Jobs & Opportunities

Call for Post-MFA Fellowship in the Documentary Arts

As part of a strategic priority to diversify the documentary field, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (CDS) invites applications from people from groups underrepresented in the documentary arts for one (1) ten-month Post-MFA Fellowship in the Documentary Arts, to begin on September 1, 2019. The fellowship is part of CDS’s Documentary Diversity Project, a three-year pilot program whose goal is to build pathways for more people of color to engage with the documentary arts and to become nonfiction storytellers, gatekeepers, and critical consumers; to support their achievements; and to promote their work. The pilot is made possible, in part, by a grant from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

What CDS will provide:

  • A stipend of $35,000 with health benefits.
  • Access to CDS and Duke University libraries, computers, audiovisual equipment, labs, facilities, and studio/office space.
  • Access to CDS’s long-established local and national networks for collaboration and creative exchange.
  • Programming to support and enhance professional and artistic development.
  • One-on-one mentoring with a variety of successful documentary makers, educators, and other professionals.
  • Opportunities to present work publicly.
  • Space and time to refine and significantly enhance a portfolio and CV.
  • The option to (co-)teach a course during the spring semester of their ten-month term.

Expectations: 
Individuals selected for the fellowship will be expected to:

  • Use the space and time the fellowship offers to significantly enhance a portfolio of documentary work (taking the form of fieldwork, production, and/or archival research, teaching, expansion of MFA work), and to work closely with CDS faculty and staff to expand professional networks, capacities, and reach.
  • Contribute to a creative, open environment by building relationships, engaging in dialogue, and sharing lived experiences.
  • Spend at least 70 percent of the time in residence at CDS and participate in program activities (e.g., DDP weekly meetings).
  • Engage in ongoing reflection on successes, challenges, and overall experience to help us gauge program impact.
  • Mentor and engage with younger or otherwise less experienced documentarians, including a cohort of Emerging Documentary Artists.
  • Present work produced during the fellowship through an exhibition, performance, reading, and/or artist’s or author’s talk.

Application Requirements/Eligibility:

  • Candidates from groups underrepresented in the documentary field—including Black, Latinx, Native American (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian), Asian or Asian American, Pacific Islander, Puerto Rican, and Middle Eastern/North African—are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must have legal status to work in the United States during the term of the fellowship.
  • Applicants must have completed their MFA degree in Spring 2016 or later.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who can provide strong evidence of artistic and/or documentary production.
  • We interpret documentary broadly; the MFA degree does not need to be in the documentary arts. Artists or writers working in any medium and/or mode that relates broadly to documentary are encouraged to apply.

Application Materials Required:

  • Cover letter (1-page maximum)
  • Personal/artist statement (1-page maximum)
  • CV
  • Work plan for the fellowship year (2-page maximum)
  • Portfolio that includes work produced in the last five (5) years (2014 or later)
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, including one (1) letter evaluating the substance of the work submitted in the portfolio

Applicants must complete their application and upload portfolio and written materials online to SlideRoom; the application period is January 7 through February 19, 2019. Two (2) letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically to William Page at william.page@duke.edu by February 19, 2019; applicant’s name must appear in the subject line of the email.