Student STEM Enrichment Program

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Duke University





Top universities often expect students to have pursued advanced extracurricular study while in high school, making it an informal prerequisite to present a competitive application to such programs. We believe these barriers prevent many bright and talented young people, particularly those from underrepresented groups in STEM and first generation college students, from receiving equitable access to postsecondary STEM education and research experiences. The Duke Research in Engineering Program (DukeREP) proposes to address this problem by connecting high school students from the Durham, North Carolina community with research opportunities working directly with graduate students in Duke Engineering labs. Bypassing the informal network that may advantage students with existing privilege, our program has a fair and transparent application open to all local students, with priority given to students from underrepresented groups in STEM. DukeREP students gain valuable hands-on experience with engineering research, helping them to develop their self-concept as future scientists or engineers, as well as to present a highly compelling application to colleges or employers. In contrast to most high school internships or STEM enrichment activities, which are either free or in some cases, require payment, our program pays students a competitive stipend to work for the summer in a research lab. This makes it accessible to all students regardless of socioeconomic status.

The defining components of DukeREP are participant research experience and enrichment activities, and graduate student leadership and mentor training. Student engagement in labs is the heart of our program, and our enrichment activities are designed to provide additional support for our high school students in preparing for and envisioning themselves in future roles. DukeREP was founded and is run by Duke PhD students who volunteer their time to this program. Engineering grad student mentors provide approachable role models for their mentees, and through mentor training they learn inclusive mentorship and communication skills. By building upon these pillars, DukeREP is well-positioned to address STEM inequities in our local community and beyond.

Award Timeline

Mar 10, 2023

Application Opens

Jun 09, 2023

Application Deadline

Nov 30, 2023

Notice of Award

Dec 01, 2023

Award Start Date

Aug 30, 2026

Award End Date

Program Contacts

Alfred Mays

Senior Program Officer


Samantha Moore

Program Associate


Kendi Kajogo

Program Coordinator