During their two months in Washington, students will serve with a governmental agency or body, a non-governmental organization, or a non-profit or a lobbying organization where they will assist with the analysis of policy questions, formulation of policy options, or making of policy choices at a national level regarding science policy.
The overall purpose of the program is to draw on what you have already learned at Duke and elsewhere, use that knowledge and your skills to improve a domain of national science policy, and to bring that experiential knowledge back to Duke to inform and enrich your academic and social service commitments.
The goal of the program is to engage Duke undergraduates with the opportunity to participate in active learning around the process of federal policy making, with specific focus on the sciences and the unique challenges that work in this niche field requires, including effective science communication. During the 8 weeks in Washington, the program hopes to foster an ethic of service and civic participation in students who will be tomorrow’s volunteers, civic leaders and policy makers.
By the program’s end students should be able to:
Organizations that might host DukeEngage students include:
Examples of projects that student groups have carried out include:
Description of Community: Students will live together in housing within Washington, DC. The facility will be at the New York University facility on L Street, NW, between 13th and 14th Streets, Northwest. This is a lively, safe part of the city, with excellent public transportation access. The Duke in Washington office, at 12th and New York Avenue, NW, will be used for some activities, including orientation, and is a block from the Metro Center subway station, and two blocks from the NYU residential facility.
Housing and Meals: The facility is an apartment-like setting, with kitchen facilities. Pairs of students will share a room, with four students sharing kitchen, common room and bathroom facilities. There will be Internet access. DukeEngage students may reside with other Duke students or students from another college.
Students will have a meal allowance. This meal allowance will cover groceries to cook in temporary housing, with occasional meals out. Washington is an expensive city in which to eat out, and the DukeEngage meal stipend is not intended to cover numerous meals outside of your apartment.
Transportation: Students will get a SmarTrip card loaded with several hundred dollars, which can be used on Metro trains and buses. Cars are not permitted.
Communication: Students will be expected to provide their own cell phone. Internet will be available through the internship site and the residential facility. Internship sites will have their own computing networks, but students should bring a laptop. Each internship site will have policies and procedures regarding what information can be stored on personal computers and taken away from the site, and students will be expected to learn and abide by those policies. A laptop or iPad/slate computer will be essential for communication and personal work, and some placements may require use of the student’s laptop.
Opportunities for Reflection: We will meet weekly as a group for dinner to discuss how placements are going and hot topics. Outside speakers will be selected in an effort to address student interests, host social events (with some emphasis on health policy, science, and human rights), and cultivate a strong emphasis on laughter punctuated by insight.
Curricular Connections: This DukeEngage program is connected to the Undergraduate Certificate in Science and Society coursework and class offerings.