Open To

Continuing Ph.D. students who are pursuing studies related to oncology. See the Eligibility section for details.

Through the generosity of the Paul and Lauren Ghaffari Graduate Fellowship Fund, The Graduate School offers fellowships for doctoral students who are pursuing studies related to oncology.

The Ghaffari fellowship will provide $5,000 stipend supplements, paid in 2 installments of $2,500 in September and January, on top of any support the student receives from their doctoral program.

Eligible departments are limited to 2 nominees for the Ghaffari Fellowship.


  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Applicant must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater
  • Applicants must be in a Ph.D. program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Physical Sciences, or Enginnering and pursuing doctoral studies related to oncology:
    • Biochemistry
    • Biology
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Biostatistics
    • Cell and Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
    • Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
    • Genetics and Genomics
    • Immunology
    • Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health
    • Medical Physics
    • Medical Scientist Training
    • Molecular Cancer Biology
    • Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
    • Neurobiology
    • Pathology
    • Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
    • Structural Biology and Biophysics

To Apply

You Need

  • Approval from your department as the departmental nominee
  • 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 advisor are the same individual only one letter of recommendation is required.
  • A brief description (in PDF format) of your dissertation project and a timetable for its completion. 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. 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.