Scholarship with a Civic Mission:
A Research Service-Learning Initiative
Scholarship with a Civic Mission is a new initiative at
Duke that gives students, faculty, and community groups a chance
to work together on issues of common concern. In collaboration with
community partners and faculty, Duke University is developing an
exciting educational model called Research Service-Learning (RSL)
that links academic knowledge, ethical inquiry skills, and civic
leadership capacities among participating Duke undergraduates.
Research Service-Learning at Duke includes a new series
of courses and community-based research opportunities that allow
students to pursue academic projects relevant to community needs
and interests. The model begins with a gateway course, continues
through an intensive community-based research experience, and culminates
in a capstone course. The goal is to integrate service-learning
and civic engagement with the university's mission of generating
In the RSL process, students, faculty, and community collaborators
study a question of shared interest. Research is conducted in the
context of a service-learning experience, where the research components
(problem analysis, synthesis, and recommendations) become an integral
part of the service provided to the community. Students participate
in a structured process of critical reflection about their experiences
while also producing a tangible research product for their community
Scholarship with a Civic Mission builds on Duke University's
commitment in Curriculum 2000 to ethical inquiry and undergraduate
research. As students move through the stages of the Research Service-Learning
model, they develop progressively a deeper understanding of the
intellectual issues, ethical concerns, and questions of civic responsibility
related to their research topics.
- Stage 1 is a Gateway Course that involves a service-learning
experience in a community, and introduces students to basic
research skills and ethical issues.
- Stage 2 is a Community Based Research Opportunity
through a course, independent study or internship that includes
field research. Students conduct research in collaboration
with community partners in a local, national, or international
setting. The process includes critical reflection on the
intellectual, ethical and civic issues related to the community-based
- Stage 3 is a Capstone Course in which students
pursue an independent research project that builds on collaboration
with community partners. The course can be a full credit
independent study or an honor seminar. Students share their
research products with their community partners and also
present their work publicly.
Students who complete all three stages will
Duke Civic Scholars
Research Service-Learning pathways can be based within specific
academic disciplines, such as Public Policy and Political Science,
or they can link several disciplines under one topic such as "Human
Development and Education," "Humanitarian Issues and Human
Rights," and "Public Health Inequalities."
Blount, Director of the Hart
Leadership Program, and Elizabeth
Kiss, Director of the Kenan
Institute of Ethics, are the sponsors of Scholarship with a
Co-sponsors include the following:
Bob Thompson, Dean of Trinity College of Arts and Science
Mary Nijhout, Director of Undergraduate Research Support
Matt Serra, Director of Assessment for Trinity College
Dean's Advisory Committee for Service-Learning
Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership
Robertson Scholars Program
B.N. Duke Scholars Program.
For further information, please contact the Research Service-Learning
Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarship with a Civic Mission is sponsored in part by
The Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S.
Department of Education Fund. For more information on FIPSE please
or the U.S. Department of Education http://www.ed.gov.