Financial Support

Academic Year Support

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program in Psychology and Neuroscience are guaranteed (stipend, tuition remission, fees) for five academic years (Fall and Spring semesters). and summers 1 and 2 if the student is in good standing academically. That is, students are supported for 12 months in years 1 and 2.

The graduate student, in conjunction with their mentor, is responsible for obtaining all funding (including stipend, tuition remission, and fees) after the 5th year. In instances of hardship or other compelling circumstances, the mentor can request variances to the funding rules by writing to the Chair who will act on the request after consultation with the Advisory Committee.

Summer Support

For the summers following a student’s first and second years of academic study, most Ph.D. students are guaranteed summer research fellowships from The Graduate School. For a student’s later years, funding is not guaranteed; the  student and mentor will work to determine a source of summer funding, including but not limited to: (1) a grant held by the student's adviser, (2) summer teaching, (3) competitive fellowships, (4) via the Vertical Integration Program (VIP) by serving as a research mentor to an undergraduate. VIP funding is determined from year to year.

Competitive Fellowships

There are several competitive mechanisms for obtaining summer funding or support of dissertation projects:

  1. Summer research fellowships are available on a competitive basis to students in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the summer following years 3-6 if they have passed their preliminary exam. In addition to summer tuition and fees, the fellowship awards a Summer Stipend of ~$8,250.
  2. The Aleane Webb Fellowship provides small grants for dissertation research projects. This fund was created to assist graduate students in funding miscellaneous projects associated with research but does not come with a stipend. Eligible projects include the purchase of microfilm, photographic development of slides, and graphic reproduction. Travel and typing costs will not be considered for this award. The Graduate School will award up to $500 per project.
  3. There are other year-long competitive fellowships through Duke for students in their dissertation year. For a complete description of these see the graduate school funding page, which also contains information on external awards. 

Additional Questions?

Can the support from the VIP program be in addition to or on top of support that graduate students receive for summer from other sources?

For the vast majority of students, the VIP contributes to a portion of the summer funding (~$1700 + summer registration/tuition remission). In rare instances, the VIP funds can be in addition to funds a student already receives from other sources (e.g., research assistantships, summer teaching).

Do graduate students have health insurance during the summer even if they do not register?

Yes. The Graduate School Health Insurance Policy covers students for years 1 through 6, including summers. The fees for health insurance are paid in the fall and are in effect for the 12 month calendar. However, students who are not registered and thus do not pay the "health fee" cannot use the student infirmary.

Do Ph.D. candidates get travel money and if so, what are the application requirements?

The department supports graduate student travel for pre-MAP students by providing $250 to help defray costs to attend conferences or meetings at which the student is (a) an author on a paper or poster being presented or (b) taking part in a professional workshop. Students can apply for these funds using the application on the website.

Post-MAP students can apply for travel funds (up to $525 for domestic travel) from the graduate school on an annual basis; this award is combined with additional funds from the department. The application can be found at: