Medical Research

CRM Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to FAQs about: Eligibility, ApplicationConfidential Letters of SupportFor Student MenteesTiming of Research Year and Miscellaneous (including health insurance and contact information).

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQ’s and Request for Applications email with “2018 CRM” as the subject line.


Who is eligible to apply?

The Clinical Research Mentorship is intended for past and current Doris Duke-supported researchers who will mentor a medical student for one year. Mentors must be Doris Duke researchers funded through one of the following programs:

  • Clinical Scientist Development Awards from 1998 to 2016
  • Distinguished Clinical Scientist Awards since 1999
  • Innovations in Clinical Research Awards since 2009

Can the applicant be the medical student?

No. While the mentor and student mentee should work together to submit an application, the applicant must be the DDCF-supported researcher. 

Are dual-degree M.D./Ph.D. students eligible to apply as a mentee with a DDCF-supported researcher?

No. Applicants in M.D./Ph.D. programs are not eligible for the CRM.

At what year should students participate in this program?

It is recommended that students be in the third year of medical school.

Are fourth-year students eligible to apply?

Fourth-year students are eligible to participate in CRM. However, accepted fourth-year students must defer graduation before participation. It is very important that you check with your school of matriculation to see whether you may defer your graduation.

Does the student mentee need to have matriculated at the mentor researcher’s institution?

No. The student does not have to be matriculated at the mentor’s institution. However, the student must be willing to move to the mentor’s institution for the duration of the research year.

How does DDCF define “clinical research”?

Clinical research is the scientific investigation of the etiology, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of human disease using human subjects, human populations or materials of human origin. Included in the definition are studies that use tissues or pathogens linked to a patient.

In keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke’s will, the Medical Research Program does not fund research that uses animals. 


How do I return to an application already in progress?

Visit this link to return to your application.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for the 2018 competition is January 9, 2018 (3 p.m. ET).

Where can I find the dean’s approval form?

You may download the form here.

Confidential Letters of Support

Where can the recommenders access the website to submit their confidential letters of support?

The website to submit confidential letters of support can be found through this link. When you, the applicant, provide the contact information for the individuals writing the letters of support for the mentor and the student mentee, they will be emailed instructions on how to submit the letters of support. We strongly suggest you provide the contact information for your recommenders at the website above well in advance of the application deadline of January 9, 2018 (3 p.m. ET).

Will I be notified when my recommenders complete the requested letters of support?

Yes. You will receive an email notification when these individuals submit their letters of support. We recommend that you add to your email safe senders list. If you have not received the confirmation emails as the application deadline approaches, please follow up with the recommenders prior to contacting the foundation. Due to the high volume of applications expected for this competition, DDCF will not be able to check if your recommenders have submitted their forms. We strongly suggest you provide the contact information for your recommenders at the website well in advance of the application deadline of January 9, 2018 (3 p.m. ET).

Can I change my references after I submit a request?

Yes. You are able to delete or change these entries if needed. Please be aware that anytime you delete or change a record, an email is sent to that individual notifying them that you have withdrawn your letter request. Make sure you are confident in your selections so that unnecessary emails are not distributed.

My online application is complete, but I have not received notification that the letters of support are complete. Can I submit my application?

Yes. The online application site is separate from the website where you submit the information for your recommenders to write the letters of support. Therefore, you may submit your online application before the letters of support have been submitted for the mentor and the student mentee.

For Student Mentees

What should I consider if I am a student applying outside of my matriculated institution?

Changes in matriculation status may affect a student’s eligibility for health and malpractice insurance, loan repayment and other programs. Before applying, students should check with their medical school to ensure they retain a student’s standing for future financial aid if a research year is taken.

Students should also check with their medical school about fees as some institutions require students to pay certain fees and/or continuation fees to keep their place within their medical school class.

Timing of Research Year

How long is the Clinical Research Mentorship?

Mentor and student mentee teams must complete one year (12 months) of research together. 

When does the Clinical Research Mentorship start and end?

In general, the CRM period begins no earlier than July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year, although other 12-month periods are acceptable if there are extenuating circumstances. 

The grant itself will start one month prior to the start of the student’s research year (June 1) and end five months after the end of the research year (November 30) to cover startup costs and incidental expenses that may be incurred after the end of the student’s research year, such as publication or meeting costs.


Is health insurance provided?

All CRM student mentees must be provided with individual health insurance.

How many CRM grants are usually made?

Historically, DDCF has awarded up to 10 grants to mentor/student mentee teams per year.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs and Request for Applications document, email with “2018 CRM” as the subject line. No phone calls please. We are better able to address questions submitted via email and will respond within two business days.