Fellowships and Awards

We encourage our graduate students to apply for competitively awarded research fellowships as part of their education and career development. In addition to extra training, resources and career-building opportunities, a fellowship bestows a certain amount of prestige on the student—and on Duke—for being identified as a top scholar.

In addition to those summarized below, there may be additional opportunities posted on the Duke Graduate School Fellowships site and on Duke’s Office of Research Support website.

Meet our recent external research fellowship recipients »

For Doctoral Students

If you have specific questions about a doctoral fellowship, please contact the organization providing the opportunity. If you would like to see a fellowship added to this page, please contact Sara Faust.

Fellowships for Underrepresented Students

Disclaimer: The information below is intended only as an overview. Please check current requirements on each organization's website before applying.

NSF Fellowship: Graduate Research Diversity Supplements

The establishment of Graduate Research Diversity Supplements (GRDS) reflects the continuing effort by ENG to promote increased participation of new Ph.D. students in all fields of engineering research with particular emphasis on individuals from underrepresented minorities in the U.S.

More information: Contact GRS coordinators


UNCF • Merck Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowships

The UNCF•Merck Science Initiative (UMSI) provides undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral support to outstanding African-American students who are pursuing studies and research careers in biological and chemical sciences.

More information: scholarships.uncf.org


Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs

Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity.

To be considered, students must be a citizen or national of the US and have evidence of superior academic achievement. Applicants should also be committed to a career in teaching or research in a college or university.

More information:


Xerox Minority Scholarships

To be considered, students must be a US Citizen or permanent resident and enrolled in full-time course work pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree.

More Information: Xerox website

Merit-Based Private Fellowships

Disclaimer: The information below is intended only as an overview. Please check current requirements on each organization's website before applying.

IBM PhD Fellowship Program

An intensely competitive worldwide program that honors exceptional PhD students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study.

More information: On IBM's website


Hertz Foundation Fellowship

The Graduate Fellowship Award is based on merit (not need) and consists of a cost-of-education allowance and a personal-support stipend.

Open to US citizens and permanent resident aliens who are willing to morally commit to make their skills available to the United States in time of national emergency. We screen fellowship applicants for qualities the Foundation believes are essential ingredients of future professional accomplishment. read more

More information: Hertz Foundation website

Government Fellowships

Disclaimer: The information is intended only as an overview. Please check the current requirements on each organization's website before applying.

NSF Fellowship: Graduate Research Supplements

These awards are designed to increase the participation of new PhD students in all fields of engineering research with particular emphasis on individuals from underrepresented groups. A request for funding of a GRS should be made by the Principal Investigator of an existing ENG award.

Candidates must be US citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens and must be newly enrolled in, or planning to pursue a PhD in engineering disciplines. Renewal for a second- or third-year supplement requires a report on the progress of the student toward the PhD degree and availability of funds in the program.

More information:Contact GRS coordinators


DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research

The goal of the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics careers critically important to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science mission. To do this, it provides graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories. 

Students must be pursuing a graduate degree and demonstrate an interest in areas supported by the DOE.

More information: program website


DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) CSGF fellowship support allows students to focus on their academics and research without excessive teaching or other departmental support activities.

More information: DOE CSGF website


EPA STAR Fellowship for Graduate Environmental Study

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR fellowships are intended to help defray the ever-increasing costs associated with studies leading to advanced degrees in environmental sciences.

Open to US citizens and permanent resident aliens who are pursuing research in an environmentally-related field.

More Information:EPA website


NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project (GSRP)

The goal of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) GSRP is to cultivate additional research ties to the academic community, to help meet the continuing needs of the nation’s aeronautics and space workforce requirements by increasing the number of highly trained scientists and engineers in aeronautics and space-related disciplines, and to meet the Nation’s need to increase the number of highly trained teachers. The program will support approximately 140 graduate students annually. Students must be US citizens and have a faculty research advisor (who will be the PI of the Training Grant).

More information: NASA GRSP webpage


DOD Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship

As a means of increasing the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will offer fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering. Students must be US citizens, study in a supported discipline and intend to pursue a doctoral degree.

More Information:NDSEG website


Graduate Research Award Program on Public Sector Aviation Issues

Project: ACRP11-04. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), National Academies, is pleased to announce the Graduate Research Award Program on Public-Sector Aviation Issues. This program, sponsored by the U.S. DOT Federal Aviation Administration and administered by the ACRP, is designed to encourage applied research on airport and related aviation system issues and to foster the next generation of aviation community leaders. Successful papers will be presented at the TRB Annual Meeting, and exceptional papers could be published in a subsequent TRB Transportation Research Record.

Candidates must be full-time students enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited North American institution of higher learning during the academic year.

More Information: program website

For all graduate students

Duke’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) encourages all graduate students – doctoral and master's – to apply for competitive Awards and Financial Rewards as part of their graduate education and career development.

A successful application for an Award or Financial Reward provides resources for success while contributing to professional advancement.

CEE encourages all of its graduate students to use this listing as a starting point – as each student takes the initiative, interacts with faculty, and reaches out  in pursuit of important recognitions of excellence.

Duke Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jeffrey Taub Award

Annual award to the graduate student making exceptional contributions to the culture of CEE’s Graduate Program through daily assistance and support of other graduate students’ research and classroom activities.

Senol Utku Award

Annual award to the graduate student publishing the most outstanding journal manuscript.

Memberships in Society and Professional Organizations

Annual awards to graduate students of up to $50 per student per year to become a member of and society or professional organization. 

Travel to Undergraduate Institutions

Annual awards to graduate students for travel to an graduate student’s undergraduate institution to help recruit new graduate students into Duke’s department of CEE. 

Contact the CEE Graduate Program directors for details.

Duke University Graduate School

Duke Centers, Offices and Programs 

Private Foundations and Industries

Bass Instructional Fellowships at Duke University

The Bass Instructional Fellowship Program supports high-quality teaching experiences for PhD students where normal means of funding are unavailable. It also helps students become more knowledgeable in online college teaching.

Recipients of Bass Instructional Fellowships receive compensatory payment at the level of Arts and Sciences teaching assistants (currently $6,000) and a scholarship covering full or partial tuition and fees for their semester of participation. A Bass Instructional Fellowship should not lessen a student’s competitiveness for other fellowships. If the student wins another fellowship after having also won a Bass Fellowship, that other fellowship can be decreased by the amount provided by the Bass Fellowship so that there is no penalty or disadvantage to receiving a Bass at the same time unless this arrangement is prohibited by terms of the other fellowship.

Chateaubriand Fellowship Program

The Chateaubriand Fellowship Program is designed for doctoral students enrolled in an American university who wish to conduct part of their doctoral research in a French laboratory for a 4- to 9- month period. The Office of Science and Technology provide a stipend and cover the cost of travel and student health insurance. Priority is given to candidates working towards a "double degree" with their host institution. All Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Health disciplines are eligible. The required level of understanding of the French language is at the discretion of the host laboratory.

Gates Foundation

The Gates Foundation is a private Foundation supporting graduate study and research over a wide range of disciplines with a wide range of target audiences.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs

Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity

Eligibility: To be considered, students must be a citizen or national of the United States and have evidence of a superior academic achievement. Applicants should also be committed to a career in teaching or research in a college or university.

Application deadline: November

IBM PhD Fellowship Program

The IBM PhD Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional PhD students who have an interest in solving problems that are fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study.  Students must be nominated by a faculty member. The faculty member is encouraged to contact an IBM colleague prior to submitting the nomination. The student must be enrolled full time in a PhD program.

Award: up to $17,500/year

Application deadline: October

The fellowship award provides partial tuition support, an annual stipend for living expenses, and a research stipend for full-time graduate study and thesis/dissertation research at a U.S. academic institution for three years.

Merck Graduate Science Research Dissertation Fellowship

The Merck Science Initiative (UMSI) provides graduate support to outstanding African-American students who are pursuing studies and research careers in biological and chemical sciences.

Eligibility: To be considered, students must be African-American (Black), enrolled in a doctoral program, engaged in and within 1-3 years of completing dissertation having successfully completed all qualifying exams, and a citizen of permanent resident of the United States. Awards up to $52,000. Each fellowship provides up to a maximum of $52,000, which includes a stipend of up to $42,000 for the fellow and a research grant of up to $10,000 to support the research needs of the Fellow. The fellowship stipend is intended to cover from 12-24 months of fellowship tenure.

Application deadline: December