About RSL


Since 2006, HLP has been providing research service-learning (RSL) gateway courses with the goal of enabling students in public policy classes to directly apply classroom lessons to complex community issues. Public policy professors interested in teaching an RSL course partner with 2-3 local organizations whose work relates to course topics. Students enrolled in these courses have the option to conduct community-based research for one of the partner organizations. RSL students work in research groups with 6-8 of their peers and dedicate a minimum of 20 hours to the project throughout the semester.

Research is conducted in the context of a service-learning experience, where the research components (problem analysis, synthesis, and conclusions) become an integral part of the service provided to the community. Students produce a tangible research product for their community partner. They also participate in a structured process of critical reflection on the ethical, intellectual and civic aspects of their experience.

In the past, students have designed research projects with local organizations such as Church World Service, Durham's Partnership for Children, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and Housing for New Hope. To see all past projects and partner organizations, click here.

Following the Gateway Course, RSL students are encouraged to integrate research service-learning skills into their academic and professional careers. Click here to learn about former RSL student Kim Atkin's experience.  Learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at Duke here.


Telling The Story


    WHO House

    Members of Seidman's Fall 2009 Women as Leaders class, a course that is regularly offered in the Hart Leadership Program, were challenged to create a structural change to shape women's position on campus. The students came up with the Women's Housing Option, a large cluster of rooms in Few Quadrangle…

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