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Carrels are a resource to support the scholarship of Duke University doctoral students. They are locked, private spaces with room for storing books and other materials for PhD students otherwise without office space.

How to get a carrel

All available carrels are currently occupied. To request a carrel, confirm that you are eligible and join the waiting list. When a carrel becomes available, we'll contact you with a carrel usage policy agreement. Due to high demand, the wait for an individual carrel may be a year or more.

Join the carrels waiting list

Waiting for a carrel? Doctoral students are also eligible for workspace in the Doctoral Research Commons (DRS).

Who is eligible for a carrel?

  • Most doctoral (PhD) students enrolled at Duke University
Not eligible
  • Doctoral students who have assigned offices in their departments
  • Non-doctoral students e.g., students enrolled in Master's programs
  • Doctoral students enrolled in the Duke University schools of Business, Divinity, Law, Medicine, and Nursing
  • Faculty, visiting scholars, and postdoctoral associates and staff


Guidelines for using your carrel

Our policies and guidelines help keep everyone safe. Violating any of them is grounds for permanently forfeiting your carrel access.

  • Empty your trash can. We don't clean your carrels during your tenure except by request. So if you want your carrel to be cleaned, please contact the  Perkins Service Desk .
  • Please be thoughtful about noise. Keep phone conversations and video conferences to a minimum. Use headphones when listening to audio.
  • Don't cover your carrel window. This is for safety and in keeping with university emergency management procedures. We'll ask you to remove any door coverings.
  • For safety, don't use toasters, steamers, microwaves, or other electrical heating devices.
  • In general, you're responsible for your carrel and may be held liable for any damage. That includes items kept in the carrel; the Libraries aren't liable for lost or damaged belongings.

Carrel policies

We reserve the right to make changes to this agreement. We'll inform carrel holders of policy changes before changes take effect.

Carrel holders may use carrels for up to 2 years at a time.
After that, please clean out your carrel and return the key. When the term ends, carrel holders can join the waitlist for an additional 2-year term. Carrel holders who under-utilize their carrels may be asked to vacate their carrels to make space for others who are waiting.
Carrel holders are responsible for carrel keys.
Replacement keys cost $25.
Everyone using a carrel must sign a copy of the Carrel Agreement form.
That means that if you want to let others use your carrel, you should let us know. Everyone using a carrel must agree to our policies.
All library materials must be checked out.
Carrel slips or request notices issued by Duke University Libraries must be visible in each library book kept in carrels.
Don't smoke, vape, or use e-cigarettes.
You'll lose your carrel privileges, and you may be held financially liable for related costs, such as fire department or cleaning/deodorizing fees.

For additional information please contact the  Perkins Library Service Desk .