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Summer Research Fellowship for Research on Racism and Systemic Inequalities

Thanks to generous funding from The Duke Endowment and the Graduate School Annual Fund, the Office of the Provost and The Graduate School are offering 10 Summer Research Fellowships for Ph.D. students who are conducting research on racism and systemic inequalities.

The social construct of race, grounded in a hierarchical system of human value, has indelibly shaped the history of the United States, and continues to influence American culture, social relationships, and political economy, as well as those constitutive dimensions of so many other societies. Probing and interrogating the history of race is critical to a deeper understanding of the systemic inequities that we continue to see in many areas, such as health, employment and economic security, education, housing, policing and criminal justice, etc.

As an institution located in North Carolina and the American South, a region with a painful history of slavery, segregation, and systemic racism and violence against Black Americans, Duke University is in a position to leverage its strong research expertise to deepen our understanding of race and racism, and to apply that knowledge to redress past injustices. As part of Duke’s anti-racism commitments, these Summer Research Fellowships were established to advance graduate student research in these important areas.

The fellowships are open to graduate students in any Ph.D. program, as long as their research is focused on an aspect of structural racism and inequality. The fellowships will pay a stipend of $6,500 for the period from June 1 to August 31, plus summer tuition and health fee.


  • Applicants must be in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must be in their third academic year of study (third summer) or beyond during the fellowship term.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Duke Ph.D. program that does not already guarantee 12 months of financial support.

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 description (in PDF format) of your research and how it will support the research on racism and systemic inequalities, your interests, and why it would be particularly important to be free of service obligations this summer. 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. See for the exact dates of the current or most recent application cycle.


Funding Source

  • Duke Graduate School opportunities

Student Status

  • Continuing Student

Academic Division

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities

Type of Degrees

  • Ph.D.


  • For Travel
  • Domestic Travel
  • International Travel


  • Summer