Undergrad Grants, Prizes & Resources

There are many grants, prizes, and other resources available to you as a Duke undergraduate, with certain prizes and grants geared towards the research and practice for students majoring in Art, Art History and Visual Studies. 

Grants

The Benenson Prize

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Edward H. Benenson, a series of prizes for summer research and study are available to undergraduates who are interested in any field of art, music, drama, dance, photography, film, or creative writing. Since the prizes are designed to broaden the students’ educational and professional objectives, the candidate’s essay on his/her objectives will be a major factor in the selection process. Prizes have been awarded for travel, summer study in established programs, and research, either in the United States or abroad. If you are interested in applying for a Benenson award, complete the online application form, which must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation and an official transcript. You are also encouraged to provide supplementary materials of your past work with your application. The applications are usually due in late February-early March, and the announcement of the winners is made in April.

URS Independent Study Grants

URS Grants are provided to help defray research expenses of up to $400 for Trinity and Pratt students enrolled in faculty-supervised independent study courses or the equivalent such as thesis and research capstone courses. A grant makes funds available to purchase approved supplies and equipment (which become the property of the University) for the research project. When strongly recommended by a student's faculty research advisor, the URS Program will consider supporting a student's travel to collect data or use a unique resource collection.

URS Creative Arts Grants

URS Creative Arts Grants are provided to help defray project expenses of up to $400 for Trinity and Pratt students enrolled in faculty-supervised Independent Study courses or full-credit private instruction in the creative arts (e.g., Art & Visual Studies, Dance, Literature, Music, Theater Studies). 

Funds are available to purchase approved supplies and equipment for the arts project; equipment become the property of the University. When strongly recommended by a student's faculty supervisor, it may be possible to use the grant to support a student's travel to use a unique resource. Grants may not be used to buy personal books or personal items, or to pay salaries.

Dean’s Summer Research Fellowships

The Deans' Summer Fellowship Program is designed to support undergraduate research and inquiry in the arts and sciences. The goals of the Deans' Summer Fellowship Program are to strengthen research opportunities for undergraduates, to enlarge the scope of undergraduate research conducted on and off campus during the summer, and to provide support to enable undergraduates to extend the period over which they engage in research.  A maximum of $3000 will be awarded.

There are additional research opportunities that you can apply for within Duke University and programs around the country that will accept applications from undergraduate students from any institution.

Prizes

Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Visual Art Award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding graduating senior in the Visual Arts, as determined by the Art and Art History faculty.  The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation endows this award.

The Nancy Kaneb Art History Award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding graduating senior in the History of Art, as determined by the Art, Art History & Visual Studies faculty.

The Sue and Lee Noel Prize in the Visual Arts is for the development of a cohesive, artistic, and intellectual body of work in visual arts for a student in their junior or senior year.

The Visual Studies Initiative Award is presented annually to recognize an outstanding graduating major in Visual Studies. The award winner will have conducted original research ideally at the interface of the humanities, the sciences and social sciences, and connected theory and practice in a supervised visual studies project. 

Trinity College

The Louis Sudler Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts was established in 1983 at fourteen major universities throughout the USA through the generosity of Louis G. Sudler of Chicago, Illinois.  At Duke, the award is presented annually by the Council for the Arts to a graduating senior who has demonstrated the most distinguished record of excellence in performance or creation in one of the following areas:  music, theater, painting, dance, design, film, creative writing, or other areas of the arts.