Bass Connections

Bass Connections is a university-wide initiative that brings together faculty, postdocs, graduate and professional students, and undergraduates to explore societal challenges in interdisciplinary research teams. Past teams have tackled societal challenges around the world, ranging from improving educational outcomes for children in Durham, to developing strategies for using American forests and wetlands as carbon sinks, to improving neurosurgery outcomes in Uganda.

Bass Connections includes:

  • Year-Long Research Teams in which graduate students have the opportunity to receive academic credit or compensation while also gaining experience in applied research, project management and leading teams

  • Summer Research Programs in which graduate students serve as project mentors for teams of undergraduate students conducting research

  • Student Research Awards that invite graduate students to apply for funding for student-driven research projects—collaborative or individual

For graduate students, benefits of participating in a Bass Connections project team include:

  • Enhancing dissertation or master’s thesis research

  • Coauthoring publications

  • Deepening relationships with faculty

  • Gaining experience in project management and leading teams

  • Building career-enhancing skills to stand out on the job market

  • Networking with colleagues in diverse fields

  • Getting experience mentoring others, particularly undergraduates

  • Gaining opportunities for possible funding

Each year, Bass Connections hosts more than sixty year-long research teams, thirty-five summer research teams, and approximately thirty-five courses. For more information on Bass Connections and how to get involved, visit For examples of graduate students who have participated, visit