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Kenan-Biddle Partnership receives 90 grant proposals

Kenan-Biddle selection starts Dec. 6

Despite the historically bad blood between them, students at UNC and Duke University are eager to cooperate with one another.

By the extended Nov. 22 deadline, the Kenan-Biddle Partnership had received about 90 proposals for its newly announced grant, suggested to be about $5,000 per proposal, said Ron Strauss, executive associate provost and co-chairman of the partnership’s review committee.

One week before the original Nov. 15 deadline, no one had submitted proposals. As of midday on the original deadline, 26 applications were received. By midday the next day, the number had risen to more than 70.

But after several requests for extensions, the deadline was pushed to Nov. 22.

“It’s a remarkable level of interest for collaboration between the two campuses,” said Strauss, who could not detail any of the proposals.

The Kenan-Biddle Partnership is a new, $150,000 effort aimed at increasing collaboration between students at UNC and Duke.

It is funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, founded in 1965 and 1956, respectively.

Applicants range from undergraduates and graduates to post-doctorates and faculty. The prospective research topics also vary, ranging from the biomedical sciences to the humanities.

Strauss said the partnership markedly increases what either campus can provide individually, together doing more for the public, science, students and faculty.

A selection committee meeting to review proposals will be held on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in 105 South Building.

Mike Lefevre, president of student government at Duke, said the partnership will also bring together both schools’ leaders of student government.

Lefevre and Hogan Medlin, student body president at UNC, are members of the committee that will review the proposals.

“The idea was they would get the president and student affairs director from each university and just mirror what the other one is doing,” Lefevre said.

“It’s not enough to have a great idea.”

Selection committee member and UNC political science professor Lars Schoultz stressed the importance of research as a form of learning.

“Research and teaching go together; they are two ways of nourishing a rising generation, which is what the University Charter stipulates as the purpose of our University,” Schoultz said in an e-mail.

Strauss said he has few concerns about the process in general.

“My only regret is that we won’t be able to award 90 applicants grants,” he said.

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