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Students with Children

GradParents Notasium 2-22-19

The Duke Graduate School provides a number of resources to help graduate students who have children juggle school and family.

Child Care Subsidy

Since 2003, The Graduate School has been offering full-time Ph.D. students subsidies of up to $5,000 per year to help cover the cost of enrolling their child/children at a child-care center or a family child-care home. | More Information

Childbirth and Adoption Accommodations

Since 2009, Duke Ph.D. students have been guaranteed a certain amount of time off from full-time graduate studies and duties after the birth or adoption of a child to help them transition to parenthood. | Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation Policy (PDF)

GradParents Student Group

The GradParents student group is designed to provide additional support, family-friendly events, and networking opportunities for students in The Graduate School who are raising children. The group typically holds one or two off-campus events per semester (such as Disney on Ice or a pumpkin patch) and lunches hosted by The Graduate School. Please contact for more information.

Sign up for the GradParents listserv to receive e-mail notifications about events and benefits.

You can also join the GradParents Facebook group.


Upcoming Events:

Prior Events:
  • Friday's on The Farm @ Old Mill Farm of Durham, held Friday, June 28, 2019
  • Lunch at The Graduate School, held January 18, 2019
  • GradParents and NicPartners at Notasium, held Friday, February 22, 2109
  • Duke Lemur Center Tour, held Saturday April 22, 2019

2017- 2018 GradParents Events

  • Pullen Park, held Saturday, November 3, 2018
  • Eno River, Cole Mill Shelter, held Saturday, October 13, 2018
  • Lunch at The Graduate School, held Friday, September 28
  • Graduate Student Family Fair at GPSC House, held Saturday, June 2nd (Photos)
  • Park Playdate at Trinity Park, held Saturday, March 17th
  • Park Playdate at Forest Hills Park and Sprayground, held Saturday, September 9th
  • Happy Hour at Bull McCabe's held Friday, October 13th (Photos)
  • Fall Family Event at Phillips Farm held Saturday, November 4th
  • Lunch at The Graduate School, held Friday, December 1st
  • Sunday, January 21, 2018: Meet-up at The Nasher Museum for Free Family Day
  • Friday, February 16, 2018, Noon: Lunch at The Graduate School
2016-2017 GradParents Events
  • GradParents Kick-Off Lunch (Photos) - held Sept. 22nd at The Graduate School
  • Finding Time for Work and Family: Insights from Dr. Tovah Klein (Photos) - held October 28th
  • Halloween Festivities at The Graduate School (Photos) - held October 31st
  • Hill Ridge Farms (Photos) - held Saturday, November 5th
  • GradParents Lunch at The Graduate School held Friday, January 27th
  • Eno River State Park (Photos) - held Saturday, March 25th 
  • Duke Gardens breakfast playdate held Saturday, May 20th
2015-2016 GradParents Events
  • Pool Party (Photos) - held August 13th
  • Playdate @ Durham's Oval Park (Photos) - held September 12th
  • Lunch @ The Graduate School (Photos) - held October 23rd
  • The Graduate School Halloween Event
  • GradParents Gratitude Lunch - held November 20th 
  • Family event @ Kidzu (Photos) - held December 5th
  • Lunch @ The Graduate School (Photos) - held February 26th
  • Durham Bulls - Duke Graduate School Night at The Ballpark (Photos) - held April 9th

Live Chat

Two members of the GradParents group, Alex Bey and Carlos Tavares, participated in The Graduate School's March 2015 live chat about life in Durham for students with families. The chat covered a number of topics, such as good places for family outings, kid-friendly restaurants, and advice on finding child-care options. | Watch the video

GradParents Contacts

We are seeking an additional GradParents Group Co-President - please contact Sondra if you might be interested.

  • GradParents Group President: Bryce Gessell, PhD student in the philosophy department,
  • GradParents Group Staff Liaison: Sondra Ponzi, Senior Program Coordinator, Graduate Student Affairs, (919) 681-1551,

Got an idea for a GradParents event or activity? Share it with us.