GradEngage is a fellowship opportunity for graduate and professional students to exercise their moral purpose through a collaboration with communities in North Carolina.

Partner with Purpose

The GradEngage fellowship offers graduate and professional students an opportunity to deepen a local community partnership and participate in reflective conversation with like-minded students at Duke. Based on Duke’s signature immersive civic engagement experience for undergraduates — DukeEngage — GradEngage seeks to make community collaboration integral to a well-lived life for all students at Duke. This fellowship program provides financial support and creates space for graduate and professional students to find, hone, and put into practice their moral purpose(s) through their work with community partners.


  • $3,000 honorarium for projects of 120+ hours


  • Eligibility: Any graduate or professional school student may apply.
  • Time period: Projects must take place during the academic year (August 23, 2021 to April 30, 2022)
  • Partnership: Projects must be in partnership with a local, non-Duke organization or community and must not be undertaken through a Duke-affiliated organization. Applicants should develop projects in collaboration with the community partner to support the organization’s extant efforts rather than create their own new programs.
  • Prior relationship: The applicant must have a clearly defined prior relationship with the organization or community.


  • Training: Two-hour orientation before starting the project (Week of October 4)
  • Time on project: 120+ hours
  • Monthly lunches: In person outdoors or virtual. Short readings or other materials may be assigned.
  • Written reflection: Six blog posts over the course of the project


Deadline: Sunday, September 12, 2021 (11:59PM)
Apply now


Contact Katherine Jo at katherine.jo@duke.edu.

The Purpose Project at Duke is pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of the GradEngage Fellowship, which will provide an opportunity for Duke graduate and professional students to deepen a partnership with a North Carolina community or organization of their choosing during the winter break and spring semester.

The GradEngage fellows represent a wide range of departments and professional schools at Duke, and through their funded work, fellows will be able to explore the purpose of their graduate studies by making connections between pressing social issues and communities and organizations on the ground.

Throughout the course of the winter and spring, fellows will serve virtually and submit reflections about their work and experience over the course of the project. You can read these pieces on the GradEngage Blog.




Funded by a grant from The Duke Endowment, The Purpose Project at Duke is a multi-year, campus-wide initiative focused on integrating a focus on character, purpose, and vocation into undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. The initiative is hosted by the Kenan Institute for Ethics in collaboration with the Divinity School and the Office of Undergraduate Education.