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Fellowships to USA Physician Scientists for Subspecialty Disease Research

Physician Scientist Fellowship

GrantWatch ID# 193362
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF)
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
LOI Date: 11/28/22
Deadline: 01/13/23 3:00 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Fellowships to USA clinical investigators affiliated with nonprofit institutions for subspecialty disease research. The purpose of the program is to allow MDs, MD/PhDs, and DOs to expand their skills and knowledge and strengthen their careers as biomedical investigators. Clinical investigators working in any disease area are eligible for this award.

Physician scientists lend vital expertise to biomedical research through their training as both clinicians and researchers. The Physician Scientist Fellowship (PSF) award aims to support research during the final years of subspecialty fellowship and aid in the transition into an academic faculty appointment. The specific goals of the PSF program are to: 1) support physician scientists in subspecialty fellowship to conduct an outstanding clinical research project; 2) ensure research time protection to enable development of research skills; and 3) facilitate strong mentor relationships. 

The priority of the Physician Scientist Fellowship program is to fund outstanding individuals with excitement for clinical research careers, whose projects will address highly significant research questions and lead to career advancement.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Grants will be awarded to physician scientists (MD, MD/PhD, DO, or foreign equivalent) who are in, or have recently completed, subspecialty fellowship training working at US medical institutions to support two years of clinical research that will strengthen their careers as biomedical investigators.

To be eligible for this award, applicants must:
- Have a clinical subspecialty fellowship with a completion date that falls between June 30, 2021, and July 1, 2023.
- Have completed the majority of the clinical training portion of the fellowship by the award start date, July 1, 2022. If in the structure of your subspecialty fellowship program, clinical training happens after your research year(s), a request must be submitted to ask for an exemption to this eligibility criterion.
- Not have an appointment as a full-time faculty member including but not limited to Instructor or Assistant Professor as of the award start date. Please note this award is intended for fellows whose transition to a faculty position is not imminent. While full-time faculty are ineligible, grantees may transition to full-time faculty during the award period. Assistant Professors may be eligible for the Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award. We realize that some fellowship programs give their fellows the title of “instructor,” but it is not a fulltime faculty appointment. You may be eligible to apply if you have this type of instructor title so please apply for an exemption.
- Be guaranteed a minimum overall research time protection of 75 percent of full-time professional effort by the applicant’s institution if an award is made. This protection ensures that the applicant develops skills and knowledge necessary for a career in biomedical research.
- Not be in a doctoral degree program at the time of the award. Applicants may be enrolled in a master’s degree program at the start of the award, July 1, 2022. A description of the purpose and goals of obtaining the master’s degree should be included in the proposal, if applicable (see the “Career Goals and Accomplishments” section on page 16). Time spent in a master’s program cannot infringe on the 75 percent research effort required for this award.
- Have received an MD, MD/PhD, DO, or foreign equivalent degree from an accredited institution.
- Work at a US medical institution that is able to receive an award as an organization with tax exemption under 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Code, as amended. Please see the information on page 3 and consult with your institutional grants office.
- Be working at the institution through which they are applying as of the start date of the award, July 1, 2022. Other requirements and considerations:
- Applicants do not have to be US citizens.
- A clinical research project, as defined by DDCF, must be proposed in any disease area. A definition of clinical research can be found on page 4. This program does not set funding priorities based on research type or disease area. The clinical research question should have strong potential to impact the corresponding field and be achievable within the scope of the award amount and 2-year term. The clinical research question must be highly significant and have potential to lead to career advancement.
- A mentor or a mentorship team must be identified. Mentors are expected to play an active role during the course of the award in fostering the applicant’s career development and capacity for independence. Mentors are expected to act as advocates for the applicant at the departmental, institutional and professional levels and provide scientific guidance for the proposed project.
- Experiments that utilize non-human animals or any tissues derived from them, including established cell lines, must not be included in the proposed research. Animal-based research 3 of 25 may be presented as preliminary evidence supporting the proposed research but the aims themselves must not include research with non-human animals.
- If applicable, Investigational New Drug Approvals must be in place by the application submission deadline.
- Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals are not necessary at the time of application. However, DDCF strongly prefers IRB approvals to be in place by the grant start date, July 1, 2022. IRB approval must be in place no longer than three months after the award start date.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation recognizes that a diverse workforce that represents the demographics of the population of the United States is better poised to address health issues affecting all communities. DDCF strongly encourages individuals from groups underrepresented in biomedical research to apply because DDCF is committed to the retention and advancement of earlycareer physician scientists who are conducting seminal clinical research and who belong to populations whose exclusion from research based on their race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or limited resources has resulted in underrepresentation in the workforce. DDCF defines individuals underrepresented in biomedical research as those who identify as: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, women, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ+, or having experienced limitations in access to science afforded by privilege (e.g., limited access to the knowledge, skill, and networks that facilitate enrollment in and graduation from a health professions school; or coming from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census).

DDCF can award grants only to institutions that have determination letters from the US Internal Revenue Service documenting exemption from federal income taxation as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), and that they are not a private foundation or a Type III supporting organization as defined in Section 509(a) of the Code. Please note that this requirement does not exclude participation of applicants at state universities, which may not have 501(c)(3) status. State university applicants are encouraged to apply through their grant-receiving arms (e.g., applicants from the University of Texas may apply through the University of Texas Foundation). DDCF encourages applicants to seek guidance from their institutions to identify the appropriate institutional entity through which they can apply. DDCF is unable to provide information on the tax ID that applicants must use to gain access to the application site.

Experiments that utilize non-human animals or anytissues derived from them, including established cell lines, must not be included in the proposed research. Animal-based research may be presented as preliminary evidence supporting the proposed research but the aims themselves mustnot include research with non-human animals.

Pre-Application Information
Key Dates:
- Eligibility Exemption Requests due: November 28, 2022, 5 pm ET
- Notice of Exemption by December 1, 2022, 5pm ET
- Applications due: January 13, 2023, 3 pm ET
- Notice of Award: Early April 2023
- Award Start Date: July 1, 2023

All eligibility criteria exemption requests must be submitted by November 28, 2022, 5 pm ET. Interested applicants must submit the form at


Number of Grants
DDCF expects to fund about ten proposals in 2023.

Estimated Size of Grant
The Physician Scientist Fellowship consists of $100,000 direct costs plus $10,000 (10 percent) indirect costs each year for two years.

Term of Contract
Two years. The award project period will begin on July 1, 2023.

Contact Information
If you have any questions concerning this Request for Applications, email with “2022 PSF – your last name” as the subject line. Questions will be answered within two business days.

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