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The Kenan Institute is offering three summer funding opportunities for Duke PhD students.

Application deadline: March 31, 2024

The Kenan Institute for Ethics is providing three funding opportunities for Ph.D. students for summer 2024: internships, dissertation awards, and travel awards. Internships and dissertation awards are available only to students who do not have full summer funding. Because of limited funds, all three opportunities are competitive.

Kenan Summer Internships

Three of the Institute’s programs are seeking a summer intern for 6, 8, or 12 weeks between May 17 and August 16, 2024. Interns will work no more than 19.9 hours/week. All current Ph.D. students enrolled in the semester before and after the internship and who do not have full summer funding are eligible to apply. Awards for internships include summer tuition, summer stipend, associated fringe, and the summer health fee. Programs seeking interns are:

Democracy and the Politics of American Higher Education gathers faculty, administrators, and member of the public to reflect on how the university should respond to ongoing threats toward democratic values and principles. Responsibilities will include staying on top of news about the politics of American higher education, writing summaries of recent publications on the topic, helping organize and produce a monthly newsletter, and working on a white paper on the history of the issue. Ideal candidates will have excellent writing skills and coursework/knowledge/experience related to higher education and democracy. For more information contact Eric Mlyn.

The Purpose Project at Duke strives to facilitate conversations, foster partnerships, and field experiments inside and outside the classroom that enable students — undergraduate, graduate, and professional— to pursue questions of moral purpose and a life well-lived as an integral part of their Duke experience. Current programs include courses for first- and second-year undergraduates; a summer co-curricular program for undergraduates interested in healthcare as a profession; a program for doctoral students aspiring to become teachers of undergraduates; and a university-wide project focused on storytelling as an avenue for exploring hard questions, and questioning answers. The Purpose Project is seeking a Ph.D. student with skills in qualitative methods who will help brainstorm assessment and evaluation, collect and analyze qualitative data, and assist in reporting findings. For more information contact Alexandra Cooper.

Just Environments is a joint project of the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability. It invests in collaborations between communities, students, and scholars based on research and data justice principles in order to explore solutions and practices to promote environmental justice. It also houses the Environmental Justice Lab, which is devoted to the study of environmental justice and questions at the intersection of race, poverty, and the environment. For more information on a summer internship with Just Environments, contact Kay Jowers.
To apply for a summer internship, send an email to Kim Dorman specifying the program of interest and whether you want to pursue a 6-, 8-, or 12-week internship. Include the following attachments as pdf documents.

  • An updated CV (maximum two pages)
  • A brief statement (maximum two pages) of your interest in the program and how it relates to your overall academic, research, and professional plans.
  • A letter of support from your primary faculty advisor
  • A listing of already awarded summer funding and of any concurrent proposals for other summer funding. If applicants receive news about other funding proposals after the submission deadline, they should provide updated information to Kim Dorman.

Students with questions about planning around existing summer funding can contact grad-finaid@duke.edu.

Summer Dissertation Awards

Summer Dissertation Awards provide funding for post-prelim PhD students without full summer funding who are prepared to spend the summer researching and writing dissertations focused on questions of ethics, especially if those questions align with the Institute’s emphasis on the good life, the good community, and the good society.
These awards are for twelve weeks between May 17 and August 16, 2024, and include summer tuition, summer stipend, associated fringe, and the summer health fee.
To apply for a summer dissertation award, send the following documents to Kim Dorman:

  • An updated CV (maximum two pages)
  • A brief statement (maximum two pages) of your dissertation research and its intersections with questions of ethics, especially if those questions align with the Institute’s emphasis on the good life, the good community, and the good society
  • A letter of support from your primary faculty advisor
  • A listing of already awarded summer funding and of any concurrent proposals for other summer funding. If applicants receive news about other funding proposals after the submission deadline, they should provide updated information to Kim Dorman.

Students with questions about planning around existing summer funding can contact grad-finaid@duke.edu.

Summer Dissertation Awards

The Kenan Summer Dissertation Research Travel Award provides funding for PhD students to travel in order to conduct pre-dissertation or dissertation research that focuses on questions of ethics, especially if those questions align with the Institute’s emphasis on the good life, the good community, and the good society. All PhD students are eligible to apply for up to $4,000 for domestic travel support, and $5,000 for international travel.

To apply for a summer dissertation travel award, send the following documents to Kim Dorman:

  • An updated CV (maximum two pages)
  • A brief statement (maximum two pages) of your dissertation research and its intersections with questions of ethics, especially if those questions align with the Institute’s emphasis on the good life, the good community, and the good society, and an explanation of what you hope to accomplish with travel
  • A budget and timeline for travel
  • A letter of support from your primary faculty advisor