The Graduate School guarantees Ph.D. students five years of stipend, tuition, and fees support, plus six years of full coverage for health and dental insurance premiums. Beginning in Fall 2022, students are funded for a full twelve months. The funding package is composed of a balance of a research assistantship, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and teaching in the language programs.

A brief funding glossary of departmental (Romance Studies), internal (Duke), and external funding sources is detailed below, followed by a list of resources and links to explore at the bottom of the page. For more information about funding from The Graduate School, visit

Competitive Fellowships from The Graduate School

The Duke Graduate School offers a number of fellowships for continuing Ph.D. students, including fellowships that provide full support for the academic year, summer research fellowships for the summer, teaching fellowships, and dissertation research travel awards. The deadline for these fellowship applications is typically mid-November, with an earlier departmental deadline for edits and nominations. View all the programs, deadlines and nomination limits at the Graduate School website.

Conference Travel

The Graduate School provides up to $525.00 for domestic and $700.00 for international travel for advanced students who have passed all parts of the Preliminary Examination and are presenting a paper at a conference. See application for further details.

The Department of Romance Studies also has funds to support conference travel for those students who do not yet qualify to apply for support from The Graduate School. This primarily includes students in their first and second years who have not yet completed their Preliminary Exam. More details available on the application form, downloadable from the Forms and Policies page.

Dissertation Research

Following successful completion of the Preliminary Exam and Dissertation Prospectus workshop in the third year, students in their fourth year receive two semesters of fellowship with no other obligations, which frees them to travel for dissertation research.

External Fellowships

Students are encouraged to research and apply for external fellowships in their fields. The Office of Research Support has a comprehensive list of funding databases and directories. Our students have enjoyed success with the following fellowship programs: the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Foreign Language Area Studies (or FLAS, coordinated by the relevant area studies center on campus), the Ford Foundation, and the American Association of University Women. Success in procuring grants is an important component of future professional work, makes a curriculum vitae stand out, and provides financial support for travel and additional research time free of service responsibilities.  Note that in order to be eligible for sixth year funding provided by the department, students must provide evidence of having applied for academic year funding from a source outside of Duke.

Graduate Assistantship

First-year students assist faculty in their field of study with research projects (maximum 8-9 hours per week). 

Instructor and Teaching Assistant Opportunities

Beginning in the second semester of the second year, students enter a pedagogy training program that that includes a course on teaching methods, instructorship in the language program, and a teaching assistantship. In the fifth year, students have the opportunity to teach a course of their own design.

Letters of Recommendation

Students must submit letters of recommendations for competitive fellowships and jobs. Each professor will have their own process for requesting letters of support. Typically, a minimum of three weeks is necessary to draft a strong letter of support.

Sixth Year Funding

Trinity Arts and Sciences (including Romance Studies) has moved to a 12 month funding structure as of Fall 2022. Summer funding in years one and two is guaranteed through a Summer Research Fellowship. For students in their third year and above, summer funding will be provided in the form of internships, assistantships, competitive fellowships through The Graduate School, and teaching opportunities. The DGS and the DGSA will work closely with each student to determine appropriate funding for the summer months. In the case that a student is unable to secure summer funding through the above listed sources despite efforts to do so, Trinity will work with the department to ensure backstop funding. More information on Trinity's 12 month funding policy can be found here 

Sixth Year Funding

Students who require a sixth year of funding apply for competitive fellowships within Duke and externally; all those who apply for external fellowships are guaranteed a sixth year of funding by the department. The sixth year funding package can be provided by means of a research assistantship, fellowships, teaching assistantships, or instructorship in the language program.

Grants and Funding Opportunities