Duke University is committed to excellence in research and hence to competitive peer review in the federal funding of research. Research funded by earmarks threatens to undermine national excellence in research by diverting resources from the peer review process. As a result, the University does not seek or accept earmarks except under extraordinary circumstances and with the express permission of the President of the University. Such extraordinary circumstances would include only those in which the President, in consultation with the senior administrative leadership of the University, determined that the proposed project involved inherently unique circumstances that could not be replicated elsewhere. When the case for an exception is considered, the strong presumption must be against the taking of earmarks.