What We Offer
VH@Duke Internship Program
Secure a competitive, paid semester-long or summer internship that will give you new perspective on research interests, or enable you to explore a potential career avenue.
Doctoral Innovation Grants
Collaborate with your department’s leadership to secure special grants to enhance academic training in your areas of focus.
Customized, One-on-One Advising
Make an appointment with Dr. Maria LaMonaca Wisdom, Director for Graduate Student Advising and Engagement for the Humanities. Clarify your goals and gain perspective beyond the bounds of department, discipline, school, and university.
Interdisciplinary project management
As a team leader for Bass Connections or Story +, work with faculty to supervise small, engaged teams of Duke undergraduates as they bring humanistic perspective and skills to bear on concrete problems and challenges.
Resources: A Guided Tour
Learn about key resources at Duke and beyond that can help you cultivate versatility and launch your career.
Versatile Humanists at Duke (VH@Duke) is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Duke Graduate School, and the Duke Provost’s Office. Our mission is to prepare Duke graduate students to make a difference in their careers as humanists, whether inside or outside the academy. Our offerings are geared to help future Ph.D.s in the humanities and interpretive social sciences flourish—in higher education, government, business, the non-profit sector, or wherever their talents and inclinations might lead.
We believe that versatility is just as vital for successful careers within academia as beyond it. The many challenges now confronting higher education compel today’s faculty members and administrators to work in teams, span boundaries, navigate diverse work cultures, and cultivate the habits of effective leadership.
Director of Graduate Student Advising and Engagement for the Humanities, Maria LaMonaca Wisdom, offers advice on how students can take advantage of their summer in preparing for the job search.
Among the lessons learned: Don’t ignore the job question. Look up the job-placement numbers for your program, even if they might be scary.
Staying afloat on the sea of solitude while navigating your dissertation
The Innovation Grants help doctoral programs develop and implement curricular changes designed to enrich students’ academic experiences, and prepare them for transformative roles inside and outside of academia.
The internship experiences are designed to help enrich students’ dissertations and prepare students for academic and nonacademic careers.
A PhD student reflects on lessons learned from a recent conversation with a former philosophy professor who left academia for a career as a data engineer.
Exploring these opportunities now can broaden and shape your academic trajectory in ways that might not be obvious until later, so don’t wait until you find a clear “fit” or pass some milestone before diving in.
Some things to look for and ask about when you are applying for nonacademic jobs to make sure the position is right for you.
Congratulations on your academic job offer! But before you accept, make sure you consider these questions and figure out if this job is actually a good fit.
Elizabeth Brake (Ph.D.’13 History) shares five insights from her own experience of building a network and starting a career in a region where she had few professional contacts.