The Nicholas Institute @ Duke

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is bridging the gap between science and policy. We bring Duke University's world-class research to decision makers who are addressing the world's critical environmental and energy challenges, and in turn, we bring a strong external network of decision makers who can identify key needs to academia. Together, we can put new ideas and information into action. The bridge goes both ways.

Through on-campus and virtual events, educational programs, and internships, the Nicholas Institute is preparing Duke students to make an impact on environmental and energy policy in their future careers. Through seed grants, we help build new interdisciplinary partnerships between our team of professionals and Duke scholars to develop new or emergent areas of research and work together to navigate the policy-making process.

On July 1, 2021, the Nicholas Institute and the Duke University Energy Initiative began the process of merging. The resulting institute will play a key role in Duke University’s heightened efforts to address climate change and its impacts. Learn more about the merger.

Learn more about what the Nicholas Institute has to offer the Duke community below.


Duke Events

Seminar series, staff presentations, webinars, and more.

Nicholas Institute building


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Energy Initiative

Energy Initiative

The Nicholas Institute and the Duke University Energy Initiative have began the process of merging. Learn more about the Energy Initiative.

U.S. Capitol Building at night

Policy Perspectives

The Nicholas Institute and Energy Initiative offer these sessions to share our team's experience directly engaging with decision makers.



Courses and student programs in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Duke School of Law, and more.

Alumni Directory

Alumni Directory

Institute alumni have gone on to work across federal, state, and local government, education, nonprofits, and private enterprise.

UPEP Seminar series

UPEP Seminar Series

Join the Nicholas Institute and the University Program in Environmental Policy for our seminar series featuring leading experts discussing a variety of pressing environmentally focused topics. Jointly sponsored by the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Sanford School for Public Policy.


Catalyst Program

Through the program's seed funding, researchers develop new or emergent ideas related to environmental policy challenges at the federal, state, and local level.


Environmental Impact Fellows Program

A professional development opportunity for Duke PhD students keen on making a high impact in their career at the intersection of environmental science and policy.

Zambia Bass connections

Careers and Internships

Opportunities to work with the Nicholas Institute.