Client Partners

To prepare environmental leaders, the Nicholas School provides a range of hand’s on and experiential learning opportunities where our students can immerse themselves in real world problems and actively apply their skills, knowledge and education to make a lasting impact. Engagement with a wide range of organizations helps students learn more about the real-world challenges facing businesses today and provides our partners with research and recommendations to inform business practices and decision-making. We invite you to explore the following partnership opportunities: client projects, client-centered masters projects and internship opportunities.


Client Projects

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With so many pressing organizational needs, the Nicholas School partners with a range of organizations on semester-long projects to help our clients explore a wide range of needs. These partnerships offer student the opportunity to work on real-world problems and put to work their knowledge and skills in a professional setting.

Current Needs

  • The Social Science Surveys for Environmental Management course is in need of client projects that have a clear survey hypothesis. Student gather quantitative data and provide analysis to clients. Click here for examples of past clients.
  • The Sustainable Business Strategy course is in need of clients with short-term strategic questions that can be addressed using strategic analysis tools such as stakeholder analysis, SWOT, benchmarking, multi-criteria decision analysis. Click here for examples of past clients.

Who should consider this opportunity?

Clients should have a clear scope of work which is reviewed and agreed upon prior to participation. Projects that can be completed within a semester are most desirable. We ask that clients:

  • meet with student groups virtually or in person a few times throughout the semester. Clients and students agree upon expectations regarding frequency of meetings when projects begin. 
  • share data sources that assist students in completing work.

Work is only shared within the classroom – a confidentiality agreement will be made available to participants.


August: Review of applications – client selected
September: Finalize project scope
October: Meet with students in person or virtually to provide project scope
October-March: Meet with students to provide guidance and feedback (frequency is decided upon at the guidance of the client)
Mid-April: Final presentation by students with a summary memo and analysis outlining recommendations

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Want to participate but not sure if you can benefit from this opportunity? We are always looking for innovative ways to connect our students with clients. Please get in touch and let’s talk about where we might be able to make a connection.

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Client-centered Masters Projects (MP’s)

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Client-centered MP’s are conducted in collaboration with, or for the benefit of, a real-world client. Clients can be private-sector corporations, government agencies, or non-profit organizations, and can be based in the local community, across the country, or even abroad. Client-centered MPs typically do not follow the usual format for scientific research, and instead may result in the formation of management plans, educational curricula, policy analyses, business plans, or other similar deliverables. These projects are mutually beneficial, with our students achieving additional professional growth by collaborating with a real-world client, and the client receiving tangible research benefits at no cost.

Sample MP Projects >>

Who should consider this opportunity?

The Master's Project (MP) is the capstone experience required of all Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and Master of Forestry (MF) students. The MP is an integral, culminating part of the professional and educational experience at NSOE, for which students are given the opportunity to apply the skills they've acquired in the classroom to tackle real-world environmental issues. During completion of the MP, students design and carry out a well-formulated and defensible analysis of a management-related problem. The MP should expand students’ awareness and skillsets relating to their field of study, and may be used to showcase their abilities to future employers after graduation. All MP's culminate in a public presentation at an end-of-semester symposium, along with a written report that becomes part of the Duke Library electronic archives.

To learn more about the client process for Master's Project's, click the link below or contact

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