Medical Research

CSDA Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to FAQ's about: Full Proposal Application, Mentorship & Institutional Support, Budget and Allowable Costs, Other Funding and Miscellaneous Issues (including DDCF definition of clinical research, IRB rqeuirements, public access policy, preliminary animal research and success rates).

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQ’s, email with “2018 CSDA” as the subject line. No phone calls please. Email is the preferred method of contact to ensure that all questions and/or concerns are addressed quickly. We cannot guarantee that calls will reach the appropriate DDCF staff. 

Full Proposal Application Questions

How do I return to my proposal once I have started it?

You may use this link to access a proposal that is in progress. You should bookmark this page to return to your proposal.

Mentorship and Institutional Support

Is there a template for letters of support?

No, for the second stage of the competition both the chair and the mentor must provide signed letters on institutional letterhead. These letters must be appended to the proposal as indicated in the instructions.

My mentor is the chair of my department. Do I need to find another person to write my mentor letter of support?

No. Your chair may provide a letter that addresses both roles, as mentor and as chair providing institutional support.

Can I replace my mentor(s) so one or more of them are different than indicated in the pre-proposal application submission?

No, changes to the mentor(s) are not allowed. The peer-review of pre-proposals evaluated the ability of the mentor(s) to enable career development of the applicant. Therefore mentors cannot be replaced in the second stage of the competition.

The foundation will evaluate a request if there is a compelling reason for a change.

Budget and Allowable Costs

Does the award provide any formal coverage of indirect costs?

The total indirect costs for the duration of the award can be up to $15,000 (10 percent of direct costs) per year for three years.

Is there a salary cap for this award?

No. The foundation does not have a salary cap for what can be charged against this award. However, if the CSDA proposal requests salary support for the CSDA grantee, the percent effort committed to the CSDA project must be equal to or greater than the percent salary charged.

Can I request salary support for my mentor in the budget?

Yes. Up to 5 percent of the mentor's effort can be included in the budget for applicants with a single mentor.

I have a mentorship team, can I request up to 5% salary support for each of them?

No, salary support for up to 5% of a mentor’s salary is not allowed for applicants with mentorship teams.

I have a mentorship team, can I request any salary support for them?

Yes, you may request salary support for the mentorship team. However, the amount equivalent to 5% of a single mentor’s salary must be split between the mentorship team members for which salary support is being sought.

Can I request support for a graduate student or mentee in my budget?

Yes, you may allocate funds to support graduate students or mentees as long as these individuals would be working on the proposed project. If an award is made you may be required to provide an additional mentoring and career development plan for these individuals.

Other Funding

I have a National Institutes of Health K series award, which requires 75 percent research effort. Can I still apply for the CSDA?

An awardee must devote 75 percent of his/her professional time to research, but there is no minimum effort requirement for the CSDA project itself. Holding a K award or other career development awards does not preclude the applicant from receiving a CSDA grant. 

I have been successful in obtaining other research funding. Will this hurt my chances in getting an award?

No, candidates will not be penalized for having other career development awards, but there can be no budgetary overlap between the proposed aims of the CSDA research and those of other awards.

I am the principal investigator or co-equal principal investigator of a single or multi-PI National Institutes of Health R01. Can I apply for this award?

No. An award will not be made if the applicant has been or becomes the principal investigator on a single or multiple-PI National Institutes of Health, peer-reviewed, R01 or equivalent research grant on or before 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. 

I have a National Institutes of Health K series award or other research support. Can I propose the same scientific aims?

No. The aims proposed on your CSDA application must be distinct from those of other awards, with no budgetary overlap. To avoid conflicts in the event that your proposal receives a funding recommendation, we strongly suggest that you do not propose the same aims and budget in different grant applications.

Miscellaneous Issues

What is DDCF's definition of clinical research?

Clinical research involves 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 utilize tissues or pathogens only if they can be linked to a patient. 

It is expected that the research protocols of grant applicants will require Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Occasionally, the foundation has funded research that does not require IRB approval, such as research using de-identified patient populations. If a research project is being proposed that does not require IRB approval, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff to discuss whether the proposed research falls within the DDCF's definition of clinical research.

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.

Would the public access policy adopted by DDCF limit the journals to which I can submit my DDCF-funded work?

No. The policy only requires that you submit an electronic copy of your final peer‐reviewed manuscripts in the PubMed Central online archive immediately upon acceptance for journal publication. The manuscript will have to be made publicly available in PubMed Central no later than 12 months after the official date of journal publication.

When is Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval or submission required to be in effect—at the time of the full proposal submission or before an award is forthcoming?

IRB approval can be pending at the time of full proposal submissions; however, if you receive a grant, we expect that you will have approval by the start date of July 1, 2018 or no later than October 1, 2018.

When is Investigational New Drug (IND) approval required to be in effect—at the time of the full proposal submission or before an award is made?

IND approval can be pending at the time of pre-proposal submission. However, it must be in place by the deadline for the full proposal, March 16, 2018. Full proposals for projects with IND requirements that do not have approval at the time of submission will be disqualified. 

My preliminary research has included research in non-human animal models. Can I include this in my proposal?

Yes. Preliminary research in non-human animal models may be included in your application. However, no DDCF funds may be used for experiments that utilize non-human animals or primary tissues derived from them. If you are planning non-human animal studies concurrent to your proposed CSDA research and mention these in your proposal, you must clearly state that these will be supported by other funds and include the source of these funds.

What is the success rate for CSDA applicants?

Based on previous competitions, we estimate that the success rate for 2018 will be approximately 10 percent. 

How many awards will be made?

DDCF plans to award approximately 16 grants in 2018.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQ’s, email Please do not attempt to contact us by phone as you may not be able to reach the appropriate contact. We can most effectively address questions submitted via email.