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$50 Million Grant Looks to Propel the Sciences With New Hires

Duke Endowment grant to support targeted hiring for university and Duke Health

“…this transformational grant will allow us to recruit the brightest and boldest thinkers and provide them with the infrastructure they need to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.” -Vincent E. Price, President, Duke University

DURHAM, N.C. -- A $50 million grant from The Duke Endowment will accelerate and expand the recruitment of research scientists who specialize in the applied and basic sciences at Duke University, officials announced Monday.

The grant from The Duke Endowment, a private foundation based in Charlotte, will support the hiring of more than a dozen junior- to senior-level faculty in fields of science, medicine, technology, engineering and mathematics. This will allow Duke to expand areas of research and prepare students as future leaders in current and emerging professions.

“At the most important moments in this university’s history, we have benefited from the support and guidance of The Duke Endowment,” said Duke President Vincent E. Price. “Today is no different -- this transformational grant will allow us to recruit the brightest and boldest thinkers and provide them with the infrastructure they need to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. We are so very grateful to The Duke Endowment, and we look forward to all that we can accomplish together in the years ahead.”

The new faculty hires will advance research and scholarship at Duke that contribute to the betterment of humanity -- both regionally and worldwide -- by addressing such critical challenges as climate change and epidemic disease.

“Our shared purpose is to improve the overall quality of the sciences across Duke,” said A. Eugene Washington, M.D., chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System. “Recruiting the best and most promising scientists will propel us to even higher levels of scientific discovery and education, and will translate into improved health for communities in North Carolina and beyond.”

To deliver on the university’s commitment to fostering connections, the new scientist-scholars will work with colleagues in multiple disciplines in Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering and School of Medicine.

“The proximity of our basic, clinical and biomedical sciences on Duke’s West Campus remains a huge competitive advantage for us to further Duke’s renowned interdisciplinary culture of collaboration and the ease with which people can work seamlessly across traditional academic disciplines,” said Provost Sally Kornbluth.

With The Duke Endowment’s investment, Duke will launch a targeted effort to recruit scientist-scholars who fit within a strategic vision of the institutions’ greatest needs and potential. The hiring effort is expected to be complete within three years.

“Our goal is to continue to build these intellectual bonds between Duke Health and the university, creating entirely new constellations of faculty, ideas, and applications that will take us to higher levels of insight and excellence,” said Mary E. Klotman, M.D., dean of the Duke School of Medicine. “We will be looking for exceptional candidates who are asking the most interesting questions in key areas of fundamental science, and who share Duke’s commitment to pursuing innovative, impactful research.”

Minor Shaw, chair of the Endowment’s Board of Trustees, said The Duke Endowment’s founder, James. B. Duke, was a visionary leader in business and philanthropy who seized opportunities to experiment and innovate. “In this golden era for research and discovery, we believe this grant will help Duke University break new ground in scientific research and strengthen its potential for lasting impact,” Shaw said.

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Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.7 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations. For more information, go to