Funding Opportunities

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:

  1. Senior fellowships (these are few and highly competitive).
  2. Teaching in the Thompson Writing Program. On recommendation from the DGS.
  3. 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.

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 Instructorship. 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. Previous years’ announcements are available in the DGS assistant’s office.

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 December or January.

External Funding

Our students have often been successful applying for fellowships outside of Duke, and are encouraged to apply for such funding. Information is regularly circulated and posted by the DGS, and the Graduate School Financial Aid web site has links to fellowship and research opportunities.

External grants or fellowships does not change or extend the departments guarantee of 5 years of funding (whether from external or internal sources). In order to encourage students to apply for external funding, however; the department has established the following structure:

  • 1 year of support ~ student receives full funding for 1 semester in the 6th year.
  • 2 years of support ~ student receives full funding for both semesters of the 6th year.
  • 3 or more years of support ~ the department will pay the students fees.

Travel Support

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.