Open To

Continuing Ph.D. students in any discipline who need to conduct their dissertation research abroad for the duration of the academic year. See Eligibility section for details.

The James B. Duke International Research Travel Fellowship provides an annual stipend (equivalent to the Graduate School-recommended Arts and Sciences nine-month stipend established each year), as well as tuition, mandatory fees and a $2,000 travel allowance for students who need to conduct their dissertation research abroad for the duration of the academic year, both fall and spring semesters. In addition, The Graduate School will pay the health insurance premium for recipients who enroll in the Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan.

Please note: All students conducting international research much register their travel with the Global Travel office and ensure relevant research oversight approvals are completed prior to conducting travel (IRB, IACUC, etc.)


  • 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.
  • Students must be doing dissertation research abroad for the entire nine-month term of the award.
  • Should a student be offered external funding that provides support equal to that of the James B. Duke International Research Travel award, the student is expected to accept the external funding in place of the James B. Duke, and will receive a $5,000 supplement from The Graduate School. The Graduate School will also provide a scholarship for tuition, fees, and health insurance to the extent that these are not covered by the external funding source.
  • No other award (whether fellowship or training-related) may be held concurrently with this fellowship without special permission from the dean.

To Apply

You Need

  • Approval from your department (see step 1 below)
  • Your CV (PDF)
  • A copy of your current Duke transcript or DukeHub report (PDF)
  • Two letters of recommendation from your DGS and faculty advisor. If your DGS and faculty advisor are the same individual only one letter of recommendation is required.
  • A PDF that includes, in the following order,
    • A brief description (no more than 3 pages, using 1-inch margins, 1.5 line spacing, and Arial 12-point font) of the dissertation project and how the time abroad will be spent
    • OPTIONAL: A bibliography (no more than 1 page)
    • A proposed budget outlining how all travel funds, both the $2,000 travel stipend and the academic year stipend provided to support long-term research abroad, will be spent (no more than 1 page)


  1. Get approval to apply from your department. Each department can only nominate up to two students each year for this award. 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.