Funding Opportunities



Duke Graduate Fellowships

UPE graduate students are eligible for several sources of funding provided by the University. They are listed here. All University Fellowships listed also cover fees and health insurance. Some of the more popular ones are:

Summer Funding

The Graduate School now offers guarenteed summer support to 1st and 2nd year Ph.D. Students that are not in graduate programs that already offer summer support.

Competitive Summer Research Fellowship (The Graduate School) – In addition to summer tuition and fees, the fellowship awards a summer stipend of $5,500. Applicants must be in their third academic year of study (third summer during the fellowship term) or beyond.

Conference Travel Awards

UPE graduate students are eligible for several sources of funding provided by the Graduate School and the Department with which your advisor is affiliated.

Mentorship opportunities

Data+:  Data+ is a summer program that engages undergraduates interested in Data Science through vertically integrated teams with graduate students (one graduate student per 5-6 undergraduates for each team) to solve a problem using data-science tools, with a dataset provided by a Duke faculty “client” or external non-academic client.  UPE students and faculty can apply to participate by proposing their own data challenge for the summer team to solve.

Bass Connections:  Bass Connections offers support for interdisciplinary teams to conduct research that requires synthesis across disciplines and social groups, and to engage local communities, stakeholders and policy makers.  Here is one example of a UPE team’s project.

Scientific Storytelling with Story+Story+ is a program hosted by the Franklin Humanities Center.  It trains teams of students in the craft of storytelling.  UPE students and faculty have participated in the program to find the narrative in their data and to experiment with presenting that narrative to diverse audiences.  Cultivating storytelling skills is increasingly important for scientists, who need to communicate the relevance of their work, advocate for the scientific pursuit, and recruit future scientists into their disciplines.  Learn more here.

External Funding Opportunities

PLEASE NOTE: Before you apply for any external funding, check with the grants office, as they will probably need to approve the application before you can submit it! Also note that the grants office has an INTERNAL DEADLINE that is 8 business days prior to the deadline for the grant. You will need to give the grants office your application by the internal deadline.

If you have questions about this process, you can contact your departmental grants office and/or visit the Office of Research Support (ORS).

  • National Science Foundation
  • Garden Club of America
  • Sigma Xi – The Graduate School currently provides matching funding for the Sigma Xi National Chapter and The Duke Chapter of Sigma Xi. Send a copy of the Sigma Xi  award letter to the Financial Aid Office in the Graduate School to receive matching funds. Award letters must be received no later than 30 days from the notice of award to receive the matching amount from the Graduate School. The matching Graduate School portion will be paid directly to the awardee through Duke Corporate Payroll. For additional information please click on either of the two links above.
  • American Philosophical Society
    • Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research: Encourages exploratory field studies for the collection of specimens and data and to provide the imaginative stimulus that accompanies direct observation. Applications are invited from disciplines with a large dependence on field studies, such as archaeology, anthropology, biology, ecology, geography, geology, linguistics, and paleontology. Grants are only available to doctoral students; the maximum grant awarded will be $5,000. Applications due 2/1; letters of support due 1/30. see details here.
  • The Eppley Foundation for Research
    • The Foundation funds projects in biological and physical sciences. Particular areas of interest include innovative medical investigations, endangered species and ecosystems in the U.S. and abroad, and climate change. The Foundation does not fund work that can qualify for funding from conventional sources such as the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health, or similar agencies at the state level. It is important to the Foundation that the work proposed be novel in its insights and unlikely to be underway elsewhere. The Foundation is prepared to take risks.
    • Grants are small (up to $20,000).
    • LOI by 9/15 or 3/15. 
    • More information here.
  • USC: John and Alice Tyler Energy Ecology Fund
    • The prize is not accepting nominations in 2017. Check back in 2018.
    • The John and Alice Tyler Prize is awarded for achievements in environmental science, policy, energy and health conferring great benefit upon humanity. Prizes are awarded for (among other fields): The protection, maintenance, improvement or understanding of an ecological or an environmental condition anywhere in the world.
    • Up to $200,000.
    • More information here.
  • Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation
    • Graduate Research Fellowship Program: Provides stipends for graduate student research in multiple fields, including ecology. The graduate research fellowship program is designed to promote the education of exceptionally qualified students and provide research information to manage wildlife populations. Studies are limited to the continental United States. South Texas is a priority area.
    • Apply by 10/1 (paper or electronic)
    • More information here.

Search Tools

Permanent link to this article: https://ecology.duke.edu/funding-opportunities/