Medical Research

Clinical Scientist Development Award


The Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award provides grants to junior physician scientists to facilitate their transition to independent clinical research careers.

Pre-proposals are no longer being accepted for the 2017 CSDA competition.

Award Details 

In keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke's will, experiments that use animals or primary tissues derived from animals will not be supported by this program.

View the Request for Applications & Application Instructions here.

Key Dates

Invitation to Submit Full Proposal By 5 p.m. EDT on January 20, 2017
Full Proposals Due March 17, 2017 (3 p.m. EDT)
Notice of Award End of May, 2017
Award Start Date July 1, 2017

Application Process

This competition will employ a two-stage process. Pre-proposals will be reviewed and up to 50 applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by January 20, 2017.  Please note that the deadline for submitting pre-proposals passed.  New applications are no longer being accepted at this time for the 2017 CSDA competition.

Eligibility Requirements

For a full explanation of the eligibility requirements, view the Request for Applications here.

Applicants must:

  • Have received an M.D., D.O., or foreign equivalent degree from an accredited institution.
  • Have a valid, active U.S. medical license at the time of application, but do not have to be U.S. citizens.
  • Work at a U.S. academic institution that grants doctoral degrees and is able to receive an award as an organization with 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue Service status. Please see the information on page three and consult with your institutional grants office.
  • Have a full-time, salaried faculty appointment as Assistant Professor at a U.S. academic institution that grants doctoral degrees. Adjunct, affiliated, temporary, part-time or acting faculty positions are not eligible for this competition. Applicants from Harvard Medical School should check our FAQs to determine eligibility of their faculty appointment.
  • Have been appointed to their first full-time assistant professor faculty position between November 1, 2011 and November 1, 2015 (i.e., have been at the appointment no more than 5 years but at least 1 year). Exceptions to the five-year requirement will be considered on a case-by-case basis for individuals who do not meet this criterion because of extraordinary situations. Check our FAQs for examples of situations for which DDCF may make an exception. DDCF approval of exemptions must be obtained prior to submitting a pre-proposal. Exemption requests must be made by October 28, 2016. Exemptions are not granted for applicants with less than one year at their academic position.
  • Not be the principal investigator of a multi-year research grant with annual direct funding in the amount of $225,000 or higher with a start date prior to and inclusive of July 1, 2017, except for NIH career development awards.
  • Not be the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health R01 research grant or equivalent that has a start date prior to and inclusive of July 1, 2017. This includes but is not limited to: research projects that are part of a P01 program project, P50 center grant or a U01 cooperative agreement, DP1, DP2, R37 and VA Merit grants.
  • Not be in a graduate degree program at the time of application. All education and training toward advanced degrees must be completed. 
  • Be guaranteed a minimum overall research time protection of 75 percent of full-time professional effort by the institution where the applicant has an appointment, in the event an award is made. There is no explicit minimum percent effort that must be dedicated to the CSDA project.


Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs email with "2017 CSDA" as the subject line.

Due to the large volume of inquiries about this program, please do not call.

Rationale & History

The transition to an independent research career is often more difficult for physician scientists than it is for other researchers, as these individuals must balance the demands of both seeing patients and conducting research. DDCF's Medical Research Program created the Clinical Scientist Development Award to provide mentored research funding to early-career physician-scientist faculty to enable their transition to independent research careers.

In 2016, the Medical Research Program awarded 17 grants to investigators working in a broad range of areas, from schizophrenia to antibiotic resistance.

Since the beginning of the program in 1998, the foundation has awarded 270 Clinical Scientist Development Awards totaling over $100 million.

To receive announcements about future competitions for this and other programs, subscribe to our listserv here.