Duke Benefits and Services Available to Postdocs
Did you know that as a Duke staff member, you are eligible for work/life balance, stress management, wellness, and entertainment benefits, many for free or at a reduced cost? Below are some of the resources available to postdocs.
The Duke Office of Postdoctoral Services provides individual career counseling, resume/CV, cover letter, and personal statement critiques, professional development workshops, and social events for Duke postdoctoral associates and postdoctoral scholars. Free social events for postdocs include Postdoctoberfest in the fall and Spring Fling in the spring. For an individual counseling appointment, email Molly Starback, Director of Duke Postdoctoral Services. For a list of upcoming events and seminars, see the Duke Postdoctoral Services Events Calendar.
Duke Postdoctoral Virtual Orientation introduces postdocs to some of the offices and services available to Duke postdocs, including the Duke Office of Research Initiatives, Duke Visa Services, Parking & Transportation, Duke University Postdoctoral Association, and more.
Personal Assistance Service (PAS) is the Duke employee assistance program. The staff of licensed professionals offers assessment, short-term counseling, and referrals to help resolve a range of personal, work, and family problems. Common concerns include balancing time, money management, stress, and depression. PAS services are available free of charge to Duke staff and their immediate family members.
Duke's Staff and Family Programs Department provides information and assistance in balancing work and family responsibilities, parenting and other family concerns. Referrals are available for both child care and elder care.
The PERQS Program provides food, service and entertainment opportunities to faculty and staff at discount rates, including discount tickets to Broadway Series South, Durham Bulls, Carolina Theater, Durham Performing Arts Center, Ben & Jerry's, North Carolina Symphony, Disney On Ice, Krispy Kreme, Busch Gardens, Biltmore House, and more.
LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke's employee wellness program, offers a variety of programs and services including health assessments, smoking cessation programs, fitness activities and nutrition counseling to help Duke staff and their family members reach health and fitness goals.
The Duke Fitness Club includes a network of full-service fitness facilities in locations throughout North Carolina that offer Duke staff and their families discounted membership rates.
The Employee Tuition Assistance Program provides tuition reimbursement for full-time employees with at least six months of continuous full-time service for classes taken at Duke or any other higher educational institution accredited by the Program (see website for details). Courses must be related to the employee’s current job or continued career growth at Duke.
Special Employee Tuition Rate for Duke Classes: Staff and faculty may take courses at Duke at a special tuition rate that represents a savings of more 80 percent off regular tuition. As part of the program offered through Duke Continuing Studies, employees working at least 20 hours per week can take an undergraduate course for academic credit for $975; the normal rate for the fall semester is $5,287. Or, employees can audit a class for $100 instead of the regular $514 audit fee. A maximum of two courses can be taken per semester through the program; one per summer session. The program is independent of the Employee Tuition Assistance Program offered through Duke Human Resources. However, staff and faculty may use the tuition assistance program to be reimbursed for courses taken for academic credit, as long as tuition assistance eligibility requirements are met. Employees who complete a for-credit course can receive a Duke transcript showing the grade. Employees can use the transcript to apply for a transfer of credit if they choose to apply later for a bachelor’s degree program at Duke or if they enroll in a degree program at another higher education institution. The Special Duke Employee Tuition Rate program applies only to undergraduate classes from Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke Marine Lab and Sanford School of Public Policy. Courses and programs not eligible for the special tuition rate include: music lessons, physical education courses, study abroad, courses at the Pratt School of Engineering and classes numbered 700 or higher. For more information, visit the Continuing Studies website.
Duke Libraries: The William R. Perkins Library and its seven branches, together with the University Archives and the separately administered libraries serving the schools of Business, Divinity, Law, and Medicine, comprise one of the nation's top ten private university library systems. As staff members, Duke postdocs can check out materials using their DukeCard. Loan periods and polices vary according to the library/collection.
Duke offers GoPass, a local and regional bus pass, to Duke staff and faculty whose offices are on the East, West, Central and Medical Center campuses; the American Tobacco Campus or within one-half mile of the East, West, Central or Medical campuses. GoPass allows staff unlimited rides on GoDurham, GoTriangle, GoRaleigh and GoCary. Please note that fares are currently suspended, and all rides are free until June 2024.
A member of the Duke University Union, Freewater Presentations screens quality films on Duke’s campus during the academic year. Tickets are $1 for Duke employees, $2 for general admission.
The Duke Ombuds Office offers impartial and confidential support on a variety of issues to faculty, staff, and students. Pursuant to the International Ombuds Association’s standards of practice and code of ethics, the Ombuds Office serves as a resource to listen, discuss concerns, and help Duke community members explore options to address issues related to their work or learning. These services are available at no cost. For more information or to schedule a meeting, please visit ombuds.duke.edu or call 919-864-0772.
The Duke Statistical Consulting Center offers statistical consulting to Duke University faculty, students and staff on research involving statistical methods. Consultants are Duke Statistics faculty and graduate students pursuing PhDs in statistics. To schedule an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your problem and times when you are available. You will be scheduled with a consultant. Some questions can be answered during the initial consultation. Others require several meetings over a period of months as the research progresses. Still others result in long-term collaboration between the center staff and other university researchers. Normally the SCC and its consultants do not receive compensation for consulting, although compensation may be appropriate in some circumstances.
The Interdisciplinary and Behavioral Research Center is a state-of-the-science experimental research lab that manages and administers a variety of resources to social and behavioral science researchers at Duke University. The IBRC is available to all faculty, post-doctoral, and student researchers at Duke University. The IBRC offers:
- 5,000 square feet of group and individual testing rooms.
- 17 rooms equipped with computers to conduct your social and behavioral research.
- 1 teaching/seminar room with an 80 inch TV, video conferencing, and multiple format AV capability.
- 4 audio-video recording rooms with high-quality cameras and microphones.
- 2 psychophysiology recording rooms equipped for the measurement of heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, galvanic skin response, EMG, EEG, ECG, respiration and finger pulse amplitude.
- You can apply for up to $600 grants to offset the costs of participants' compensation.
- Our community and student participant's pool has currently over 2000 people enrolled. You can easily find the participants that would fit your inclusion criteria using our prescreening tool.
- Research assistants recruited and screened through the IBRC, that volunteer for a semester long research assistantship with researchers.
- Staff support to assist with research logistics.
The Duke Center for Data and Visualization Sciences offers free consultations in data science, data sources, data management and curation, and data visualization. The Data and Visualization workshops are free classes in tools and methods for data-driven research. Free online tutorials are also available.
The Sarah P Duke Gardens offer adult, children and family classes and events, including Spring Flower Walks, Nature for Sprouts, Traditional Japanese Teas, Bird Walks, the Arts in The Garden Performance Series, and the Spring Family Fun Day.
DukeWell helps Duke Select and Duke Basic insurance participants focus on specific areas of life to improve overall health and wellbeing. Benefits include a free Health Risk Assessment, the ability to earn up to $450 in pharmacy credit, monthly prize drawings, and free seminars on exercise, stress relief, weight management, and healthy cooking.
The Nasher Museum of Art hosts leading-edge art exhibitions and dynamic programs, including Family Days, performing arts events, lectures, film series and social gatherings. The 65,000-square-foot building, designed by renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, houses three large gallery spaces, a museum store, university and community classrooms and the Nasher Museum Café. Admission is free for everyone.
Jazz at the Mary Lou: On Wednesday evenings during the academic year, you can enjoy free live jazz performances at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture on West Campus. Jazz nights begin at 9:30pm and end at 12:30 am. You can stay for just one set or for the whole program.
Duke Appreciation Week: Each year, Duke celebrates and recognizes the faculty and staff of the University and Health System. Institutional events include Duke Family Night at the Durham Bulls, Art and Music on the Quad, Duke Gardens Family Fun Day & Puppet Parade.
Duke University Federal Credit Union (DUFCU) membership is available to all Duke staff and employees. DUFCU is a non-profit financial cooperative, owned and operated by and for its members. All Duke employees and their immediate family members are eligible for membership with DUFCU.
Duke Office of Information Technology (OIT) Training: OIT provides free technology training to Duke students, staff and faculty, including hands-on training seminars, OnDemand training for Duke-specific tools and services, monthly brown bag sessions, and online training tutorials.
Interested in a career in clinical research? The Duke Office of Clinical Research offers classroom training programs for Duke investigators, clinical research coordinators, financial and research study staff. Free trainings for Duke personnel include Financial Basics for Clinical Research; Research Data Integrity and Data Security; Study Documentation: Regulations and Best Practices; and other sessions that cover the basics of clinical research at Duke for researchers serving as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator.
Duke Integrative Medicine's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program is a method of using meditation and yoga to cultivate awareness and reduce stress. Participants learn to discover and observe his or her reactions to life’s stressors and to choose how to respond. Duke Integrative Medicine's philosophy is that the skills taught in the MBSR Program are of benefit to everyone. For that reason, there is a Financial Aid Program that enables you to learn MBSR skills and use them in your daily life, regardless of socio-economic status.
Duke Recreation offers a variety of trips and clinics open to the Duke community. Students, faculty and staff have the chance to sign up for hiking/camping trips, backpacking clinics, rock climbing lessons, horseback trail riding and mountain biking trips at a reduced cost. Duke employees receive free or discounted admission to several aquatic activities, including Family Fun Swims (free for gym members; $10 per family for Duke employee, non-gym members) and swimming lessons (save up to $90, depending on number requested).
Professional Development at Duke provides individual assistance with resumes, goal setting, career planning, educational opportunities, and job interviewing. These services are provided to Duke employees - e.g., Postdoctoral Associates, Research Associate Seniors, Research Scientists, Associates in Research. (Postdoctoral Associates and Postdoctoral Scholars may also make individual appointments with Duke Postdoctoral Services for these same services.)
The Duke Thompson Writing Program Studio works with writers both within Duke and the broader Durham community. Our goal is to help writers, not just pieces of writing, develop. Our highly educated consultants help at any stage of the writing process – from brainstorming and researching to drafting, revising, and fine-tuning a final draft. Our consultants and staff draw from diverse backgrounds, bring a range of experiences and perspectives to our work, and engage in extensive, ongoing learning and reflection.
What to Expect When You Visit the TWP Writing Studio:
- We promote excellence in writing. Our goal is to facilitate writers' development of their writing processes and of their particular writing projects.
- We explore possibilities with you in your writing and guide you to tools and strategies that will allow you to continue these explorations independently.
- We help you identify points of revision and set priorities based on your current needs.
- We act as an audience and give feedback from a reader's perspective.
- Please note: we do not read work in advance for online sessions; instead, all work takes place during these 45-minute sessions.
- Please note: proofreading/copy editing is not a service provided by TWP. If you are seeking proofreading or copy editing, find information on freelance editors and proofreaders here.
The Writing Studio conducts our appointments both in-person and online. To schedule an appointment: https://twp.duke.edu/twp-writing-studio/appointments/appointment
The Social Science Research Institute Connection Bar offers one-on-one advice to support Duke researchers in planning and conducting their research. The Connection Bar, open 10 am to 6 pm on weekdays during the academic year, is staffed by advanced graduate students and postdoctoral scholars with expertise in using both quantitative and qualitative methods and tools. Drop by to get assistance with a research project or schedule an appointment with a consultant.
Duke Postdoctoral Services is an Institutional Member of the National Postdoctoral Association, established to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting research training and professional growth. Benefits include a career center, international postdocs' guide, Individual Development Plan guide, and more. Register for your free Duke affiliate membership using your Duke email address.
Are you deciding on the next step after your postdoc? Need help looking for jobs that excite you and then figuring out how to apply? The National Postdoctoral Association is partnering with SciPhD to provide a free, permanent license for all NPA members to their online web application tool – Flamingo. Flamingo is SciPhD’s web application that guides you in finding jobs, analyzing job descriptions to identify the critical technical, business, and social skills, relating those skills to your own experiences and accomplishments, and generating a targeted resume for that job. In addition, Flamingo has an extensive resources section with crash courses in project management, leadership, communications, interviewing skills, negotiations, and much more. Duke Postdoctoral Services is an Institutional Member of the National Postdoctoral Association. In addition to Flamingo, benefits include a career center, international postdocs' guide, Individual Development Plan guide, and more. Register for your free Duke affiliate membership using your Duke email address.
Duke is an Institutional Member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD). The NCFDD provides an external mentoring community designed to help postdocs increase research and writing productivity and improve work-life balance. NCFDD offers professional development training, intense and reliable support from highly trained and successful mentors, a confidential “safe space” for problem solving, and a downloadable virtual format so members can learn at their convenience. NCFDD currently supports more than 88,000 graduate student, postdoc and faculty members from institutions all across the country. Log in using your Duke email address at https://www.facultydiversity.org/join
Duke is an Institutional Member of Beyond the Professoriate, featuring information and strategies you need to confidently apply for faculty/academic jobs, or to build a nonacademic career. This research-driven platform is informed by nearly a decade of experience supporting PhDs to launch new careers. No matter what academic discipline you’re coming from – Humanities, Education, Social Sciences, STEM, or Biological Life Sciences - you’ll find information to help you prepare for your job search. Visit the website to set up your Duke account.
Duke is an Institutional Member of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS, https://awis.org/) and membership is free to postdocs, students, staff and faculty. AWIS advocates for gender equity and the advancement of women in STEM. AWIS offers professional development, networking, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. You must use your Duke email address to activate your membership: www.awis.org/duke-form
The Duke Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), Duke Student Government, and Duke Postdoctoral Services have partnered with a local law firm to provide the Lawyer Assistance Program. Attorneys are available for every Monday from 4-7 pm during the fall and spring semester. The attorneys may be able to answer questions regarding a wide range of legal issues, including street law and police-community interactions.
Mindfulness Activities in the Student Wellness Center: Members of the Duke community (students, postdocs, faculty and staff) are invited to relax, reduce stress and anxiety, and recharge through a variety of wellness experiences, including yoga, mindfulness meditation, knitting, drum circles, tea-tasting, and tai chi.
DukeCreate Workshops are free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help Duke students, postdocs, staff and faculty develop a variety of creative skills, open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Workshops range from digital media (“backpack filmmaker”, lighting for portraiture) to painting, screen printing, rug hooking, embroidery, drawing and more.
The Medical Center Library & Archives can connect you to biomedical research resources and skilled information professionals we can help you with your systematic reviews, citation management, NIH Public Access Policy Compliance, and managing your research impact. We offer free online classes monthly, including Building Your Researcher Profile, Journal Selection for Authors, Demystifying Peer Review, and How to Write an Abstract. Librarians are available for consults - if you have a question, email us at email@example.com
Office of Postdoctoral Services - Resources