Info for Researchers

Thank you for considering the Duke Forest for your research endeavors!  We welcome all researchers, whether affiliated with Duke University or beyond. The Office of the Duke Forest is available to assist you with many different aspects of your project, from site selection and logistics to utility hook-ups and stand management.

Process for initiating and carrying out research in the Duke Forest:

  1. Read the guidelines for conducting research on the Duke Forest
    Read through our Guidelines for Research Use to learn about your role and responsibilities as a researcher and important safety considerations for conducting research in the Forest.
  2. Contact the Office of the Duke Forest (ODF) to discuss the proposed project (required for first-time users)
    If you are a first-time user of the Duke Forest, or if you have any initial questions about your project, please send an email to: Feel free to send an abstract or grant proposal with your inquiry. 
  3. Register your research project
    Register your research project once you have location and any other specific details worked out with ODF. This step will generate an automatic email to you that includes the information you submitted. Please retain this email for your records.
    Please Note: If you are proposing to do research within the established research site of another researcher, you are still required to register your specific activity. Registering is extremely important as it is the only way for the Office of the Duke Forest to ensure compatibility of the various research projects with each other and with forest management activities.
  4. Await your research approval
    ODF staff review research registrations at least once per week and will send you a Research Approval email once it has been approved in the system. This email represents the ‘go-ahead’ to start your work in the Forest. The approval email may have additional conditions that are specific to the site or proposed activities and details about Coordinating Access (Step 6). Please also retain this email for your records.
  5. Coordinate access and infrastructure
    After your research project is approved and depending on the nature of your project, you may need to coordinate with Duke Forest staff to establish your research site, set up a water/electrical billing process, and/or obtain keys, parking passes, and stickers for research equipment. Contact us to set up a time to meet or leave appropriate materials at an agreed upon location.
  6. Start your work
    After you have access and anything else needed from our staff, you may begin working. Remember that Duke Forest Staff are available to help you in every step of the project.
  7. Ongoing Updates
    • Submit an annual report
      Submit an annual Research Report about your activities on the Forest upon request. Maintaining up-to-date information on research projects and infrastructure within the Forest is necessary for the Office of the Duke Forest to efficiently administer research use.
    • Update Contact Information
      If your contact information changes or if you change institutions
    • Register any new projects that are not contained within the site allotted for your current research; that seeks to answer a different question than the one you are already exploring; and/or that will occur within the established research site of another researcher.

The Office of the Duke Forest looks forward to working with you!

Other important information:

Guidelines & Safety: Please review our guidelines and safety considerations
Access & Parking: Information on how to access the Forest and where to park
Resources: Learn about the resources available to researchers
Facilities: A listing of potential research facilities on the Forest
Available Data: Data available to teachers and researchers
Outreach: Information on integrating your research into the Forest’s outreach progra

Browse the research menu to the left for other important information about conducting research on the Duke Forest.

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