*Please Note*

We are working closely with Duke University in monitoring Covid-19 conditions to see if in-person programming will be possible in 2021. As of now, we are planning to host the summer programming on campus. If programming needs to be held digitally, we will offer that option to the third-year cohort, as many of the students will be graduating in 2021. We are hopeful that a decision will be made regarding the status of in-person vs. digital programming before the application deadline. However, that decision ultimately lies with Duke University, with the safety of students being the utmost priority.

Program Description

The Young Scholars Summer Research Institute is a three-week program that provides high school students enrolled in Durham Public Schools (DPS) with training to enhance their writing, research, and presentation skills.

The program is sponsored by the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University in partnership with Durham Public Schools (DPS). In keeping with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center’s central mission as a community of scholars engaged in the study of the causes and consequences of inequality, program participants explore curriculum related to the economic, social, and political dimensions of inequality.

During the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute, students receive instruction from distinguished teachers, university professors, and leaders from community organizations. The program’s main focus is on the development of the students’ research, writing, presentation, and critical-inquiry skills, culminating in a capstone presentation of students’ individual or group research projects.

Program Goals

  • Enhance student research, writing, and presentation skills within an academically high-achieving environment
  • Facilitate student ownership of learning and develop tools for critical inquiry
  • Foster collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the causes and consequences of inequality
  • Enable student production of individual research related to the varied causes and consequences of inequality and possible remedies for achieving equity and social justice (involving the intersections of class, income, wealth, gender, race, health, law, employment, and education)
  • Identify and recruit the next generation of scholars engaged in the study of inequality and design of remedies for addressing group-based disparities and conflicts

Program Administration and Faculty

Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity
  • William A. Darity, Program Founder
  • Gwendolyn Wright, Program Administrator
  • Erica Phillips, Program Coordinator
Durham Public Schools
  • Daniel Kelvin Bullock, Program Liaison; Executive Director for Equity Affairs with Durham Public Schools
About Durham Public Schools

Durham Public Schools serves more than 32,000 students in 53 schools across the city and county. Student-participants in the Young Scholars Summer Research Institute must be currently enrolled in Durham Public Schools and entering the ninth, tenth, or eleventh grade.

Program Information

  • Programming: July 6, 2021 — July 23, 2021, 8:30 am-4:00 pm. Location pending based on COVID-19 protocol.
  • Capstone Conference: July 26, 2021, 5:00-8:00 pm, @ Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center, Duke University.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Transportation: Most students are picked up and dropped off by parents. We also have parking spaces available for students who have their driver’s licenses. Additionally, we will provide transportation on an approved, case by case basis.
  • Food: Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided while on site.

Application & Deadline

1st year cohort:

  • Spanish application
  • Accepting applications from rising 9th-11th grade DPS students.
    • Application Due: March 15, 2021
    • Application Decisions: April 2, 2021

2nd year cohort:

  • Spanish application
  • Accepting returners and new applicants.
    • Application Due: March 15, 2021
    • Application Decisions: April 2, 2021

3rd year cohort and returning applicants:

  • Accepting applications from invited, returning students and 2020 applicants.
    • Application Due: March 15, 2021
    • Application Decisions: April 2, 2021

What People Are Saying

“It was a total success and I know that the Young Scholars are motivated to become activist and change agents for social justice. Thank you again for this amazing program.”

“Although hesitant at first, my student thoroughly enjoyed himself, and he was excited to tell us about his daily work and learned information that is helpful to him. He was nervous about presenting, however he became more confident and did well.”

  • “I enjoyed hearing from everyone [at the Capstone] and the topics are all relevant and timely.”

“I enjoyed being in the 3rd year cohort and digging deeper into my topic. I also appreciate working with all of the teachers and staff of the institute.”

“My favorite part of the institute was watching the change in the depth of conversation with my student.”

“The teachers and staff are supportive and transparent. The village concept is working!”

“Keep up the great work. You are creating future leaders who will understand the key issues impacting our community.”

It was really important to me that I finished the Social Equity Program and through your help, I was able to do so. This program has taught me so much and has even played a major impact on my future career goals.

2020 Young Scholars Graduates

The in-person Hank and Billye Aaron Young Scholars Summer Research Institute was cancelled this summer due to Covid-19. Programming occurred remotely for our three graduating seniors who entered college in Fall 2020. Those three students will be presenting their research at the Summer 2021 capstone conference. Below are their bios and their completed research papers

2019 Young Scholars Capstone Conference

On July 29, 2019, the Duke University Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity hosted its Capstone Conference for the fifth annual Hank and Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Research Institute. Read about the event here.