Standard Funding Package
Most students are accepted to the Program with funding for five years. As of Fall 2022, Duke guarantees 12-month support for students in their funding period (that is, covering the summer months of June to August as well). The form that summer funding will take is yet to be determined. Either way, students are still required to complete an application process for summer funding. See below for more information.
Funding beyond the Fifth Year
We guarantee support through the fifth year of study in our program. Beyond the fifth year, you are encouraged to see other forms of support. You may be offered teaching or research opportunities as they become available on an ad hoc basis.
The following are the primary funding outlets for GPL students beyond their five year funding eligibility:
- Senior fellowships (these are few and highly competitive).
- Teaching in the Thompson Writing Program. On recommendation from the DGS.
- Teaching in other departments. Such teaching should be reported to the DGS (for statistical purposes), but the DGS exercises no authority in relation to teaching obtained in other departments by students to whom the GPL has no funding commitment. Since we have a funding commitment to students in years 1-5, such students may not teach in other departments without prior permission of the DGS. The Graduate School does not allow ‘double-dipping’ for students on fellowship support, and students who obtain income from other Duke departments beyond their fellowship support without prior permission are usually expected to reimburse the Graduate School for the surplus amount.
For advanced students, particularly students seeking post-fifth-year funding, a variety of University funding options may be possible. These include:
- Senior Fellowships
Anyone who will be ABD (having passed their preliminary exam) by the end of an academic year may be eligible for a senior fellowship. At Duke these are the Final Year Dissertation Fellowship, the Duke International Fellowship and the Named Fellowships. These Fellowships are announced every year in late October. Applications are made through the DGS’s office. Note that there is usually a very short deadline between the announcement of the Fellowships and the deadline for applications. Students who intend to apply for these fellowships should therefore prepare their applications well in advance. Every year the DGS convenes an ad hoc fellowship committee to nominate the top candidates from the Literature Program. Successful candidates may expect to hear the results in January and April.
- Teaching in the University Writing Program
On recommendation from the DGS.
- Teaching in other departments
Often students working substantially in a foreign language are encouraged to teach language courses (i.e. Spanish 101, Chinese 1, etc.); notify the DGS if you may be interested in this since the Program has to let the relevant Department know (they have to make room for you among their teaching spots). Several Literature students have in the past additionally found teaching positions for a semester or the summer in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies. Such teaching should be reported to the DGS (for statistical purposes), but the DGS exercises no authority in relation to teaching obtained in other departments by students to whom the GPL has no funding commitment. Since the GPL has a funding commitment to students in years 1-5, such students may not teach in other departments without prior permission of the DGS. The Graduate School does not allow “double-dipping” for students on fellowship support, and students who obtain income from other Duke departments beyond their fellowship support without prior permission are usually expected to reimburse the Graduate School for the surplus amount.
Foreign Language Acquisition Scholarships are only available to U.S. citizens or residents. The year-long FLAS scholarships, administered by many of the area studies’ centers as well as some additional centers (including European Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Asian/Pacific Studies Institute, The Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies; the Center for South Asian Studies, and The Center for International Studies) will cover tuition and stipend for the year in which a student is enrolled in one of the featured languages. These awards may also be used for research in the designated areas (students have used FLAS scholarships to do research in, for example, Mexico). FLAS fellowships are also available for summer language acquisition in the U.S. for beginning language students and abroad at the intermediate level or higher.
The Office of Research Support has a link to Duke Internal Funding options: https://ors.duke.edu/
The Graduate School has a site for internal funding options with deadlines; the grants offered may change year to year: https://gradschool.duke.edu/financial-support/find-funding. These generally include the following (with various, but often November deadlines):
- Graduate School Conference Travel Fellowships for post-prelims students.
- Departmental Conference Travel for pre-prelim students.
- International Fellowships for Advanced Students (funding for a year for advanced students to do international research).
- Stern Dissertation Year Fellowships (full funding for an academic year, only 3 given a year across the disciplines).
- Bass Instructional Fellowship: Helps students become more knowledgeable in online teaching; covers a semester of full or partial tuition and fees.
- Summer Research Fellowships: For pre- and post-prelim dissertation writing; need not be international.
- Graduate awards for international research (summer funding for both pre- and post level).
- Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Award (up to $500 for miscellaneous dissertation research such as slide transfers, microfilm purchase, etc.).
Interdisciplinary programs may also be a possible source of funding: Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, for example, often offers a year of teaching-free funding to qualified applicants doing work in the field. It also offers some 5 other grants for graduate students working in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies’ fields. See its grant page: https://gendersexualityfeminist.duke.edu/graduate/awards-grants.
The Franklin Humanities Institute also has a fellowship program for advanced students that is announced near the end of the fall semester.
The Office of Research Support at Duke offers an extremely comprehensive monthly notification of funding alerts internal and external to Duke for that month. For more information, please visit: https://ors.duke.edu/
Some other relevant scholarships and funding sources include:
- The Jacob Javits Fellowship: This national fellowship offered by the Department of Education, if awarded, carries with it 4 years of tuition and stipend funding (the stipend is higher than that of the University). Applicants may apply to one of several relevant “disciplines” in the humanities (Duke Literature students might apply in English, Rhetoric, Comparative Literature, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, or Area Studies, for example.) The important caveat worth noting about the Javits is that only first year graduate students (or seniors in college) may apply; the application is usually due in November of a student’s first year. See the website: http://www.ed.gov/programs/iegpsjavits/index.html
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation | https://mellon.org/grants/grants-database/
- Consortium for a Strong Minority Presence at Liberal Arts Colleges |
- AAUW Fellowships and Grants| https://www.aauw.org/resources/programs/fellowships-grants/
- Ford Dissertation Fellowship | https://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/fordfellowships/pga_171939
- Williams College/Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation Fellowships
- Dartmouth University/Marshall Dissertation Fellowship
- Five Colleges | https://www.fivecolleges.edu/
- U Rochester/Douglass Institute Fellowship | http://www.sas.rochester.edu/aas/
- Josephine de Karman Fellowship | http://www.dekarman.org/qualifications/
- Northeastern University, Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Liberal Arts Colleges—Dissertation and Postdoctoral Fellowships | https://phd.northeastern.edu/opportunity/consortium-for-faculty-diversity-at-liberal-arts-colleges-dissertation-postdoctoral-fellowships/
- Frederick Douglass Summer Fellowships at Clarion University (PA) |
- UC Santa Barbara, Department of Black Studies Dissertation Fellowship | https://www.blackstudies.ucsb.edu/graduate/dissertation-scholars/application
Summer Employment and Support
Starting in the Fall of 2022, Duke will guarantee summer funding for all graduate students within their funding period (years 1-5). It is expected that this funding will take the form of Summer Research Fellowships for those whose applications are successful, while others may be funded through some form of summer internship. We are expected to know further details by the end of this academic year regarding the specific structure of this funding.
Students beyond their funding period may apply to teach summer courses to procure funding for these months. Please see below for the department policy on summer session courses.
The Graduate School will often support a part of the travel costs of a student delivering a paper at a conference, provided that the appropriate forms (Conference Travel Fellowship Application) are filed on time. To be eligible, a student must have passed the Preliminary Examination.