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.

The 2018 CSDA grant competition is now open. Please see below for details on how to apply.

Award Details 

The Clinical Scientist Development Award does not require institutional nomination.

Pre-proposal applications are being sought from junior physician-scientist faculty conducting clinical research in any disease area. Competitive applicants are expected to have research experience and publication records consistent with the rank of assistant professor.

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.

Please view the Request for Applications document.

Key Dates

Pre-Proposals Due December 1, 2017 (3 p.m. ET)
Invitation to Submit a Full Proposal By 5 p.m. ET on January 19, 2018
Full Proposals Due March 16, 2018 (3 p.m. ET)
Notice of Award End of May 2018
Award Start Date July 1, 2018


Application Process

This competition will employ a two-stage process. Pre-proposal applications will be reviewed and up to 50 applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal application by January 19, 2018.

All applicants will be required to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing their eligibility to apply for this award. If eligibility criteria are met, applicants will be automatically directed to the web-based pre-proposal application form.

It is strongly suggested that potential applicants review the Request for Applications document prior to accessing the eligibility questionnaire.

You will need the tax ID of the institution where you hold your academic appointment in order to access the questionnaire.

Note that DDCF can award grants only to institutions that can document their status as a 501(c)(3) organization as described by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. This requirement does not preclude participation of applicants at state universities. See our Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding tax status.

Access the eligibility questionnaire here.

Eligibility Requirements

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

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, though 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.
  • Have a full-time 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 December 1, 2012 and December 1, 2016 (i.e., have been at the appointment no more than five years but at least one 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 such situations. DDCF approval of exemptions must be obtained prior to applying. Exemption requests must be made by October 27, 2017. 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, 2018, except for NIH career development awards.
  • Not be the principal investigator of a single or multi-principal investigator National Institutes of Health R01 research grant or equivalent that has a start date prior to and inclusive of July 1, 2018. 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. Applicants in surgical specialties should consult our FAQs.


Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQs, email with "2018 CSDA" as the subject line.

Due to the large volume of inquiries about this program, please do not call. We are better able to address questions submitted via email and will respond within two business days.

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 and successful research careers.

This award program does not prioritize funding for specific disease areas or clinical research type. In 2017, the Medical Research Program awarded 17 grants to investigators working in a broad range of disease areas.

Since the beginning of the program in 1998, the foundation has awarded 288 Clinical Scientist Development Awards totaling over $128 million.

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