Summer opportunities for Duke graduate students

Through the Duke University Office of the Provost, TriCEM is pleased to announce two opportunities to support current Duke graduate students during Summer 2020, detailed below. Interested students should submit the following to Meredith Spence Beaulieu (

  • a letter of application
  • a brief CV (2 page maximum)
  • a letter of support from the department DGS, indicating how the proposed virtual/remote internship will enhance your intellectual trajectory and summer funding requirements
  • a statement of need detailing confirmed summer funding and all pending funding requests

We will begin considering applications on May 14. Students may apply after May 13 so long as an opportunity remains unfilled, but are not guaranteed priority consideration.

Full details about these Provost-sponsored summer opportunities and a list of all internal and external positions available here.


Development of Topical Pandemics Course

7 hrs/wk for 12 wks ($2650)

TriCEM seeks 1-2 graduate students to assist with development of a short course related to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Evolutionary Medicine and Infectious Disease: Understanding SARS-CoV-2.”

The graduate student(s) will work closely with co-leaders Dr. Charles Nunn and Dr. Meredith Spence Beaulieu on this course development. The resulting course will consist of 10 one-hour long recorded lectures and associated computational exercises, readings, and news articles. Lectures and computational exercises will focus on core concepts and approaches in evolutionary medicine, and their usefulness when considering pandemics such as COVID-19. The course will be offered virtually, and modules from the course will also be integrated into Nunn’s semester- long “Pandemics” course to be offered at Duke in Spring 2021.

The graduate student(s) will assist with development of the hands-on exercises and compilation of materials. Specific duties may include but are not limited to development of course content, creation of team-based learning modules, development of computational laboratory exercises, and collection of resources to complement the course (e.g. scientific publications, articles, web- based tools, podcasts).

PhD or Masters students from topical areas that include computational biology, ecology, global health, evolutionary anthropology, or epidemiology would be particularly well suited for this opportunity.


Evolution-based K-12 Lesson Plan Development

20 hrs/wk for 4 wks ($2650)

TriCEM seeks graduate students to develop evolution-based K-12 lesson plans for the Darwin Day Roadshow.

The Darwin Day Roadshow is an educational initiative piloted by TriCEM earlier this year. The Roadshow traveled to K-12 schools across North Carolina to teach about evolution and its importance to everyday life, including applications to health. The graduate students involved in this project will broaden the impact of this important outreach program by creating formal open- access lesson plan resources for teachers across NC and beyond. Working closely with Dr. Meredith Spence Beaulieu, the graduate students will have the opportunity to further develop the previously used classroom activities and/or to create new lessons based on evolutionary concepts and their own research internships.

Specific duties will include conceptualizing lessons, aligning lesson plans with NC Essential Science Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, and developing comprehensive teacher resources for the lesson plans, including but not limited to annotated PowerPoint presentations, student worksheets or other activity guides, and suggestions for further student exploration of the topic.

PhD or Masters students from any topical areas with an understanding of evolutionary principles and an interest in science communication are welcome to apply. We expect to support 2-4 graduate students in summer 2020 for lesson plan development, and students will work collaboratively toward these goals.