Graduate Education

Prospective graduate students enter the decision sciences through several Ph.D. programs within the Duke Graduate School. All require a core curriculum within their home degree program, but also allow students to broaden their training with courses in complementary disciplines. Commonly chosen degree programs include those of the Fuqua School of Business (e.g., Marketing, Decision Science), Economics, Philosophy, Psychology & Neuroscience, and Neurobiology. Students interested in a biological approach to decision making can also enter through the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program, which allows rotations in several laboratories during the first year, followed by matching to a mentor and degree-granting program in the second year. Students in any of these programs frequently take courses on decision modeling, experimental methods, and statistics, along with (or as part of) their standard training program.


Travel Awards

The Duke Center for Interdisciplinary Decision Sciences (D-CIDES) supports graduate student travel awards. These awards are intended to encourage graduate students to explore new topics in the decision sciences, by attending a conference outside of their home discipline (e.g., a business school student attending a genetics conference). Students must be pursuing a Ph.D. degree, must be currently in good standing within an academic program of the Duke Graduate School, and must be mentored by a D-CIDES faculty affiliate. Each award will provide support of up to $1000. 

Terms of Support

  • Funding will be restricted reimbursement to actual travel costs (i.e., airfare, shared housing, conference registration, and meals). 
  • Any travel costs above those provided by D-CIDES must be supported by the mentor.
While any eligible student may apply, priority will be given based on the following criteria:
  • Whether the student is presenting in the conference or workshop. 
  • Whether attending the conference or workshop will provide interdisciplinary training (e.g., it will expose the student to approaches outside of his/her home discipline).
  • The student’s stage within their graduate training (i.e., priority for late-career students).
  • The student’s past participation in D-CIDES programs (e.g., journal clubs, workshops).
  • Priority will also be given to students whose mentor has not received a similar travel award for the current academic year. 
Applicants and mentors should submit a single PDF file containing:
  • CV of the travel award candidate.
  • A brief description, not to exceed one page, about how attending the conference or workshop fits into the student’s graduate training. 
  • A letter of support from the mentor that includes a commitment to cover the outstanding costs associated with the conference or workshop. (Note that the description in the previous bullet point can be addressed within the letter.)
Applications should be submitted to

Fellowships will be evaluated by the D-CIDES Executive Board, which contains faculty from throughout Duke whose research investigates the mechanisms of decision making. Applications for support will be considered on a rolling basis beginning on June 1 of each year. We anticipate making eight or more awards each year.

Learn more about DIBS

The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences is a scientific institute with a collaborative spirit and a commitment to education, service and knowledge across disciplines. We encourage creativity, taking risks, sharing ideas and working together.


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