The Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to offer a variety of funding opportunities for its undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. 

  • The Center for Jewish Studies actively supports undergraduate research and approved study in Israel.
  • Graduate study at the Center for Jewish Studies is aimed at interdisciplinary work that thoroughly investigates the rich history and cultural significance of Judaism. Students are encouraged to participate in archeological experiences, as well as study abroad opportunities.
  • The Center for Jewish Studies encourages post-doctoral students to apply for a fellowship – focused on research, teaching, and a public lecture.

Funding & Scholarships

Undergraduate Funding

Seymour H. Shore Endowment

The Seymour H. Shore Endowment provides support for undergraduate scholarships for students who pursue academic work in the field of Judaic Studies.

Shore Undergraduate Research Scholars Program in Jewish Studies

Each year a select cohort of undergraduate scholars, pursuing promising independent research, may apply to become a part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program in Jewish Studies.  Scholars will receive funding for their research projects, which may include a senior honors thesis in any relevant discipline. 

Undergraduate Research Scholars have participated in the following opportunities:

  • Travel to Brazil and Amsterdam in order to pursue research on the Judeo-Portuguese diaspora
  • Research in New York on Jewish/ African-American post-civil rights relations
  • Creation of mobile apps in connection with Computer Science
  • Internship at Yad Vashem
  • Internship with former Israeli President Shimon Peres
  • Research at the Union for Reform Judaism
  • Archeological digs in Israel and Jordan
  • Study abroad in Israel, Russia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, England, and many other exciting locations

Further information may also be found at: https://jewishstudies.duke.edu/seymour-h-shore-scholarship-program

Applications from students engaged in independent scholarship or senior thesis research in any aspect of Jewish Studies are welcomed.  Potential disciplines may include, but are not limited to: International Comparative Studies, History, Slavic Studies, Computer Science, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Religious Studies, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES), Cultural Anthropology, Political Science, and Women's Studies.

Students may apply at any time by submitting a one-page research proposal, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty supervisor.

Please send proposals, including a budget, and recommendation to serena.elliott@duke.edu


Ostad Fellowship in Jewish Studies

Ostad Fellowships will be awarded for undergraduate research in Jewish Studies; and preference will be given to proposals that focus on Jewish-Muslim relations and/ or women in Sephardic Judaism.  Other proposals in Jewish Studies will be considered depending on available funds.

Students will be required to submit:

  • a one-page proposal of their project
  • an estimated budget
  • a letter of recommendation from the faculty member overseeing the project

Faculty nominations are also welcome.

All materials should be sent directly to serena.elliott@duke.edu with the subject line “Ostad Fellowship.”

Applications are currently being accepted for fall 2021; however, due to the ongoing pandemic, we cannot guarantee that funding will be available in fall.  Successful applicants may be asked to postpone their proposed research until spring 2021, if necessary.

Graduate Funding

In addition to funding opportunities through the Department of Religious Studies and Graduate Studies, the Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to several offer opportunities for the advancement of Graduate Education.

Nathan J. Perilman Fellowship in Judaic Studies

The Perilman Fellowship is offered to incoming graduate students. The fund supporting this grant, our most prestigious fellowship in Jewish Studies, honors the memory of Rabbi Nathan Perilman, who, after serving at Temple Emmanu-El in New York City, joined the Triangle-area Jewish community in his retirement. (Listing of past and current Nathan J. Perilman Fellowship Recipients).  To nominate a candidate, the Director of Graduate Studies should submit a letter summarizing the candidate's strengths and how proposed research interests contribute to Jewish Studies.  A copy of the CV and Statement of Interest should also be forwarded to serena.elliott@duke.edu.

Perilman Summer Stipend

The Perilman Summer Stipend provides funding for doctoral students in Jewish Studies for summer research (maximum of $5,000). Students are required to submit a one-page statement of a proposed summer  research agenda and a letter of endorsement from his or her advisor. The  specific amount awarded will depend upon previous grants received from the Center for Jewish Studies as well as other fellowships received for the period this award covers. Applications received by December 15 are guaranteed consideration; applications received after that date will be considered according to funds available.

Perilman Research Award

Graduate students in all disciplines that relate to Jewish Studies may apply yearly for a Perilman Research Award of up to $1000.00 per year. Preference will go to students who are presenting relevant papers at conferences, and/or participating in a relevant workshop or panel discussion. Applicants need to send a copy of their proposal, as well as appropriate acceptance/ invitation letter, and a proposed budget to serena.elliott@duke.edu. All expenses should be purchased directly by the Center for Jewish Studies.

Perilman Advanced Doctoral Research Grant 

Students entering their sixth year of doctoral work in Jewish Studies are eligible to apply for grant funding (maximum of $7,000), usually to support completion of the dissertation although other research may be eligible. To apply, students are required to submit a one-page statement detailing a research agenda (usually dissertation topic, current status, plan for completion) for the academic year and a letter of endorsement from his or her advisor or the project  supervisor. The specific amount awarded will depend upon previous grants received from the Center for Jewish Studies as well as other fellowships received for the period this award covers. Applications received by December 15 are guaranteed consideration; applications received after that date will be considered according to funds available.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Perilman Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The Center for Jewish Studies at Duke University is accepting Perilman Post-Doctoral Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic year.

About the Fellowship:

The Fellowship provides a stipend of $47,500 per year, as well as benefits, for one full year, with a second year possible renewal. The Fellow will be expected to be in residence, to conduct research in Duke's library and archival collections, to participate actively in the intellectual life of the university, to teach two semester courses over two years, and to give a public lecture on their research. The Fellow may not undertake any other sustained teaching or employment during his/her tenure at Duke. Preference will be given to candidates whose area of research and teaching most enriches the offerings already available on campus and whose presence in the Research Triangle promises the greatest contribution to the faculty and student intellectual community, as well as those for whom the use of the Duke library holdings and Special Collections will be most profitable. This postdoctoral fellowship honors the memory of Rabbi Nathan Perilman, who, after serving at Temple Emmanu-El in New York City, joined the Triangle-area Jewish community in his retirement.

Priority deadline: January 15, 2019.

Applicants must have earned the PhD within the past 3 years. Advanced doctoral students applying must include a statement from their dissertation supervisor indicating that they will have the Ph.D. in hand by July 1, 2019. Applicants should submit the following materials electronically, in .pdf form:

  • A letter of intent stating how applicant would use the year to further his/her research and scholarly publication (not to exceed 5 pages);
  • A current CV;
  • A writing sample, not to exceed 20 pages;
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one that speaks to applicant's teaching ability, emailed directly to Duke in .pdf form;
  • A statement of teaching interests, syllabi (both proposed, as well as those already taught);
  • An official transcript from the applicant's doctoral-granting institution.

Duke welcomes applications from all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, creed, religion, disability, age, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other factors as prohibited by law. Previous applicants are eligible to re-apply.  Candidates from all American and foreign universities are welcome.

Applications and all materials should be filled out and uploaded at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/12476

Phone/ Skype interviews may be conducted for finalists.

Further information about the Duke Center for Jewish Studies may be found at http://jewishstudies.duke.edu.  Further information about post-doctoral services at Duke may be found at: http://postdoc.duke.edu/. Please send any questions to serena.elliott@duke.edu

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke also makes good faith efforts to recruit, hire, and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.