in the U.S.

Faculty/Contact: Kate Bundorf

The position will support projects examining public and private health insurance programs in the U.S. including ACA health insurance exchanges, Medicaid, and Medicare.  The student will be involved in literature review, identification of datasets, data analysis, and drafting sections of research grants.

Longitudinal study of children's trauma

Faculty: Ken Dodge

Contact: Jennifer Godwin, PhD

The Fast Track and Child Development projects are longitudinal studies following cohorts of children over 30 years to understand how early experiences of adversity and trauma lead to adult outcomes of substance use and under-achievement. The RA will help write technical reports, analyze data, and interpret findings. This position is ideal for a student wishing to learn about epidemiological research and to advance career development.

Low-wage working families during the COVID pandemic

Faculty/Contact: Anna Gassman-Pines

This project is investigating how parents working in the service industry have been faring during the COVID pandemic, and whether COVID-specific policy responses (such as providing cash in lieu of missed school meals) helped support families economically and psychologically. Our team has been collecting survey data from a sample of ~1100 families since Fall 2019, with several rounds of data collection focused on the pandemic specifically. Over the summer, we will be doing a substantial amount of data analysis, data presentation and writing. Student involvement could include creating tables, figures and other data visualizations, coding data, conducting additional research on the policy context, and/or data analysis using stata.

Child Maltreatment Prevention

Faculty: Elizabeth Gifford

Contact: Megan Golonka

This student will do an assortment of work related to supporting a team of researchers conducting work on child maltreatment prevention topics.

Curation of DCID Research Portfolio

Faculty: Edmund Malesky

Contact: Jon Abels

We have two interesting projects for an EADS fellow.  In the past few months, DCID has been awarded several large research grants on climate migration, anticorruption, and regulatory compliance in emerging markets.  Many of these projects will be very attractive to outside practitioners, potential partners, and foundations.  First, we envision the EADS fellow working with our communications director to describe the projects for a policy audience, allowing us to update the research on our website with vivid, colorful depictions of the projects and their expected benefit.  Second, we would like to work with EADS fellow on one-page write-ups of several core research agendas that tie these projects to together.  These one-pagers will be distributed to external partners to help communicate the exciting work that DCID is doing.

On Guard for Peace and Socialism: The Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

I am writing an international history of the Warsaw Pact, a Cold War-era military alliance helmed by the Soviet Union. I am seeking student RAs to help me process foreign-language archival materials and/or to conduct research in published sources (available at library). Students with language skills in German, Hungarian, Polish, and/or Russian are especially encouraged to apply.

Faculty/Contact: Simon Miles

Arts, Documentary, & Public Policy Research: Assistant

Faculty/Contact: Chris Sims

Undergraduate assistant will work with Chris Sims to support an on-going artistic and policy research project that will explore the rich and contentious history of race and racism in Alamance County, North Carolina (and other similar research projects). Known in political circles as a battleground county in a battleground southern state, Alamance County (located between Durham and Greensboro) is riven with systemic inequities, while also undergoing rapid and dramatic demographic, social, and cultural changes.

Assistant will:

- provide mailing list support

- develop research leads among churches, community organizations, businesses, and government sources

 - photo and text editing and organization

Evaluation of the Durham Children's Initiative (DCI)

Faculty/Contact: Elizabeth Snyder-Fickler

The goal of DCI is to create a continuum of supports and services that allow children ages 0-21 residing in Durham to become high academic achievers and successfully complete college or vocational training.

CCFP leads the evaluation effort which seeks to demonstrate DCI’s impact on child, family, school, and community-level indicators over time.  Additional goals include understanding the relationship between particular interventions and outcomes, creating a system for shared accountability among community-based partnering agencies, and ensuring the use of real time data for continuous quality improvement.  Students could be involved in the evaluation in a number of ways including; data collection activities in the field, data entry, and the development of reports for various stakeholders.  

Management of America's Public Lands

Faculty/Contact: Sara Sutherland

This project explores the extent to which the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) creates barriers to reducing wildfire risk in the US National Forest System and how politics play a role in National Park funding. 
-The student will review literature on the FS, NEPA, and wildfire mitigation.
-The student will work to clean and analyze a dataset on FS activities.
-The student will also help to clean and code congressional appropriations data on National Park budget allocations. 

Targeting of Environmental Infrastructure in the Middle East

Faculty/Contact: Erika Weinthal            

A student/s will work on a project on targeting environmental/civilian infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa. Research will entail building a database of infrastructure targeted during recent wars in the Middle East, including water, sanitation, and energy infrastructure. The project also examines the ways in which international actors (i.e., humanitarian and development actors) have responded to infrastructure destruction in the Middle East and the role of international environmental and humanitarian law. The student/s may also become familiar with working with visualization tools such as tableau.


Life as a Research Assistant

Camille Ampey really knows what it's like to be an undergraduate research assistant. She spent a summer conducting research for four different Sanford entities.

She traveled to courthouses in the area to do public records research for professor Beth Gifford. She created an interactive map of historically black colleges for professor Deondra Rose. She also collected data for professor Sarah Komisarow, and worked on anti-bias research for Sanford's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

Ampey says she especially liked being able to work closely with faculty members, building connections with them and finding out more about the wide variety of research that is happening at Sanford.