New $10 million award from The Duke Endowment to support next generation of doctoral students

The Duke Endowment has awarded Duke University $10 million to support the university’s pressing need for doctoral fellowships.

“Graduate students play an integral role in shaping the intellectual community of the university,” said Duke University President Vincent Price. “As scholars in training, they produce pathbreaking research and inspire our undergraduates to consider graduate-level training as well. We are grateful for The Duke Endowment’s extraordinary commitment to providing the resources and support graduate students need to thrive here at Duke.”

Fellowships are one of the main considerations of doctoral applicants when they are being recruited by multiple schools and remain a key source of financial support for our students, said Graduate School Dean Suzanne Barbour, making it even more important for Duke to offer competitive funding packages.

“This will help not only recruit the most talented doctoral students,” Barbour said, “but help students concentrate on their pivotal research, get the most from their time in the Duke community, and complete their Ph.D. degrees in less time.”

Included in the $10 million Duke Endowment award is $2.5 million earmarked for dollar-for-dollar matching support for doctoral fellowships, which The Graduate School hopes will raise an additional $2.5 million to bring the award’s total philanthropic impact to $12.5 million. Through The Duke Endowment Doctoral Fellowship Challenge Fund,donors will be able to unlock the matching funds when giving to new or existing unrestricted and restricted graduate fellowship endowments.

“This is an exceptional opportunity for new and existing Duke donors to support the university’s priority on graduate student financial aid and to make an immediate impact,” said Dave Kennedy, vice president of Duke Alumni Engagement and Development. “I am so thankful for this latest partnership with The Duke Endowment and for making this fund a possibility so that our donor dollars can go even farther.”

At Duke, The Graduate School supports more than 3,500 master’s and Ph.D. students in more than 80 graduate programs ranging across the biological, physical and social sciences, engineering, the humanities and more. Students enrolled in Duke’s Graduate School and the university’s professional schools combined outpace the number of enrolled undergraduates by 24%—further underscoring the need for financial support for this important contingent of the Duke community.

“As part of our enduring partnership, we are pleased to support the university’s work to bolster graduate education,” said Chair of The Duke Endowment’s Board of Trustees Charles Lucas. “We are hopeful these fellowships will provide even more opportunities for students to pursue graduate-level training with one of the many distinguished doctoral programs that are offered at Duke.” Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4.3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

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