Kenan Collaboratory

The Kenan Creative Collaboratory is part incubator, part collaboration, and part laboratory. It is supported by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Funds and facilitated by the four Kenan Institutes across the state of North Carolina.

The Kenan Creative Collaboratory fosters projects that will draw participants from at least two of the four universities that house Kenan institutes, including Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel HillNorth Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The project teams address challenges that exist in North Carolina, the nation, and the world, sharing resulting findings and policy recommendations as well as problem-solving models for how the projects could be replicated or adapted in other places or spheres. Projects must relate to at least two of the institute themes: private enterprise; engineering and technology science; ethics; and the arts. The last application period was in Spring 2015. Stay tuned to this page for further updates.


Eight projects were selected in the spring of 2015, with three being administered by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke.

  • Science, Ethics, Identity and Human Rights (SEIHR) synergizes scholars, researchers and students in the sciences and humanities to examine a key challenge in the world: the ethical application of scientific technologies for human identification in human rights contexts. The team examines ethically sound processes for human identification in high-risk populations that maximize the investigative utility and minimize risk of privacy violation. Leading the project are Sara Katsanis of Duke and Seth Faith of NCSU.
  • Community Environmental Empowerment is developing community capacity to address environmental injustices and identify best practices for incorporating environmental equity into local environmental decision-making. Leading the project is Kay Jowers of Duke University in collaboration with Kofi Boone of NC State and Deborah Gallagher of Duke.
  • Smart Economics for the Environment and Human Development works to establish a diverse working group that brings together cross-disciplinary expertise and perspectives from all walks of life to create more comprehensive indicators to measure smart development and progress. Leading the project is Dirk Philipsen of Duke in collaboration with Brent Lane of UNC-Chapel Hill, Roby Sawyers of NC State and Corey Madden of the UNCSA.