Financial Aid

Financial Aid

The Duke University Graduate School and the Biochemistry program offer a wide array of financial support. Funding is available from annually allocated awards funds, instruction, endowed fellowships, foundations and other private support, as well as federal research and training grants.  As a member of an outstanding graduate community, we strongly encourage you to apply for other institutional and outside fellowships.  Awards of the type add distinction to your graduate record and enhance our ability to support additional highly qualified students in graduate programs at Duke.

Financial support for continuing Ph.D. graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry is typically provided over a 12-month period.  Financial support for the 2015-2016 Academic Year is as follows:

Tuition (Yrs 1-3 only)                      $41,010.00
Tuition Remission ($3,290/sem)    $9,870.00
Health & Activity fees                      $806.50
Stipend (12 months)                        $29,860.00
Total                                                $81,546.50

Recreation Fee:  Starting in the fourth year of study, Ph.D. students are required to opt in if they wish to continue using the campus recreation centers (e.g., the Wilson and Brodie gyms) each academic year.  Student enrolled in a Duke Ph.D. program will be sent an email by the Graduate School that includes a link to opt in to use the campus recreation centers during the next academic year.  If you choose to use the facilities, your student account will be charged a recreation fee of $130 (2015-16 year) per six-month period (July 1–December 31 and January 1–June 30, 2016) and you will be financially responsible for paying this fee through your student account.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is required for all Duke students. If you choose to enroll in Duke’s student medical insurance plan (Duke SMIP), the Graduate School will cover the cost of your premium. Information on the Duke SMIP can be found on the Duke Student Health website.
International students, those holding F-1 or J-1 visas, are required to enroll in the Duke SMIP. Domestic students may choose not to enroll in the Duke plan; however, those who do not enroll must meet the waiver criteria and provide proof of comparable alternative insurance coverage. If you do meet the waiver criteria and choose to waive the Duke SMIP, the Graduate School will provide a $400 stipend supplement that will be included in your October paycheck.  At the beginning of the fall semester Duke students must provide proof of coverage by an adequate medical insurance policy or purchase the Duke-sponsored medical insurance plan. If you have a medical insurance plan based in the United States, it is important to review your policy to assure proper coverage.  Always have your insurance card and prescription drug card with you when seeking health care to facilitate the filing of insurance claims.


Leaves of absence, graduation*, and terminations:  Students who terminate from the Ph.D. program, take a personal leave of absence, or complete their degree/graduate will have the option to continue their health insurance coverage for the remainder of the plan year at their own pro-rated expense. Otherwise the Graduate School payment of the premium will continue through the last day of the month during which the graduation became effective (see more detailed info below). If a student chooses to maintain his/her Duke medical insurance coverage, the student will be charged for, and expected to pay, the balance of the plan term premium through his/her Bursar’s account. If the student wishes to terminate his/her Duke insurance plan, he/she must complete the Petition to Terminate Coverage form and submit it to the Student Health Insurance Manager in the Student Health Center.

Questions concerning enrollment and termination of the Duke Student Medical Insurance Plan should be directed to the Duke Student Health Center.  You can contact the Duke Student Health Center directly by phone at (919) 681-WELL. 

Dental Insurance:  Although dental services are not available through Duke Student Health Center, all students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan are eligible for discounted dental visits through BASIXDentalBlue dental insurance is also available for purchase. 

Other Funding Opportunities 

Office of Research Support:  In addition to those awards available through the department and university, applicants are urged to compete for national and foundation awards available for graduate study. Duke's Office of Research Support lists awards available from a variety of federal and private sources, as well as awards funded by the university. External awards typically replace departmental or Graduate School awards.

Competitive Fellowships for Continuing Students:  The application process for 2015-2016 competitive fellowships for continuing students has closed. Fellowship awardees will be listed in late-March. Applications for 2016-17 will become available in mid-September.  More information about the types of fellowships offered can be found at the Grad School Financial Support.

IMPORTANT:  Please notify your lab grant manager when you apply for any outside funding award/fellowship. You will also need to notify your grant manager the outcome of your application (if you have or have not received the award/fellowship).

Conference Travel Awards & Fellowships

Graduate School – Conference Travel Fellowship:  The Conference Travel Fellowship is available to any graduate student enrolled in a Ph.D. granting program or department, who has passed all parts of the preliminary exam and is actively participating in a conference (i.e., presenting a paper or poster, or leading a discussion).  Students are limited to one conference travel fellowship per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).  If awarded, the fellowship will provide up to $525 for domestic and $700 for international travel and will include the cost of registration fees, primary travel, three nights of lodging, and meals for four days (up to $25/day).  The application must be complete and submitted at least one month prior to the date of the conference and can be found at the following Graduate School website.

Biochemistry Department – Kamin Travel Fellowship:  Any biochemistry graduate student who is awarded a Graduate School Conference Travel Fellowship will be automatically eligible for an additional Kamin Fellowship for up to $400. As you know, the Graduate School Travel Fellowships cover up to $525 of the cost of travel to a conference. The additional Kamin Fellowship should cover most or all of any remaining expenses. Please submit a copy of your completed Graduate School Conference Travel Application and approval along with the Kamin Travel Application to the BGSO (Amy Norfleet) in room 251 Nanaline Duke.  A copy of the application can be found here

Note:  Graduate students who are unable to obtain a Graduate School Travel Fellowship can apply for a Kamin Travel Fellowship by submitting this application to Amy Norfleet, but the award is not automatic.  In this case, you should also include a brief letter of intent with relevant details of the trip and the reason(s) for not applying or receiving the Graduate School award.