Graduate Fellowship

Each year, the Kenan Institute for Ethics awards 10 to 15 fellowships to outstanding graduate students at Duke University.

Students from any Duke graduate program may apply. Ideal candidates will be in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of their Ph.D. studies, finished all (or almost all) of their coursework requirements, but still developing new ideas and approaches for their dissertation research. The Fellows receive a stipend of $3,000 that supplements their current funding, and they meet for a seminar about a dozen times, across the Fall and Spring semesters, on Mondays. There are also two half-day workshops – one at the end of each term – where Fellows showcase their own research. The Monday seminars usually feature visiting speakers and do not typically require preparation in advance.

Grad-AwardsAlumni in good standing of the Fellowship program will have access to conference- and research-travel funds during their final years in the Ph.D. program.

The only thing each cohort of Graduate Fellows will necessarily have 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. The aim of the on-going discussion among the Fellows and Kenan faculty members in the seminar throughout the academic year 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.

The deadline to apply for the Graduate Fellowship at the Kenan Institute for Ethics for the 2017-2018 academic year is MondayJuly 10. For further information, contact with “Graduate Fellowship question” in the subject heading.

To apply, e-mail the application (available via .docx), along with a copy of your CV, to with the subject line “Graduate Fellowship” by noon on Monday, July 10.