Medical Research

CSDA Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-proposals are no longer being accepted for the 2019 CSDA grant competition. Please check back in the fall of 2019 for an update on how to apply for the 2020 competition.

Jump to FAQ's about: Competition InformationLength of Time of AwardMiscellaneouand Other Funding.

Competition Information

Who is eligible to apply?

The Clinical Scientist Development Award provides grants to physician scientists at the assistant professor level to facilitate their careers in clinical research and transition into independent funding. Therefore, applicants cannot be or have become principal investigators of multi-year grants with annual direct cost of $225,000 or higher. Applicants are also expected to commit at least 75 percent effort to conducting clinical research under this award.

Eligibility criteria are revised periodically so we recommend checking back when a new competition is announced for the full list of current eligibility criteria.

Are there any limitations in terms of clinical areas you are willing to fund?

No. Clinical investigators working in any disease area are eligible for this award. This award program does not prioritize funding for any disease areas or research types. Meritorious applications are identified through a peer-review process.

When will a new competition be announced?

New competitions of the Clinical Scientist Development Award are subject to approval by DDCF’s Board of Directors. If approved for the coming year, competitions are typically announced in early Fall.

Length of Time of Award

How many years does the CSDA fund?

The CSDA awards funding for research over the course of three years. Typically, the award start date is July 1 of the year following the launch of the competition.

Other Funding

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

Yes. Being a recipient of a K award does not preclude participation in CSDA competitions nor acceptance of an award. For the CSDA, awardees must devote 75 percent of their professional time to research, but there is no minimum effort requirement for the CSDA project itself.

I have been successful in obtaining other career development 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-principal investigator of a 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 or co-principal investigator on a National Institutes of Health, peer-reviewed, R01 or equivalent research grant on or before the CSDA award start date. 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. Please do not propose the same aims for the CSDA as for other applications. 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.


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.

I would like to know more about grant policies that apply to the CSDA, where can I find this information?

General policies that apply to the CSDA are typically indicated in the request for applications at the launch of each competition. General guidance can be found in this document.

Is Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval required to be in effect to participate in a CSDA competition?

IRB approval can be pending at the time of application; however, if you receive a grant, we expect that you will have approval by the start date or no later than two months from the start date.

If applicable, is Investigational New Drug (IND) approval required to be in effect to participate in a CSDA competition?

IND approval can be pending at the time of application. However, if the applicant is invited to submit a full proposal, the approval must be in place by the deadline for the full proposal submission. Full proposals for projects with IND requirements that do not have approval at the time of submission will be disqualified. 

Can my preliminary data from animal models be included as evidence to support my proposed research?

Yes. Preliminary research in animal models may be included in your application. However, no DDCF funds may be used for experiments that utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals. If you are planning 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.

Will the CSDA consider applications for research with non-human animal models?

We recognize the importance of non-human animal models to advance understanding of human disease. However, according to Doris Duke’s wishes as established in her will, we cannot provide funding for research with non-human animals. This does not preclude applicants from presenting these data as preliminary evidence for their CSDA hypotheses but please get in touch if you have questions about this restriction.

What is the success rate for CSDA applicants?

Although there is no way to know how many applications we will receive for future competition years, the success rate is typically about 10 percent.

How many awards will be made?

DDCF awarded 18 grants for the most recent competition. This is typical number of awards though the target number may vary for each competition and will be indicated in the request for proposals for each competition.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

If your question is not answered after reviewing the FAQ’s, email with “CSDA” as the subject line. No phone calls please.