Deadline: March 29, 2017

[Please take note, the 2018 RFP is located here.]


Through this internal funding mechanism, graduate students are encouraged to propose an experience outside of or beyond their core disciplinary training that would enhance or expand their disciplinary training (e.g., an internship, training workshop, or field work opportunity). The goal of this grant competition is to expand the opportunities for graduate students to “step away” from their core research and training, so as to acquire additional skills, knowledge or experiences that will enhance the approach to their original research. We believe such experiences will lead to better preparation/training, whether for academic positions or other career trajectories.

Proposals require endorsement from the student’s primary faculty mentor, and a clear explanation of how the experience will contribute to broadening the student’s training, and how it may potentially impact their dissertation research or capstone project. Successful past applications have made a compelling case for how the proposed experience would offer a cognate experience to amplify the student’s intellectual agenda, beyond the standard offerings within their program.

The proposed experience may last for up to one full semester. Funds awarded will be capped at $5,000. For reference, see previous awardees and proposed experiences.


All current graduate students (post-undergraduate, including master’s, professional and Ph.D. students) in any program at Duke University may propose graduate training enhancement activities. All internships, work and services proposed must be performed outside of Duke (i.e., may not be work for Duke). Funding requests to attend conferences, and in the case of master’s students to provide funding for internship experiences, will not be prioritized for these grants.


Proposals will be accepted from February 15 through March 29, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. and should be submitted to Amber Martinez ( in the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. Proposals should include:

  • Updated curriculum vitae (no more than 2 pages)
  • A brief narrative that articulates the proposed activities, how the experience will contribute to broadening the student’s training and how it fits with the student’s overall academic, research and professional plans (no more than 3 pages)
  • A budget plan (up to $5,000) and timeline for use of the funds
  • A letter or e-mail from the student’s primary faculty mentor in support of the proposed activities
  • A listing of all other concurrent proposals for funding to support the proposed activities (we will ask awardees to update us when any additional funding for the proposed activities is awarded/received).

Review and Selection

Proposals will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee convened by the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, to include representation from faculty, deans, institute directors and graduate students, representing all divisions of knowledge.

Decisions will be announced by mid-April 2017 and funds will be awarded as appropriate to the timing of the activities. Awardees will be expected to provide updates on their activities during the year.