Data+ Project Managers

Data+ Project Managers are Duke grad students and post docs from a wide variety of disciplines, who liaise between the Data+ project client and the Data+ project team of undergraduate students.

Project Managers help to translate client expectations to students, and to translate team challenges to the client. Project Managers also provide expertise from their disciplines to project teams.

In return for their contributions to the Data+ program, most Project Managers are eligible for a $2,500 payment, or in the case of their being a Duke employee, they can receive a professional development reimbursement grant that can be used for conference travel, educational materials, texts, and more that will be transferred to their fund code.

Data+ Project Managers also get the opportunity for professional contacts and skill building in project management. Most Data+ Project Managers are managing projects for the first time – a skill that employers look for that students do not often have. Project Managers also learn from each other in a low-pressure, communal environment. With around 30 other Project Managers doing a similar thing with their project teams, there is a cohort to discuss challenges and solutions in project management. Additionally, Project Managers gain opportunities to present their team’s work to industry and university partners and leadership (including Durham City Council).

Past Data+ Project Managers have reported the Data+ experience being not only formative and valuable, but frequently helping them in finding a job after leaving Duke. Project Management on a Data+ team is something employers are very interested in!

Please contact Paul Bendich at if you would like to discuss being a Data+ project manager. Project managers must commit a minimum of 5 hours/week during the 10-week summer program. The program runs from late May to early August every summer.

Data+ PM Checklist

Recipient TypePayment MethodNotes
Current Duke students (including masters and PhD)Non-compensatory payroll
  • Must not be graduating prior to the program beginning*
  • Foreign nationals must have an active visa that allows for payment
Current non-Duke studentsAP check requestForeign nationals require a letter from their sponsoring institution explicitly stating they are allowed to participate in Data+
Current Duke employees (including post-docs and research associates)Fund transfer by Kathy 
Non-Duke non-studentsINELIGIBLE 

*graduation terms are listed in the Duke directory

Comments from previous project managers:

I’ve gained an appreciation for the all-important data “pre-processing” that takes up the vast majority of the effort when working with health data.

Isaac Lavine

Statistics, Quantifying Rare Diseases in Duke Health System

It was really my first experience working with data, and I found the challenges my students ran into in trying to clean our data surprising. Implementing the code for our primary visualization turned out to be the easiest part of the whole process.

Greg Malen

Statistics, MyHealthTeams Data Exploration and Visualization

It changed my perception of how a large variety of skill sets can work together to solve a data science problem.

Willem van den Boom

Statistics, Controlled Substance Monitoring Visualization

I gained valuable program management experience. Given that after the program was over I was hired as a consultant manager at CollegeVine, I’d say it paid off.

Stefan Waldschmidt

English, Quantified Feminism and the Bechdel Test

I gained firsthand experience doing research in a small team and really valued having the opportunity to give input into the direction of our project. I also learned a lot firsthand about managing the work of other people.

Anonymous Electrical Engineering mentor

I am so impressed with my students; if anything, I have gained an idea of what the participants are capable of with little guidance from me. Don’t get me wrong, I also put in a lot of work! But my students did a fantastic job of working independently, and they were diligent about coming to me with questions only after they had exhaustively searched many possible solutions first.

Anonymous Statistics mentor