Our Program

SPIRE logo

The Duke SPIRE Fellows Program – which stands for STEM Pathways for Inclusion, Readiness, and Excellence – is community where students find an academic home and feel a sense of belonging. We provide engaged mentoring and an academic support system for high-achieving undergraduates from diverse backgrounds with an interest in pursuing a major and/or career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. SPIRE also provides high-level STEM tutoring, academic skills development, and access to a network of STEM role-models/mentors. As a SPIRE Fellow, you will have many opportunities to learn how to network with faculty, alumni, and industry leaders – and in turn, envision your own successful career path.

STEM courses and majors can be highly competitive and academically challenging at Duke.  SPIRE provides a supportive and inviting community, where you can find your place and form your identity both in STEM, and Duke as a whole. SPIRE strives to create an environment that fosters collaboration and close social bonds, where fellows are celebrated for their successes, and supported during their challenges. To that end, SPIRE provides a Living & Learning Community (LLC) and we host many social events throughout the year, e.g. SPIRE Fridays, game nights and watch parties, and our new SPIRE prom!     

SPIRE's commitment to you

  • Academic coaching and skills instruction, tutoring, and career counseling
  • Wellness and well-being coaching to assist you in balancing the academic demands of STEM at Duke
  • Supportive STEM faculty/staff mentors
  • Access to a network of departmental faculty, administration, and graduate students for potential shadowing, mentorship, and engagement opportunities
  • Funding for approved enrichment opportunities/items and 1-1 tutoring
  • Support to identify STEM enhancement and research opportunities
  • Support to present research at local and/or national conferences
  • Support to publish research in peer-reviewed journals

SPIRE's expectations of you

  • Attend SPIRE events, e.g. the SPIRE Speaker Series and New Fellows Welcome Dinner
  • Participate in community outreach and programs
  • Take a first-year course in the Spring semester on developing your STEM identity (0.5 credits)
  • Participate in summer exploration opportunities
  • Live together sophomore year in the SPIRE LLC
  • Participate in program development, e.g. an exit interview with Dean Soydan in senior year and iterative program assessment
  • Actively engage with the SPIRE community (attend SPIRE Fridays, social events, and seek from and provide help/support to other fellows)

Who Should Apply?

The Duke SPIRE Fellows Program welcomes first-year undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing studies in STEM fields, especially those who are from underrepresented, first generation, and/or low income backgrounds.

*Due to the outstanding support system already in place through our PreHeath Advising Program, prehealth students will not be considered for placement in SPIRE.

Apply to SPIRE