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Duke University Graduate School
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Box 90065
Durham, NC 27708 USA

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About Us

Dean's Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education

Nominations Due

Monday, December 2, 2013.

Description of the Award

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the creation of the Dean's Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education for departments and programs. The Graduate School is committed to excellence, equity and inclusion in its graduate programs and to creating a welcoming environment that engages all of its diversity in the intellectual development of its students.  Inclusive excellence in graduate programs means not only demographics, but is also reflected in the departmental and program climate, curriculum, intellectual discourse and recruitment, retention and graduation of individuals underrepresented in the discipline, field or area.  The Graduate School seeks to acknowledge extraordinary achievements by departments and programs that contribute to this environment of inclusive excellence in graduate education.

Some examples of extraordinary inclusive excellence include:

  • Recruitment, retention and graduating students with graduate degrees who are historically or currently underrepresented in their field. This applies to women in traditionally male dominated fields, men in traditionally female dominated fields, racial and ethnic underrepresented individuals, members of the LGBT community, and those whose life experiences may include the challenge of access due to a disability;
  • Effective strategies to address barriers that have prevented full participation of graduate students from historically or currently underrepresented groups in graduate fields and the professoriate;
  • Collaborative partnerships with colleges and universities that have large underrepresented populations (e.g., HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions);
  • Membership and participation in various national consortia or professional associations dedicated to increasing the enrollment of underrepresented groups in graduate education;
  • Participation, sponsorship, or administration of summer or undergraduate research programs to attract students from underrepresented groups to pursue research-based graduate degrees.


  • Who May Be Nominated: Departments, programs and interdisciplinary initiatives that support inclusive excellence among students of The Graduate School may be nominated. Graduate students, faculty and the broader university community are eligible to nominate departments, programs and interdisciplinary initiatives. Departments and programs may also self-nominate.
  • Criteria: Departments, programs and interdisciplinary initiatives that have demonstrated a commitment to inclusive excellence by advancing equitable access to graduate education at Duke University. Nominations should emphasize recent (within the last five years) concrete accomplishments. Departments, programs and interdisciplinary initiatives may be nominated multiple times, but can only receive the award once in a five-year period.
  • Nomination Procedure: Please submit the nomination form (click here for the nomination form) with a statement supporting your nomination, including concrete examples of the nominee's efforts related to the criteria listed above, on or before Monday, December 2, 2013. Statements and supporting documents may also be emailed to by the deadline.
  • Award Selection: The selection committee will consist of members of the graduate faculty and graduate student body. The department or program selected will receive an award of $5,000, which will be deposited into its discretionary account. The award recipient will also be honored at a reception in the spring.