Fellowship Opportunities

Most students decide to apply for fellowships during the first term on campus. The application process offers one of the most educational, impactful opportunities of a graduate career.

Students are eligible for many fellowship applications only during the first term of graduate school, and are therefore encouraged to begin applications on arrival. Students are urged to apply to ALL fellowships for which you are eligible (and willing to engage in associated commitments).

Fellowship Advice

  1. Many fellowships require submission of GRE scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Send GRE scores and transcripts to all appropriate fall fellowships once on campus, and request letters of recommendation once a resume has been polished.
  2. Peers are among the most valuable resources in starting this process. Find someone who has applied, and look at previous NSF GFRP fellowship applications to get a sense of formatting and content opportunities.
  3. Seek constructive feedback on resumes and application documents from peers, and then from prospective mentors.
  4. Consider working on preparation of research proposals with someone you are considering as a graduate advisor.
  5. Consider requesting a letter of recommendation from someone with whom you consider as a  graduate advisor.

Grad Funding Opportunities

Duke offers a wide range of graduate student support. Some awards are conferred as part of admissions offers.


Teaching & Research Awards

  • Department Awards for students who demonstrate excellence in teaching and research. Further information is available through the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Teaching Assistantships in which students receive a take-home stipend, and tuition and fees are paid directly to the Graduate School by the Department of Chemistry. Further information can is available through the Director of Graduate Studies.

  • Research Assistantships for students beyond their first year, from funds available to research directors. Further information is available through the Director of Graduate Studies.

Research Funding

Graduate Training Grants

Community of Science

Community of Science (COS) is the leading international resource for medical, health related, and scientific research funding information and opportunities.

Funding Opportunities

Listed by deadline

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) - Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) Program
Deadline: ongoing
Citizenship: unrestricted

The GRA Program is a year-round education program that provides graduate students with relevant research experience while they are pursuing their degree, up to 4 years during pursuit of a M.S. and 7 years for students pursuing a Ph.D.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities - Higher Education Research Experiences at ORNL for Students
Deadline: 6/1, 10/1, 2/1 (annual)
Citizenship: US citizens or permanent residents 

Higher Education Research Experiences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (HERE at ORNL) provides research opportunities and associated activities for entering freshmen, undergraduate and graduate students and recent BS and AS graduates. The program is designed to complement academic programs by utilizing the unique resources of ORNL to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, encourage careers in science and technology, and improve scientific literacy, while at the same time contributing to the ORNL mission.

Duke University - U.S. Fulbright Competition
Deadline: 7/15 (annual)
Citizenship: US citizen or permanent resident

Sponsored by the US State Dept. the Fulbright Student Program offers opportunities to graduate students to conduct career-launching study and research abroad.

National Academies - Research Associateship Program
Deadline: 8/1, 11/1, 2/1, 5/1 (annual)
Citizenship: varies depending on project lab

Through the NRC Research Associateship Programs (RAP), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Research Council (NRC) promote excellence in scientific and technological research conducted by the U. S. government through the administration of programs offering graduate, postdoctoral, and senior level research opportunities at sponsoring federal laboratories and affiliated institutions. In these programs, prospective applicants select a research project or projects from among the large group of opportunities listed on the RAP website. Prior to completing an application, prospective applicants should contact the proposed Research Adviser to assure that funding will be available if their application is recommended by NRC panels. Once mutual interest is established between a prospective applicant and a Research Adviser, an application is submitted through the NRC WebRap system. Reviews are conducted four times each year and review results are available approximately 6-8 weeks following the application deadline.

National Science Foundation - Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
Deadline: 8/3 and 2/2 annually
Citizenship: US citizens and permanent residents

The STS program supports research that uses historical, philosophical, and social scientific methods to investigate the intellectual, material, and social facets of STEM disciplines. STS covers a wide variety of graduate funding programs such as the GRFP and IGERT, which provides in excess of $30,000 in stipend per year.

The MRS Awards Program strives to acknowledge outstanding contributors to the progress of materials research, and to recognize their exciting and profound accomplishments. We seek to honor those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, those who have defined the frontiers of the field, those who are outstanding exponents of their science, and those young researchers whose work already leads to great expectations for future leadership.

National Institute of Health - Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (MRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)
Deadline: 8/8, 12/8, 4/8 (annually)
Citizenship: US citizen or permanent resident

The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral fellowship (F31) award is to enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The proposed mentored research training must reflect the applicant’s dissertation research project and is expected to clearly enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation - Pharmaceuticals Pre-doctoral Fellowship
Deadline: 9/1
Citizenship: US citizens or permanent residents

Pharmaceutics strongly emphasizes quantitative understanding and use of the principles underlying drug delivery and drug transport, alsong with the impact of formulation composition and manufacturing/engineering factors on the quality of dosage form and its physical and chemistry stability. These fellowships provide $20,000 in stipend support for 1-2 years.

University of California, Berkeley - Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science Fellowships
Deadline: 9/10
Citizenship: unrestricted

The Miller Research Fellowships are awarded to exception young scientists who have recently been awarded, or who are about to be awarded, the doctoral degree. Miller Fellowship sare granted for a period of 3 years with stipends starting at $65,000, and a research fund annum of $10,000.

American Chemical Society - Eli Lilly / Women Chemists Travel Awards for Scientific Meetings
Deadline: 9/15, 2/15 (annually)
Citizenship: US citizens or permanent residents

The American Chemical Society, sponsored by Eli Lilly & Company, offers a program to provide funding for undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral women chemists to travel to scientific meetings (within the US) to present the results of their research. Through this program, WCC and Eli Lilly and Company continue to increase the participation of women in the chemical sciences.

BASF - Professional and Leadership Development Program
Deadline: 9/18
Citizenship: unrestricted

Once placed into the full-time PDP PhD or Postdoc program, participants complete theee 8 months rotations across the USA then receive job placement within BASF

Oak Ridge Associated Universities - Graduate Students Awards for the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, Germany
Deadline: 9/28
Citizenship: US citizens

The awards include, but are not limited to, airfare, lodging, meals, grounds transportation, and student participation fee for the Lindau Meeting, June 26-July 1, 2016

Xerox Corporation - Technical Minority Scholarship Program (TMSP)
Deadline: 9/30
Citizenship: US citizens and permanent residents who are part of an underrepresented ethnic minority

Xerox established the TMSP to demonstrate its commitment to the academic success of minority students and to the cultivation and recruitment of qualified minority employees in technical field.s Scholarships from $1,000-$10,000 are available.

Howard Hughed Medical Institute - HHMI International Student Research Fellowships for Doctoral Students
Deadline: 10/8
Citizenship: international Ph.D. students studying at US graduate institutions in biomedical or related sciences

This fellowship program supports outstanding international predoctoral students studying in the United States who are ineligible for fellowships or training grants through U.S. federal agencies. Participation is by invitation only. Nominated students must be in their second or third year of study to apply for the fellowship. To activate the fellowship, students must be in the third or fourth year of a PhD program at one of the designated institutions. Students in the first, second, or fifth year of their PhD programs cannot activate the fellowship. In no case will support be provided past year five of a PhD program. The award is up to 3 years and for academic year 2016-2017 total $43,000 for 12 months.

National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
Deadline: 10/30
Citizenship: US citizens and permanent residents

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in STEM education.  The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM and STEM education.  NSF especially encourages women, members of underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and veterans to apply. NSF also encourages undergraduate seniors to apply. The stipend is current $34,000 per year for 3 years.

The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans - Class of 2016 Application
Deadline: 11/1
Citizenship: US citizens who are immigrants or the children of immigrants

The programs honors the contributions of immigrants to the United States. Every year, they invest in the graduate education of 30 new Americans, immigrants and the children of immigrants, who are poised to make significant contributions to U.S. society, culture, or their academic fields. Each new Fellows receives up to $90,000 in financial support over 2 years, and they join a lifelong communication of New American Fellows.

National Academic - Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship
Deadline: 11/20
Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents

Predoctoral fellowships will be awarded in a national competition administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards will be made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. 

American Society for Engineering Education - Science, Mathematics, and Researchn Transformation Defense Scholarship for Service Program (SMART)
Deadline: 12/1
Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories.

Department of Energy - Science Graduate Student Research Program (SCGSR)
Deadline: 12/15
Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents

The SCGSR program provides supplemental funds for graduate awardees to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist within a defined award period. The award period for the proposed research project at DOE laboratories may range from 3 to 12 consecutive months.

Department of Defense - National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship
Deadline: 12/18
Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents

The National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship is a highly competitive, portable fellowship that is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of fifteen supported programs. NDSEG confers high honors upon its recipients, and allows them to attend whichever U.S. institution they choose. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance.

Department of Energy - Krell Institute Computational Science Graduate Fellowship
Deadline: 1/19/16
Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents

Provides up to 4 years of financial support for students pursuing doctoral degrees in fields of study that use high-performance computing to solve complex problems in science and engineering.

L'Oreal-UNESCO- Women in Science Fellowship
Deadline: 2/5/16
Citizenship: U.S. citizens and permanent residents and have Ph.D. bestowed by 12/31/15

L'Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Program recognizes and rewards contributions women make in STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations. More than 2,250 women scientists in over 110 countries have been recognized since the program began in 1998. In the US, the For Woman in Science fellowship program awards 5 postdoctoral women scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each.

National Science Foundation - U.S./Ireland R&D Partnership for Nanoscale Science and Engineering & Sensors
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

In order to foster an increase in collaborative research relationships, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI, Republic of Ireland), Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI, Northern Ireland), and the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL, Northern Ireland) have agreed to enter into a partnership to support research in the areas of nanoscale science and engineering and sensors and sensor networks through competitive awards via existing (core) programs in the case of NSF and SFI, and, in the case of Invest NI/DEL, via these organizations’ R&D funding mechanisms.

Boehringer Ingelheim Funds - Travel Allowances to Ph.D. Students and Post-Doctoral Students
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted, but applicant must be under 30 years of age at time of application

These travel allowances are aimed at supporting young scientists in acquiring experimental qualification necessary in basic research. Vocational training or the attendance of conferences, symposia and workshops are not financed. Travel allowances are intended to enable the recipients to visit laboratories further afield in order to study clearly-defined techniques useful for their ongoing research and the work of their research group at home. These visits may also ensure that both graduates from abroad as well as their potential supervisors are provided with the scientific and personal prerequisites before beginning a PhD thesis.

National Science Foundation - Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)
Deadline: continuous
citizenship: unrestricted

The NSF Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) program promotes university-industry partnerships by making project funds or fellowships/traineeships available to support an eclectic mix of industry-university linkages. Special interest is focused on affording the opportunity for these interactions:

  • Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and (graduate) students to conduct research and gain experience in an industrial setting;

  • Industrial scientists and engineers to bring industry's perspective and integrative skills to academe; and

  • Interdisciplinary university-industry teams to conduct research projects.

National Science Foundation - NSF / FDA Scholar in Residence Program
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

For science, engineering and mathematics graduate students for one to four semesters of full- or part-time work at the FDA in an area related to his/her research under the guidance of an academic advisor and an FDA mentor.

Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT) - Centers for Health Predoctoral Program in Toxicology
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

The Hamner awards predoctoral fellowships to Ph.D. students at area universities whose programs mesh with on-going research projects. Predoctoral fellows conduct their dissertation research at The Hamner. The staff scientist guiding the research serves on the student's doctoral committee and typically holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the university awarding the degree.

National Science Foundation - United States/Ireland R&D Partnership for Nanoscale Science and Engineering & Sensors
Deadline: varies depending on field of specialization
Citizenship: unrestricted

In order to foster an increase in collaborative research relationships, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), and the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) have agreed to enter into a partnership to support research in the areas of nanoscale science and engineering and sensors and sensor networks through competitive awards via existing (core) programs in the case of NSF and SFI, and, in the case of Invest NI/DEL, via these organizations’ R&D funding mechanisms.

RTI - University Collaboration Fund - Small Grants for Collaborations between Carolina, Duke, NCSU and RTI Researchers
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

The RTI-University Collaboration Fund has been created by Duke University, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Research Triangle Institute (RTI), and UNC-Chapel Hill to provide small grants for activities that will promote greater dialog among researchers at the four participating institutions. The broader aim is to enhance collaborative scientific work. Small grants (less than $20,000) will be available for activities that bring together researchers from at least three of the four institutions (one of which must be RTI). These collaborations should ultimately lead to joint proposal development for external funding.

National Science Foundation - Developing Global Scientists and Engineers, Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Projects
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

The United States needs to educate a globally-engaged science and engineering workforce capable of performing in an international research environment in order to remain at the forefront of world science and technology. To support this aim, the Developing Global Scientists and Engineers program provides highest quality international research experiences for U.S. students. The Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Projects (DDEP) supports the dissertation research abroad of one doctoral student in collaboration with a foreign investigator.

American Foundation for Aging Research - Graduate & Undergraduate Grants and Fellowships for North Carolina Students
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

The American Foundation for Aging Research (AFAR), a Raleigh based non-profit, awards both Fellowships and Grants to undergraduate and graduate students conducting cellular, molecular and genetic research in age-related diseases (cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, etc.) or the biology of aging. The following awards are open to students who are in bachelors, masters, Ph.D., MD, DDS, DVM degree programs and are conducting research at an institution in the United States. Areas of interest to AFAR include but are not limited to: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Immunobiology, Cancer Research, Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biophysics, Genomics. Proteomics.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) - Research and Internship Opportunities
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: U.S. citizens only

The Maryland Office of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) administers research participation programs that allow senior scientists; faculty; high school, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral students; and recent graduates to enhance their science education experiences. Participants join programs, projects, and activities at our customers’ laboratories and research facilities worldwide. These programs provide a flow of qualified researchers and technical experts to participate in current research and development activities related to our customers’ critical missions.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities - Research Participation Program at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD)
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: U.S. citizens only

The Research Participation Program for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) provides opportunities to participate in USAMRICD on-going applied research and development projects. USAMRICD is the Department of Defense’s lead laboratory for the execution of medical chemical defense research. As a subordinate element of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), the institute conducts research involving the development, testing, and evaluation of medical counter-measures to the effects of various chemical warfare agents.

Center for Biologically Inspired Materials & Material Systems (CBIMMS)
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: U.S. citizens or permanent residents

CBIMMS has established a graduate admissions program for a certificate in Biological and Biologically Inspired Materials. This program was initiated as a result of a successful award from the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT). IGERT funding typically covers 2 years of stipend and fees for a Duke doctoral student.

Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering (CBTE)
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

CBTE is a mulch-disciplinary center for training and research. CBTE is one of Duke University's most comprehensive efforts in biotechnology. The mandate of CBTE is to nucleate interdisciplinary research and educational activities that link three broad areas of biotechnology: protein engineering, cellular engineering, and tissue engineering. CBTE Faculty provide names of admitted students with research interests in protein, cellular and tissue engineering. Training grants award are typically offered during the first or second year of doctoral studies and provides full fellowship and fee support for 2 years.

Graduate Program in Nanoscience (GP Nano) 
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

This graduate certificate program designed to address the need for an interdisciplinary graduate education at Duke in Nanoscience that extends beyond the traditional disciplines and skills that are taught within any existing department. In both programs, graduate students will be educated and mentored in classes, labs, and research projects by faculty from many disciplines. The disciplines will span the basic science, engineering, and medical disciplines relevant to Nanoscience. Training grants award are typically offered during the first or second year of doctoral studies and provides full fellowship and fee support for at least 1 year.

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

Duke's dual-degree MD/PhD program, the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), begun in 1966 and one of the three oldest such programs in the country, adds a significant research component to MD education, training physician-scientists (MD/PhDs) for high-level research careers in the biomedical sciences and academic medicine.

Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PSTP)
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: U.S. citizens or permanent residents

The primary benefit of the PSTP is the training in Pharmacology. Pharmacology provides a strong foundation for future employment both in academia and in industry. Approximately half of our graduates pursue academic work after graduation and about half pursue professional jobs in the Pharmaceutical industry. In addition, the PSTP provides financial support in the form of tuition and stipend for two years of graduate work, as well as money to help fund travel to scientific meetings. Participants in PSTP are required to take three graduate level pharmacology courses and have a member of the Pharmacology department on their dissertation committee.

Duke University Graduate School - Conference Travel Fellowships
Deadline: continuous
Citizenship: unrestricted

Open to all Duke University Ph.D. students. The Graduate School will provide up to $700 for advanced students who have passed all parts of the preliminary examination and are presenting a paper or poster at a national conference. Students are limited to one conference travel fellowship per fiscal year (July 1-June 30).