Duke University, a private research university and North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically black college and university, are two top-ranked prestigious universities located in Durham County, NC. Over the years, both institutions have collaborated on various initiatives. In the fall of 2016, Dr. Ebony Boulware, former Director of Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute met with Dr. Faye Calhoun, Special Assistant to the Chancellor at North Carolina Central University and discussed strategically partnering on initiatives related to workforce development, pilots, and community engagement.
On September 15, 2017, the Duke-NCCU Partnership was formally established and endorsed by leadership at Duke and NCCU. Shortly thereafter, teams comprised of faculty, students, staff, community, and industry partners came together and organized to advance numerous initiatives related to workforce development, community engagement, and pilot research studies. Between 2017 and 2020, multiple initiatives launched including a new clinical research sciences certificate program and undergraduate clinical research sciences bachelor’s program, pilot research partnerships, ethnodramas and research tours to educate the community, and a junior faculty development program. Over time, new synergies and collaboration areas were identified and ties strengthened by working together.
In July 2021, the Duke-NCCU Bridge Office was established which is housed administratively within the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute. This office further solidifies the partnership and provides a key touchpoint and infrastructure for major initiatives in other areas. Duke-NCCU Bridge Office leadership includes partners from both academic institutions and the office is helping to connect researchers across institutions seamlessly. Duke and NCCU are committed to building a long-term sustainable partnership, addressing strategic priority areas, and addressing important issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.