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Duke University Graduate School
2127 Campus Drive
Box 90065
Durham, NC 27708 USA

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Giving to the Graduate School

Thank you to
The Duke Endowment!

In April 2014, The Duke Graduate School received a $7.5 million gift from The Duke Endowment to support our doctoral students. The gift includes $5 million for endowed fellowships for PhD students and $2.5 million to support a challenge fund to encourage endowment contributions from other donors. More about the gift

When the Duke University Graduate School was established in 1926, President William Preston Few understood that a Graduate School was the essential element of a research university. And, since that time, Duke’s Graduate School has garnered a reputation for excellence in research, teaching, and service.  Duke Graduate students are the intellectual glue of our community, pushing academic boundaries, offering fresh perspectives in research approaches, and giving voice to emerging fields. This is why we spend a lot of time seeking to understand how we can most effectively enhance the quality of our graduate students’ lives during and beyond their years at this university.  It is this interest in and responsiveness to student concerns that has made Duke’s Graduate School a national model for how to conduct graduate education in the United States.  Over the years, we have learned that investing heavily in services that really respond to students’ critical concerns results in greater success in their academic, professional, and personal lives.

Giving Priorities

  • Fellowships and Financial Aid to attract the best graduate students
  • Summer support for Research Stipends in the humanities and social sciences
  • Professional Development funds to support students as they shape their careers
  • Graduate School Annual Fund to provide the most immediate support to fuel the work of our students


Our goal is to continue to bring to light and to appreciate the value of our graduate students and their graduate programs, both in the economy of Duke and in the world at large.  For truly our graduate students as much as anyone have brought this university to the prominence it enjoys today.  Thank you for your interest in supporting the Duke University Graduate School.

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Your gift makes a difference to our graduate students!

Abigail Bennett

Abigail Bennett (Ph.D. student, Marine Science and Conservation): The Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship allowed me to travel to Yucatán and Quintana Roo, México to carry out pre-dissertation fieldwork interviewing small-scale fishers. I am currently developing a doctoral dissertation proposal to study the relationship between small-scale fishers’ organizations and global seafood markets. This summer I conducted nearly 50 interviews with presidents of fishing cooperatives, fishing permit holders, biologists, government, and other individuals involved in small-scale fisheries to generate preliminary data that will inform my dissertation project. The opportunity to travel to my field site has been an invaluable step in my studies because it has allowed me to build personal relationships and gain an in-depth understanding of issues that are relevant to the local context of these fisheries.

Sean Ward

Sean Ward (Ph.D. student, English): In May and June of 2012, with the help of a Graduate Research Fellowship, I traveled to London to research in the vast archives at the Imperial War Museum. My dissertation project considers how social and political life is restructured during wartime, particularly on the home front. At the Imperial War Museum, I was granted access to an array of documents, from letters, to diaries, to memoirs, depicting life in London during the Blitz. Many of these personal and communal accounts were written from London while the bombs were falling, and it was a humbling experience to read through so many detailed narratives of life during combat, some of them literally punctuated with bomb blasts and air raid sirens. This research visit helped me to rethink both the form and the content of my dissertation, and has allowed me to consider a number of intriguing questions relating to the place of the non-combatant during total war.

Taneisha Nicole Means

Taneisha Nicole Means (Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science): This summer, thanks to the Graduate School’s Summer Research Fellowship, I was able to concentrate on my dissertation rather than having to pursue short-term employment. Specifically, the stipend was used to help with the cost of living so that I could continue my graduate work during the summer months. In May and June, I spent time working on a competitive dissertation improvement grant proposal, a conference proposal, and researching two pre-doctoral fellowships. In July and August, I spent time revising the first two chapters of my dissertation and designing surveys. All in all, as I began the fall semester I felt that I was in a good position to put my survey in the field, to continue writing on my dissertation, and to meet the deadlines for proposals.

Please click here to make a gift, or contact Sandy York, Graduate School Development Director, to learn more about giving opportunities at the Graduate School.