Open To

Continuing women Ph.D. students in the biomedical sciences and natural sciences. See Eligibility section for details.

The Jo Rae Wright Fellowship for Outstanding Women in Science was created in memory of our dear friend and colleague who served as dean of The Graduate School from 2006 until 2011. This fellowship is funded through an endowment given in her name to recognize two Ph.D. students—one in the biomedical sciences and one in the natural sciences—whose research shows particular creativity and promise. Each recipient will receive a $5,000 supplement to any existing funding.


  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.

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 brief statement of research (in PDF format). This should be no more than 3 pages, using 1-inch margins, 1.5 line spacing, and Arial 12-point font. OPTIONAL: You may also include an additional 1-page bibliography.


  1. Get approval to apply from your department. Each department can only nominate one student 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.