Open To

Ph.D. students in a humanities or social sciences program who have completed the preliminary exam by the end of the spring semester before the award period. See Eligibility section for details.

The Brown-Nagin Graduate Fellowship provides a $2,000 fellowship stipend supplement for for Ph.D. students in the humanities and social sciences to attend conferences, join consortia, sponsor student events, or for travel expenses related to their research interest. The fellowship aims to provide opportunities for humanities and social science scholars of color so that these students can develop a strong network of peers who provide academic, professional, and personal advice.

Recipients will be expected to provide receipts near the end of the academic year to confirm funds were expended according to the application proposal.


  • Applicants must be in a humanities or social sciences Ph.D. program
  • Applicants must be in good academic standing
  • Applicants must have completed the preliminary exam by the end of the Spring semester before the period covered by the award.

To Apply

You Need

  • Approval from your department
  • Your CV (PDF)
  • A copy of your current Duke Transcript from DukeHub (PDF)
  • Two letters of recommendation from your DGS and faculty advisor. If your DGS and faculty adviser are the same individual only one letter of recommendation is required.
  • Information about any proposed conference or research travel including expected departure and return dates, sites, amount requested, etc.
  • A PDF that includes a proposed budget for the funds and their purpose, such as conference or research travel, workshop or seminar creation and implementation, and a brief statement (no more than 3 pages, using 1 inch margins, 1.5 line spacing, and Arial 12-point font) that includes
    • Student’s dissertation title or proposed subject
    • Description of the research project or conference
    • The specific research/conference location or resource to be visited
    • Research plans during the term of the award
    • The significance of the research/conference trip or seminar/workshop development, or student group support and its contribution to your academic or professional development


  1. Get approval to apply from your department. Before you can submit your applications for this award to The Graduate School, you must first get approval from your director of graduate studies (DGS). Programs differ in how they choose their nominees. Check with your DGS.
  2. Once you have received approval from your DGS, go to The Graduate School’s fellowship application system to submit your application. | Application instructions (PDF)

Application Period

The application cycle opens in early October and closes in late November. Award recipients will be notified in spring semester. The Graduate School will announce exact dates closer to the start of the cycle, and they will be posted with the award listing on the school’s online application system.