Build the next generation of technology for the Duke Community.

More Details Apply Now Grant Projects

Interested in Open Source Projects? We have a grant for that

We're upping the ante on innovation.

The goal of the Co-Lab is to encourage and support students who want to build the next generation technology that will power Duke for years to come. Instead of incentivizing action through challenges where the reward and adoption is never guaranteed, we want to work with you directly, one-on-one, to develop your project, from start to distribution.

How this all works

Students with an idea will complete an application outlining a project that has benefit to the Duke Community through innovative use of technology. This application will include details like project timeline, team members, resources required, technical/expert assistance required, as well as a stipend request. Stipends will be commensurate with project scope and complexity, experience, team size, materials cost and project duration. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and reviewed by the Co-Lab. After review, applications can either be accepted, returned for additional information or revisions, or declined.

On Acceptance

Once a project is accepted, the team member(s) will meet with a representative from the Co-Lab to establish a project plan at a Kickoff Meeting. Half of the stipend will be issued after the Kickoff Meeting and the initial timeline is confirmed (unless the full amount is going towards material costs, in which case the full amount will be released). We'll set up a regular schedule to meet throughout the project timeline.

Throughout the Project

The Co-Lab representative will serve as a Project Manager to the Team, and will have regular check-ins to review progress and address any issues that need to be resolved. We can provide consultation on your ideas, help wireframe or work through stumbling blocks, or seek additional advice or expertise from our colleagues. You'll also complete a few progress write-ups to keep a log of the project, including successes and roadblocks along the way. We'll post these on your team's project page.

On Completion

On successful completion of the project, a final Wrap-Up Meeting will take place with the Co-Lab Project Manager (and any other Co-Lab representatives) for a product demo. After this meeting and successful demo, the second half of the stipend will be issued. The Co-Lab will then begin a concerted marketing effort with the team around the project to help drive adoption and/or awareness of the project, including, but not limited to, social media efforts, traditional advertising, policy revisions, and, if appropriate, a recommendation for inclusion in the official DukeMobile App. The project's files will all be posted on Duke's code repository, Gitlab. We may also hold Demo events once or twice a year to have you show off your work to an audience of peers, faculty, staff, and local entrepreneurs.

To Apply

The application must include the following:

  • Project Name
  • Description of Project
  • Listing of Team Members, as well as individual qualifications (see more info on team building below)
  • Intended Audience for project
  • Innovative Use of Technology
  • Benefit to the Duke Community
  • Project Timeline (see agile development info below
  • Technology resources required (including any that are not readily available)
  • Technical / Expert assistance required
  • Stipend Request
When You're Ready, Apply Here

Intellectual Property Implications

Students will retain ownership of their project, however, after the final project meeting and demonstration of the completed project, the students must post their completed code base and build files to Gitorious and share with the Co-Lab (does not need to be public). The Co-Lab and Duke will have nonexclusive, perpetual, derivative, royalty-free use of the project submitted at this point, however, the students may continue development beyond this point or use it for commercial purposes outside of Duke, if applicable.

Building a Team

When building a team, it's important to consider the various kinds of expertise you'll need to complete the project. It's beneficial to have a group with complementary skill sets, including technical leads, design / UI leads, and a marketing and research representative. A well-rounded team, with well-defined skills and areas of expertise, is just as important as having a great idea for a project. We want to know that your group has the ability to produce, at a high level, your intended project. If you are looking for a specific team member with a certain set of skills, feel free to email our mailing list,, or our Facebook page, to put out a call for a partner to join your team. We can also assist you in finding someone if you need additional help. Just contact us at

Agile Development

While we encourage you to come up with a fairly rigorous timeline, we understand that software and product development rarely goes according to a strict schedule, from start to finish. In fact, we encourage you to take an agile approach to development, with adaptive planning, iterative development, and an ability to be flexible in the face of changes through the process. The weekly check-in meetings will serve to help evaluate checkpoints, but also to brainstorm and work through unforeseen issues in the development cycle.

Any other Questions?

If you have any questions, want help putting together an application, or just want to hash out some details, we'd be happy to help. Just contact us at

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