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How to Apply

Applications for Keystone Expeditions typically go out in early October and decisions about teams are made by late October. Sign up for the BOLD Newsletter to get information about applications. 

Who do we look for?

There is no single face for BOLD - we are comprised of graduate and professional students with diverse backgrounds, interests, experiences, and goals. We get many applicants for the Keystone Expedition trips and only select teams of 10-12, including 2 fellows per team. We take the application process very seriously and consider many aspects when bringing a team together, trying to assess all applications impartially. While we are working hard to expand the breadth and impact of BOLD in the Duke graduate student community, we are also committed to maintaining the high level of quality in expeditions that has become a BOLD standard.


What do we take into consideration?

All the fellows meet and dedicate a lot of time to reading and considering each application impartially. Aside from the application essays, the three main decision factors are:


BOLD Mission Alignment

  • What has the level of commitment been like?

  • Is there an outdoors appreciation or a desire to learn more?

  • Is there an openness to learn about self and leadership?


Character and Attitude

  • Does the applicant demonstrate the mental and physical toughness for Keystone?

  • What kind of attitude does the person have?

  • How dedicated and driven is the applicant and what is their desire for personal growth and transformation?

  • How does the applicant work in teams?


Diversification (skills, program, gender, ethnicity, etc.)

  • How does the applicant add to the overall team composition?

  • What unique skills does this person have to offer? What does their risk profile look like?

  • What unique characteristics or perspectives does this person have to offer?


As fellows, our top priorities in the team selection process are to be fair, transparent, flexible, inclusive, and respectful. Participation in BOLD events is also an important aspect of the selection process. The "evaluation period", from late August to early October, includes Foundation workshops, BOLDcials, group workouts, and Cornerstone events.

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