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Engineering in Service to Society PhD Fellowship

PhD Students: Enhance your degree with experience in the policy or nonprofit sectors

Through generous support from the Lord Foundation, PhD students in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Duke can apply for funding to support a semester to gain experience in the policy or nonprofit sectors.

Engineering in Service to Society Fellowships provide financial support as PhD students explore careers through semester-long internships. Duke MEMS encourages prospective fellows to identify internships that align with their research expertise at the international, national, or local level.

Duke is well-located for this program—our campus's proximity to Raleigh, the capital city of the State of North Carolina, and its location within the Research Triangle Region offers many possibilities for positions with policy and nonprofit organizations with state and national impact.

"Duke MEMS PhD students are outstanding engineers and scientists. We need these talented people to help inform governmental policy, especially related to technical issues in energy, autonomy, AI, and nanoscience—and to become leaders in nonprofits that address critical needs."

L. CATE BRINSON, PhD | The Donald M. Alstadt CHAIR of Duke MEMS

Eligibility & Requirements

  • Applicants must have completed their preliminary exam and coursework, and be in good standing
  • An application consists of:
    • CV/resume
    • One-page internship plan, including a statement of its value to future career goals
    • Letter of support from PhD advisor
  • Applications are considered on a rolling basis by the PhD Steering Committee
  • To apply, submit the materials listed above to the Duke MEMS Director of Graduate Studies in the semester prior to course registration for the internship semester
  • Successful applicants will register for ME 758S—tuition and a stipend for that period will be paid from Lord Foundation funds

Contact US

To as a question or to apply, please send email the Duke MEMS director of graduate studies:

Email Duke MEMS

About the Lord Foundation

The October 2020 naming of the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Duke recognized the transformative contributions of the late chairman and CEO of the LORD Corporation.

Deepening a philanthropic relationship with Duke and the Pratt School of Engineering that began in 1984, $261 million was allocated by the Lord Foundation of North Carolina to Duke in 2019 to provide a permanent source of long-term support for science and technology education at Duke and Duke MEMS.

This fellowship program is just one outgrowth of Thomas Lord's philanthropic support of Duke MEMS.

Read about the history of the LFNC and Duke »