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What all has been canceled on campus for this summer?



Numerous programs and activities previously scheduled to be held on campus this summer have been canceled following the recent suspension of residential activities during the summer due to COVID-19, ending weeks of uncertainty about whether they would continue.

The announcement that all on-campus summer programs were canceled came March 30. Days later, the University extended its restrictions on on-campus activities to June 30. While some programs continued preparations while they waited for the final decision, others decided to cancel activities sooner.

Early cancellations

Maureen Cullins, director of the Summer Biomedical Sciences Institute, posted an update on the program’s website announcing its cancellation March 16.

“In keeping with the University’s requirement that large gatherings be cancelled and the uncertainty of how the novel coronavirus will behave in the warmer months, we must cancel our program,” Cullins wrote.

The Summer Biomedical Sciences Institute, hosted within the Duke School of Medicine, is a program geared towards rising sophomores and juniors who are underrepresented in medicine, disadvantaged or interested in working in underserved communities, according to the Institute website. It was originally scheduled to begin June 6.

The Regeneration Next Initiative, also part of the Duke School of Medicine, informed research fellowship applicants that the program was canceled on March 24.

“RNI’s Summer Research Fellowship is just that, a research fellowship,” wrote Program Director Amy Dickson in an email to The Chronicle. “With our labs being closed currently, we did not want to hold undergraduates who applied for our program from seeking other opportunities at this time.”

Dickson also wrote that RNI was looking into ways to support undergraduate researchers in its labs for Fall 2020. The summer fellowship was originally scheduled to begin May 26.

Waiting to make final decisions

Other programs were waiting on directions from the University before making a decision to cancel. Some, like Story+ and the Psychology Vertical Integration Program, were scheduled to start mid-May with Summer Session I.

Story+ Program Co-Director Amanda Gould wrote in an email to participants March 27—a few days before Duke announced its decision—that leaders were working behind the scenes to plan for Story+ and craft contingencies. Story+ is a humanities research program offered by Bass Connections and the Franklin Humanities Institute .

In contrast, Psychology VIP notified students March 13 that preparations would be on hold until early April, according to Angela Vieth, associate director of undergraduate studies in psychology and neuroscience.

Vieth wrote in a March 28 email to The Chronicle that the psychology and neuroscience department hoped to offer the program remotely. 

Psychology VIP is not the only program to consider a digital shift. As of April 5, CS+ and Huang Fellows are among the programs that have switched to virtual programming for the summer. 

Youth programs

Undergraduate students are not the only people who benefit from on-campus summer programming—Duke also typically hosts a variety of youth activities during the summer. Prior to the University’s decision, some programs made changes to their application deadlines or made announcements about the status of summer activities.

Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) tweeted March 11 that there were no plans to cancel any educational programs, but families would be refunded in the event of cancellation. The Summer Studies program began accepting applications six days later, but the University announced March 30 that all TIP programming would be canceled. It was later clarified that this included residential programs hosted at other universities, so TIP is now inviting families to apply to its online programs.

DukeREP, a partnership between Durham Public Schools and the Pratt School of Engineering, extended its application deadline to April 1 and stated that they still intended to hold the program in June. The program website was later updated to reflect that the University had canceled all summer activities.

Although Duke Continuing Studies canceled all Osher Lifelong Learning courses for the foreseeable future, it waited to issue guidance on its youth summer programs, which include the Summer College for High School Students and the College Admissions Boot Camp.

After the University’s announcement, an update was posted to the Youth Programs website stating that all programs had been canceled and program fees would be refunded.

“We hope to offer various online learning enrichment opportunities later this summer and will update our website when more information is available,” the notice stated.

Activities impacted by on-campus restrictions through June 30

Note: This is not a complete list, nor is it a substitute for direct communication from the individual programs. Some programs may still be conducting remote activities.

Undergraduate activities include:

  • All DukeEngage, study abroad and other Duke-sponsored travel programs
  • Psychology Vertical Integration Program
  • Story+
  • Amgen Scholars Program
  • Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory/Duke Research Experience for Undergraduates
  • Summer Undergraduate Research in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology (SURPH)
  • DOMath
  • Summer Scholars Program in Genome Sciences and Medicine
  • REU for Meeting the Grand Challenges
  • Data+
  • CS+
  • Code+
  • Regeneration Next Initiative Summer Research Fellowship
  • Summer Research Opportunities Program
  • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
  • Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • Summer Undergraduate Research in Theoretical Chemistry
  • Summer Biomedical Sciences Institute
  • REACH Equity Summer Undergraduate Research Program
  • Summer Neuroscience Program
  • Summer Training in Academic Research (STAR)
  • ReImagine Medicine

All youth programs including: 

Graduate activities include:


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