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, but before you begin, please contact the Office of the Duke Forest to discuss the specifics of the project (call 919-613-8013 or email  If available, sending an abstract or grant proposal is always helpful.  And remember, 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.

Here’s the general process for initiating and carrying out research in the Duke Forest:

Special Notice: All individuals should follow COVID-19 related health precautions—including maintaining social distance (>6 feet) if not wearing face coverings—to the greatest extent possible, while conducting or participating in teaching or research activities in the Duke Forest. Teaching and research users should also comply with all departmental and/or institutional guidelines as it applies to field-based teaching and research activities. Our office encourages all participants in activities on the Duke Forest to receive a vaccination. To learn more about Duke’s response to this global pandemic and about Duke’s vaccination resources, visit:

  1. Read the Guidelines for Research Use in the Duke Forest.
  2. Register your research once you know the site and specific details of the project. 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.
  3. Await your Research Approval. Duke Forest Staff promptly reviews your Research Registration and provides you with a Research Approval form, which is the ‘go-ahead’ to start your work in the Forest. The approval form may have additional conditions that are specific to the site or proposed activities.
  4. Start your work and remember that Duke Forest Staff are available to help you in every step of the project.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Registration options:

Click here to submit an online registration.
Click here to download and submit a PDF registration.

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

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