Skip to main content

Sophomores and juniors who have participated in DukeEngage and are interested in a second summer of community engagement focused on issues in the United States are eligible to apply for the Brodhead Service Program.

Through an eight-week independent project, Brodhead Fellows contribute to local problem solving, deepen their understanding of social issues, learn about the role of nonprofits in addressing pressing human needs, and strengthen a commitment to community and civic engagement in their personal and professional lives. Fellows receive individual professional mentoring from Duke alumni, and create a portfolio of their community and civic engagement goals, experiences, and reflections.

Brodhead Fellows will receive a stipend of $5000. In addition, the summer earnings requirement will be waived for Fellows on financial aid. The program funds up to five students each summer.

President Emeritus Richard Brodhead

In 2017, Duke University received a gift from The Kenan Charitable Trust to establish the Brodhead Service Program in honor of retiring president Richard H. Brodhead, commemorating his deep commitment to community engagement. “Thanks to this support,” said Brodhead, “Duke students will be able to deliver their classroom knowledge in service to the Durham community and integrate their DukeEngage experiences with their curricular learning.” Read more about President Brodhead’s connection to DukeEngage.

Priority Areas

The Brodhead Service Program prioritizes:

  • Local projects, with an emphasis on partner organizations in Durham and surrounding counties
  • Projects with past and current U.S.-based DukeEngage community partners
  • Projects with nonprofit organizations in the Southeast region of the United States
  • Projects with nonprofit organizations in other regions of the United States

How do I design an independent project?

See tips for building a project here.

Dear [find the name of a person within the organization to write to]:


I’m writing to ask whether I could be of use to your organization this summer.


I’m a student at Duke University applying for a program called the Brodhead Service Program, an opportunity for a few students who have already completed a summer of full-time work with a community organization to participate in a second summer of engagement. My goal is to contribute to local problem solving, deepen my understanding of social issues, learn about nonprofit organizations, and strengthen my commitment to civic engagement in my personal and professional life.


If accepted I will receive a fellowship award from DukeEngage, and as such am not allowed to accept compensation from your organization.


[Remind them of your connection with them, or briefly state your interest in their work.]


I have experience with [briefly list any relevant skills or experience].


A few things to note:

  • To receive Duke’s support, I need to work full time for eight consecutive weeks between mid-May and mid-August.
  • I would need to submit a project description, and know the name of the person supervising me, by March 8th.


If this is at all of interest, I’d love to talk with you by phone or Zoom about potential projects I could support. I look forward to hearing any questions you have. You are also welcome to contact DukeEngage for more information, at

Mentoring & Support

Through a support network of DukeEngage staff, Duke alumni, and partnering professionals, Brodhead Fellows will be supported in developing their own professional and civic identities.

  • Duke Alumni Mentors – In collaboration with Duke Alumni Affairs, Fellows will be matched with a Duke alumni mentor. The mentor will be a Duke alumnus/a working in the nonprofit or related sectors.
  • Leadership Training – Brodhead Fellows will have opportunities for leadership training and professional development, beginning with a half-day kickoff in the spring. Fellows may also be invited to participate in face-to-face or online workshops during the summer, depending on project timeline.

Program Expectations

  • Projects must be eight weeks long.
  • Projects must consist of full-time (at least 35-40 hours per week) work with an established community organization.
  • Partner organization must be in the U.S. (see above for priorities)
  • Fellows attend a kick-off during the spring semester.
  • Fellows participate in ongoing reflection assignments throughout the summer, and submit a portfolio at the end of the summer. Details will be made available during the kick-off.
  • During the semester following the summer experience, Fellows may be asked to participate in 1-2 events, such as a reunion between Fellows and mentors or a panel for prospective applicants.
Ready to Apply?

2023 Brodhead Fellowship Application Timeline

  • Application Opens: February 1
  • Start working on designing your independent project! Let us know if you need help.
  • Application Deadline: Monday, March 15 (midnight Eastern Time)
  • Interviews: mid-March
  • Notifications: week of March 27

Access the Brodhead Service Program application here.

Feel free to download the application questions and draft your responses in a separate document.

Be prepared to upload a partnership verification with your application.