Medical Research

ICRF Frequently Asked Questions

For Students

Jump to FAQs about: Eligibility, Timing of Research Year, Application & Review Process, Letters of Support, Stipends, Taxes & Other Costs and Miscellaneous.


Who is eligible to apply?

ICRF is intended for medical students in good standing, currently enrolled at an accredited U.S. medical or an accredited U.S. osteopathic school.

Are M.D./Ph.D. students eligible to apply?

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

At what year do most students participate in this program?

Most students participate after completing their third year of medical school training.

Are fourth-year students eligible to apply?

Fourth-year students are eligible to apply and participate in ICRF. 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.

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 utilize tissues or pathogens only if they can be 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.

Timing of Research Year

How long is the International Clinical Research Fellowship?

Students must complete one year (12 months) of research.

When does the fellowship start and end?

In general, the ICRF period begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year, although other 12-month periods are acceptable if there are extenuating circumstances.

Stipends, Taxes & Other Costs

How much is the stipend?

ICRF participants receive an annual stipend of $30,000.

Is the ICRF stipend taxable?

Under the Internal Revenue Code, income received as a fellowship stipend is generally included in gross income for federal income tax purposes. Please note that fellows are responsible for establishing the amount of their taxable income and for making any required payments of estimated tax.

Are there additional costs associated with being an international fellow?

There may be some upfront costs in establishing yourself overseas that you should discuss with the ICRF school(s) to which you are applying. Schools must cover the cost of a round-trip flight to your destination.


Is health insurance provided?

Yes, all ICRF fellows are provided with individual health insurance.

Who arranges the logistics associated with working overseas (e.g., travel documents, flights, lodging, health insurance or stipend)?

This varies with each ICRF institution. Please contact the ICRF school(s) of interest for complete information. If you are accepted, it is highly recommended that you start your logistical arrangements with your ICRF institution as soon as possible.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQ's, email with "ICRF" 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.