Graduate Fellowship

Each year, competitive fellowships allow an interdisciplinary group of Duke University graduate students to deeply engage with the Institute and its work.

Grad-AwardsThe Kenan Institute for Ethics selects 6-10 graduate student applications for the Graduate Student Fellowships each academic year. Students from any Duke graduate program may apply. Ideal candidates will be in the 3rd or 4th year of their PhD studies: finished all (or almost all) of their coursework requirements, but still developing new ideas and approaches for their dissertation research. The Fellows receive an award of $3000 that supplements their current funding, and they meet the second Monday of every month over lunch in a seminar with fellow graduate students and faculty. The monthly seminar does not typically require extensive preparation in advance. The aim of the on-going discussion among the fellows and Institute faculty members in the seminar is to enhance everyone’s ability to contribute to debates involving ethical issues, and to do so in ways that engage scholars and others both within and outside of their own academic disciplines. Fellows will also be asked to participate in a one-day workshop early in the fall of their Fellowship year, and in two late-afternoon workshops – one late in fall and one late in the spring semester.

Alumni in good standing of the Fellowship program will have exclusive access to conference and research travel funds during their final years in the PhD program.

The only thing each cohort of Graduate Fellows has in common is that their dissertation research engages in interesting ways with significant normative issues. Some students – for example, from disciplines like philosophy, political theory, or theology – focus directly on fundamental ethical or political concepts and theories. Other fellows, from the sciences and social sciences, are trying to understand phenomena that are relevant to major, and often controversial, public policy debates. Still others are attempting to resolve debates in their areas of research that seem to be sustained by long-standing disagreements over both empirical claims and ethical or ideological commitments. Fellows are expected to be competent in either the empirical methods or normative theories of their home discipline.

The deadline to apply for the Graduate Fellowship at the Kenan Institute for Ethics for the 2015-2016 academic year is August 10, 2015. The recipients of the Fellowship will be notified by August 17, 2015. For further information, contact with “Graduate Fellowship question” in the subject heading.

Download the application (docx)