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Independent Project Application

The DukeEngage online application opens each year on on or around October 1 for the following summer. Independent project applications are due in January, with interviews and candidate selection concluding in February.

The following criteria are used as part of the evaluation process for independent project applications:

  • project plan, timeline and goals
  • understanding of community
  • preparedness
  • interest
  • health and safety

Annual Dates & Deadlines (2016-17)

The timeline below will give you a sense of what’s involved. We encourage you to use it to stay on track as you build your application. Most steps are optional, and you may complete them in any order that works for you. Requirements and firm deadlines are bolded.


  • Begin considering what service themes and locations are of interest to you
  • Begin researching Duke mentors and potential community partners, including volunteer sending organizations (VSOs)


  • Attend an DukeEngage information session and independent project alumni presentation during DukeEngage Week, October 17-21
  • Make a list of potential community partners/VSOs and mentors
  • Schedule your DukeEngage advisor meeting (one meeting, either in person or via Skype, for off campus students, is required before applying and must take place by January 13, 2017)


  • Begin working on the Profile section within the DukeEngage application
  • Continue researching locations and exploring project options with preferred partners/VSOs
  • Select your mentor and meet to discuss your DukeEngage goals


  • Select community partner/VSO, identify project goals and build a project plan
  • Meet with your mentor to discuss your application and Capstone
  • Add Spring Semester classes related to your project work, or find other ways to prepare for your project


  • DukeEngage advisor meeting deadline: January 13, 2017
  • Independent Project Application and Mentor Agreement Form Deadline: January 24 at noon EST
  • Community Partner Verification Letter deadline: February 3, 2017


  • Independent Project Interview Period: TBA
  • Independent Project Admission Notification: TBA
  • Independent Project Statement of Intent Deadline: TBA


  • Attend training sessions with independent participant cohort
  • If required, obtain IRB approval by March 3, 2017
  • Finalize housing arrangements at project location (required before Registration)
  • DukeEngage Registration: March 2017 (in person at Smith Warehouse or online for study away students). Passport required for international projects
  • Student Health appointment (required for most international projects)
  • Flights booked by DukeEngage


  • Attend Fortin Foundation DukeEngage Academy (required). If you are abroad, you will complete online training modules.
  • Stipend checks issued by DukeEngage