Research Funding

Various departments, offices, and institutes at Duke offer funding for undergraduates who wish to conduct research projects over the summer. See below for a partial list of competitive funding opportunities.

"Teaching is not principally a matter of imparting information, but at its best is a way of encouraging students to think about their own thoughts, ask their own questions, and find out how to look for answers to those questions." – Anne Firor Scott

Anne Firor Scott Award in Women’s History

Anne Firor Scott
"Teaching is not principally a matter of imparting 
information, but at its best is a way of encouraging
students to think about their own thoughts, ask their
own questions, and find out how to look for answers
to those questions."
– Anne Firor Scott

DEADLINE: late March

Under the leadership of Dara DeHaven (T’73, G’74, L’80), numerous former students and friends joined together to create an endowment honoring one of Duke’s most committed teachers and renowned scholars. Dr. Scott is W.K. Boyd Professor Emeritus of History at Duke, where she taught from 1961 to 1991. She was a pioneer in the expanding field of women's history, and she has served as president of the Southern Historical Association and the Organization of American Historians. Throughout her career, she has encouraged the idea that the best way to learn the historical craft is to work with primary sources. The award created in Dr. Scott’s honor helps students engaged in research in women’s history to spend time in archives and resource centers where they can make thorough use of original historical materials.

These are one-time awards for undergraduates who plan to take the History Senior Honors Seminar and graduate students working on seminar projects or dissertations on any aspect of women’s history. The award may be used for travel, living expenses, direct costs incurred in collecting and analyzing information, or as a means of recognizing outstanding research work. Winners will be asked to report on the use of these funds and their work. Undergraduate and graduate student projects will be evaluated separately. Recent graduates may also be considered.

Students should have a well-defined research project that they wish to pursue on their own are encouraged to apply for this award to conduct independent research. Students seeking to work in close collaboration with a faculty mentor are particularly encouraged to apply for this award and to work with a faculty member in a faculty-initiated project for the year while making their own distinct contribution to the overall research endeavor.


The application consists a completed application form and three copies of the following:

  1. PROPOSAL – A proposal of 2-3 pages addressed to the Anne Scott Award Committee. The proposal should describe the student's overall project or the specific resource materials for study, as well as the reasons undertaking the project; the status of work already in process; a budget for requested funds; and an explanation of other funds available to the student.
  2. REFERENCE LETTER – Applicants should provide a detailed letter from a faculty member as a reference, or it pursuing a faculty-student project, a letter from the faculty mentor that describes the overall research project of which the student's work will be a part, as well as an assessment of the student's abilities to contribute to the project.
  3. RESUME/CV – A copy of a current resume or curriculum vitae.

Submit the completed application packet to: Carla Ivey, History Department, Box 90719, 226 Classroom Building, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708.

Mellon Undergraduate Awards for Summer Research in Latin America and the Caribbean

DEADLINE: late March

The Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) offers funding to support independent research in Latin America or the Caribbean. Students interested in these opportunities should check out the Duke CLACS website for more information.

Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

DEADLINE: varies

The Department of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies offers opportunities for support of research on gender and race. Check out the GSF website for a list of available awards and deadlines.

The Wilson Fund for the Support of Honors Thesis Students in History

DEADLINE: ongoing

This fund was created through the generous support of Dean Gerald Wilson and Ginger Wilson. Along with funds provided by Trinity College, these funds are administered by the Director of the Graduation with Distinction Program and are used to provide small grants to defray research expenses incurred by students accepted into the honors seminars.

Preference is given to support for travel away from Durham, but students with other types of expenses may also apply.

Application Process

To apply, seminar participants should submit a brief proposal, indicating how the expenditures relate to their research needs, for example, a request for travel funds should make clear what archives a student intends to visit, what particular collections they wishes to examine, and how those collections relate to the thesis work.

There is no deadline for these applications. The Director will entertain proposals for as long as funds are available in a given year.

Trinity College Academic Year Undergraduate Research Support Grants

DEADLINE: rolling deadline in Fall and Spring semesters

Trinity College of Arts and Sciences makes 50 grants of up to $350 each semester to support independent research by undergraduates. You can use these grants to meet the expenses of necessary travel within the continental United States. The Undergraduate Research Support office also has funds to support travel for students giving presentations on their research to scholarly meetings.

Applications are reviewed every Monday up to Spring Break.