The Medical Research Program primarily makes grants through peer-reviewed award programs. The process starts with a request for applications (RFA) issued by the foundation. Applications received in response to an RFA undergo rigorous peer review by independent experts. The review process—including all meeting deliberations, scores and written critiques of proposals, as well as other materials provided for the review of proposals—is confidential. A confidentiality and conflict-of-interest statement must be signed by each reviewer. If an application is chosen for funding, the abstract or project summary may become public information. Grants for projects selected through this process are then made to non-profit medical institutions on behalf of individual investigators or project directors.
Details for open competitions are listed on the Funding Opportunities page.
On occasion, to complement our award programs, the Medical Research Program may make small grants to non-profit organizations to strengthen the field of clinical research. Requests for such projects should be summarized in a letter of inquiry and submitted electronically via our online system.
Areas Not Funded
In general, the Medical Research Program does not fund unsolicited research projects or capital projects; projects outside the primary grantmaking strategies; institutions outside the United States; or research that uses animals, in keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke's will.
Please see our definition of clinical research for additional information.
Other Guidelines and Policies
The following document provides information on the guidelines and policies of the Medical Research Program that may be useful to current and potential grantees. Note that this information is provided for guidance only and does not supplant the information or terms contained in DDCF grant agreements. In the event of a conflict between these policies and guidelines and the DDCF grant agreement, the provisions in the DDCF grant agreement shall take precedence.