Created through an endowment gift from the family of Anne T. and Robert M. Bass, the Bass Instructional Fellowship Program supports high-quality undergraduate teaching experiences for Ph.D. students where normal means of funding are unavailable. It also helps students become more knowledgeable in digital teaching and learning.

Financial support for Bass Instructional Fellows is variable and dependent on the student’s need.

  • If the student has support in place for the term in which they plan to participate, the Bass award can be purely nominal (i.e., no financial component).
  • If the student needs support for that term or semester, full financial support would be available. Bass Instructional Fellows who receive full financial support will receive compensatory payment at the level of Arts and Sciences teaching assistants and a scholarship covering full or partial tuition and fees for their semester of participation.

The program offers fellowships for Instructors of Record (Bass IORs), Instructional Teaching Assistants (Bass TAs), and Digital Education Fellows (Bass DEFs).

Open To:

Ph.D. students who have completed their prelim exam by the end of the spring semester before the start of their Bass term and have completed any departmental teaching/TA requirements.

See the Eligibility section below for additional criteria specific to each type of fellowship.


  • You must be in good academic standing.
  • You must have completed the preliminary exam by the end of the spring semester prior to the start of term of the Bass
  • You must have completed any teaching or TA duties/assignments required by your home department.
  • (For IORs) There must be undergraduate interest/demand for the course you are proposing
  • (For TAs) The course for which you will TA must be an undergradate course
  • (For DEFs) student must have completed or intend to complete required course GS 762 prior to the start of the Bass DEF
  • Participation as a Bass IOR, TA, or DEF must not be at the cost of your home department’s teaching or TA needs.

To Apply

You Need

  • 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.
  • (For IORs) A syllabus (PDF) for the class you propose to teach
  • A one-page statement (PDF) describing:
    • your professional development activities, particularly related to pedagogical training. This might include
      • your status in the Certificate for College Teaching or Preparing Future Faculty
      • coursework you have completed in college teaching/pedagogy
      • departmental instructional training you have had
      • any leadership activities you have undertaken in your department around pedagogical training (organizing workshops, being a lead TA., etc.)
    • your professional and career goals, and how you would benefit professionally from this fellowship
    • (for IORs and TAs) your teaching interests:
      • For IORs: Discuss the undergraduate class you propose to teach.  In your one-page statement and discussion of the class you propose to teach, be sure to include discussion of faculty consultation, departmental support, connections to demonstrated cirricular need and any other evidence for strong undergraduate interest.
      • For TAs: Describe the specific disciplinary fields in which you could be a teaching assistant. If possible, let us know if there are specific undergraduate classes or faculty you might like to work with or have been in communication.
    • (for DEFs) what you would be able to contribute to students, faculty, and staff you would work with; please include any experience you have had with online or hybrid education, which is desirable but not a fellowship requirement; and respond to these 3 questions:
      • How have you demonstrated interest in digital pedagogy topics through prior exploration and experience with new technologies in your own research and teaching?
      • How will participating in the Digital Education Fellowship contribute to your growth as an educator?
      • What strengths do you bring as a good collaborator with faculty, staff, and peer colleagues?

For the Bass Instructional Fellowships, the DGS's letter will only need to verify that:
1) the applicant is making satisfactory research/dissertation progress;
2) the applicant has completed any teaching or TAing required by his/her department; and
3) the applicant's service as a Bass Instructor of Record, TA, or Digital Education Fellow would not interfere with his/her department's teaching or TA needs. 


Go to The Graduate School’s fellowship application system to submit your application by the published deadline. | Application instructions (PDF)

Application Period

The application cycle opens in October and closes in November each year. Award recipients will be notified in mid-December. 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.