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Duke and RTI International Partner to Seed $5 Million in Research Collaborations

Deadline for expressions of interest is April 8, 2021

RTI International's Forethought program logo
RTI International's Forethought program logo

DURHAM, N.C. -- Building on 60 years of strategic collaborations, Duke University and RTI International have launched a new partnership to jointly develop research projects that address the critical challenges of today and tomorrow.

The $5 million partnership, called Forethought, will seed collaborations that showcase the different yet complementary capabilities of the two campuses and also align with external funding and market opportunities. RTI is looking for innovative and compelling research projects that meld scientific rigor, technical proficiency, and innovative methods to help solve the world's most critical problems.

“We are not looking to draw attention or energy away from bilateral collaborations, but to take our collaborations to a new level,” said RTI International’s Vice President of University Collaborations, Jacqueline Olich. Forethought’s goal is to “really elevate the region by optimizing remarkable talents and assets that we have here.”

Duke’s Vice President for Research & Innovation Sandy Williams hosted a March 16 virtual informational webinar (Duke log-in required to view) to discuss opportunities for collaboration between Duke, RTI and other universities in the Triangle. Speakers included members of Duke and RTI leadership as well as faculty who shared their collaborative experiences, followed by open Q&A.

Forethought is a future-focused competition funded by RTI’s Board of Governors that is open to non-student researchers. It is intended to harness distinctive intellectual and institutional resources and the collaborative culture of the Research Triangle region.

The deadline for expressions of interest is April 8, 2021.

“What I like about the way RTI has structured this is that it really plays to the culture at Duke,” Williams said. “Thinking big, forming teams, thinking globally -- that’s what we do here.”

Duke’s Office of Research & Innovation (OR&I) is inviting researchers interested in the program to submit expressions of interest through the MyResearchProposal portal. Through the site, interested parties can share collaboration ideas and support requests, receive feedback, and connect with other collaborators working in similar areas. If a person or team has a great idea but have not put together a full team, they can still submit an EOI and RTI will help identify partners if they find the EOI compelling.

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