Doris Duke Early Clinician Investigator Award

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has been committed to advancing clinical research for many years. Their review of the data has led them to the position that short term support for clinical researchers facing extra professional demands could help them stay on a clinical investigation career track.

With funding from the foundation and the School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Doris Duke Early Clinician Investigator Award aims to provide financial and mentoring resources for up to eighteen months to junior physician scientists who are working to maintain productivity during periods of significant extra professional responsibilities – childcare, elder care, family illness, or personal health issues.

Applicant Eligibility

  1. Physician scientists at Instructor or Assistant Professor level, full-time at Johns Hopkins Medicine with active medical license at the time of the award
  2. Strong evidence of commitment to pursuing a career as a clinician-scientist
  3. Conduct clinical research that must have the potential to impact human health (in keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke’s will, experiments that utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals will not be supported by this program)
  4. Candidates must have research support such as a career development award or research project grant, which includes salary support research support currently or within the last year
  5. Candidates must be able to demonstrate a compelling need for the supplement that is related to significant extra professional responsibilities – typically childcare, elder care, family illness, or personal health issues


Terms of the Award

  1. This grant is for up to eighteen-months of funding: up to $40,000 from 7/1/19 to 6/30/20 and up to $30,000 from 7/1/20 to 12/31/20. We expect most funds to be used for personnel (research assistant/study coordinators), services (grant writing assistance, data management/analysis), supplies, and awardee salary support for research activities. However, funds may not be used to increase awardee salary or to pay directly for care of family members. Research utilizing animals or primary tissues derived from animals will not be supported.
  2. Each awardee will be provided with a program mentor who will meet with them regularly to provide advice and guidance in implementing plans for career development and use of clinical research resources.
  3. The program will also work with awardees to identify ICTR resources that may support the research, which may include research navigator consultation, senior research coordinator support, biostatistical and data management consultation, access to electronic medical record data for research, and assistance in research participant recruitment and retention. Many of these resources are available at a certain level at no cost to junior faculty as part of the ICTR, however, the investigator could choose additional services (e.g., hiring a CTSA-trained research coordinator, long-term biostatistical support, large electronic medical data needs) and use Doris Duke funds in part for these resources. Program mentors will facilitate obtaining ICTR services for investigators.
  4. Awardees will complete progress reports and meet one-on-one with Program Directors to monitor individual progress.
  5. Access to the myriad career development resources available through the ICTR and School of Medicine’s Office of Faculty Development, including the K2R Mentored-to-Independence Transition Program.


Application Requirements (link to the application page)

  1. Face sheet (form provided)
  2. Personal statement (2 pages)
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. Nomination letter from department/division director (maximum of 2 pages) – the letter should address career development plans for the candidate, candidate’s promise for a successful academic career in clinical investigation and division’s commitment to the candidate
  5. Statement of need, describing the significant extraprofessional caregiving responsibilities and how funds will aid in maintaining research productivity. (please limit to 250 words)
  6. Other Support Page: Description of all current and pending support (external and internal sources), with amounts and dates (1 page)
  7. Letter of support from research mentor (1 page)
  8. Proposed budget with justification


Selection Criteria

  1. Award recipients will be chosen using NIH-style peer review. Senior faculty will review and evaluate applications based on the following criteria:
  2. Academic Achievements to Date– Applicant’s research productivity, grants and awards received, publication/presentation record; Didactic and other clinical investigation training; Recommendations from and support of the mentor/division
  3. Academic Potential– Potential to become/remain a successful investigator in clinical research; Likelihood applicant will successfully compete for future grant/award funding; Consistency of applicant’s career goals with prior and current research experience
  4. Need for Support– How compelling is the case for why funding is needed to maintain productivity while also facing the significant demands of being a caregiver; Evidence that Doris Duke program support would help facilitate the applicant’s long-term research and career development goals
  5. There will be a balance between weighing the review criteria particularly with regard for need for support.


Program Evaluation

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is evaluating the impact of this new and experimental effort. All 10 participating institutions are obligated to facilitate this evaluation process by collecting applicant data as part of an IRB-approved research study (PI: Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, Professor and Deputy Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan). We collect information regarding age, gender, ethnicity, race, disability and disadvantaged status at the time of application. Data will be kept confidential and used for anonymous reporting. Additionally, all applicants are asked to complete a follow-up survey, whether or not they were selected for funding. Data submitted for this evaluation project is de-identified.

For additional information see our FAQ page.

Funding will begin July 1, 2019.