Doris Duke Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists Program (DDFRCS)

The Doris Duke Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists Program (DDFRCS) at Washington University in St. Louis was developed to provide innovative institutional solutions to reduce faculty attrition by assisting junior faculty facing extraprofessional demands. The DDRCS provides broad-based education to raise awareness and implement new interventions, as well as resources and mentoring to support junior faculty facing extraprofessional challenges.

Letters of Intent are accepted on a rolling basis. Application deadlines are scheduled for April 1 and October 1.

Program Leadership:

Email Us: DDFRCS Inquiries » 


Financial Support

One-year grants of $30,000-50,000 will be awarded with the possibility of renewal for a second year.


Each recipient will be provided with two mentors from the Selection Committee who will meet with them regularly to provide career development advice, mentoring and sponsorship. Mentors will give input on manuscripts and grant proposals, facilitate national networking and provide professional navigation assistance. Program Directors will meet with recipients once per year to review their progress and career development, and provide additional mentoring and assistance to the recipients as needed.

Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC)

DDFRCS recipients have access to the CRTC, which provides computer labs, break-out rooms, a classroom, poster printing, and administrative office suites.


Level of Education

DDFRCS recipients must be physician-scientists, possessing an MD, DO or MD/PhD degree.


Eligible applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551) or other legal verification of admission for permanent residence. Non-citizen nationals are persons born in lands that are not States but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration (e.g., American Samoa). Individuals on visas are not eligible.

Career Level

Applicants must be faculty appointed at the Instructor or Assistant Professor level. Applicants should be no more than 10 years beyond their appointment or promotion to Assistant Professor.

Research Project

All applicants must be conducting original clinical research on a significant biomedical problem. Clinical research is defined as scientific investigation of the etiology, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of human disease using human subjects, populations, material of human origin, tissues or pathogens (if linked to a patient).

Principle Investigator Status

All DDFRCS applicants must be currently serving as a principle investigator on an NIH, other federal agency, or foundation-sponsored grant for research project support or career development award.

Extraprofessional Demands

Each DDFRCS applicant will be asked to provide a compelling rationale for why funds are needed to maintain scientific productivity in the face of extraprofessional personal demands. Demands might include, but are not limited to, extraordinary responsibilities as a caregiver for a family member, disruptive legal or immigration issues, impact of a natural disaster, personal tragedy, or personal or family health issue.

Other Resources of Interest at Washington University

The Department of Pediatrics Office of Faculty Development (OFD)

The OFD was established to enhance faculty career development, assist with faculty recruitment and retention, and to increase women in leadership roles.  The OFD sponsors faculty seminars and retention, and to increase women in leadership roles.  The OFD sponsors faculty seminars on topics related to work-life balance, negotiating the culture of academic medicine, and career development. Read more »

The Department of Medicine Office of Faculty Development (OFD)

The OFD sponsors and coordinates educational programs for faculty with special emphasis on the career development needs of women and URM. Program topics include grant proposal and manuscript writing, professional communications, public speaking, negotiations, conflict resolutions and others. Read more »

The Academic Women’s Network (AWN)

The AWN was established to provide advocacy, leadership and support for all women faculty at Washington University.  AWN provides retreats, workshops, lectures and seminars, as well as peer, individual and group mentorship sponsorship for men and women at Washington University. Read more »

The Association of Women Faculty (AWF)

The AWF serves to foster professional and social interactions among women faculty, to defend campus-wide diversity and to advance the interests of women faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. Read more »

Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA)

The OFA oversees faculty review and promotions and supports career development, mentoring, communication, faculty policy changes, gender equity and diversity.  Diana Gray, MD leads initiatives in which she advocates for faculty-supportive policies, practices and resources. Read more »

Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS)

The ICTS helps ensure that ICTS investigators have access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure, financial support, and education, facilitates translational research, assists in the creation and sustaining of interdisciplinary research collaborations, and helps move research findings from the initial discovery phase into new diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention strategies to improve human health. Read more »

Links to other grants of interest:

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award

The goal of this career flexibility award is to both reward and accelerate progress in institutions that have created support structures in the form of policies, practices and resources to allow faculty to better integrate their work and home lives.  The long-term objective is to increase faculty satisfaction and increase retention of physicians and investigators in academic medicine. Read more »

Corporate and Foundation Resources

The Foundations Relations staff assists in identifying and securing support from private foundations.  They work both proactively-bringing funding opportunities to the attention of schools and faculty-and reactively-responding to requests for assistance made by schools and faculty.  Patricia Gregory, PhD, is the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the Medical Campus Corporate and Foundation Relations Office. Read more »


Required Documents

  1. Letter of Intent
  2. Online Stress and Adversity Inventory (STRAIN)
  3. Application Form
  4. Current Biosketch
  5. Other Support
  6. Research Plan
  7. Abstracts of Funded Research Grants
  8. Department Chair or Division Chief Letter of Recommendation
  9. Second Letter of Recommendation (optional)
  10. Budget with Justification

Letter of Intent

Applicants must submit a one-page letter of intent prior to applying to the program. This letter should include a description of the extraprofessional (personal) circumstances that limit the applicant’s ability to be fully engaged in achieving their near-term research career goals.  The letter should also indicate how this award will enable the applicant to continue to advance his/her career as a physician-scientist during the time their work is affected by hardship.  All letters will be kept confidential to ensure the privacy of applicants.  Letter of Intent’s are accepted year-round. However, a formal application review will only take place twice per year.

Applicants can proceed with their application to the program immediately following the Letter of Intent submission. Please submit your Letter of Intent to the CRTC Office.

Online Stress and Adversity Inventory (STRAIN)

Applicants will be sent instructions for completion of a confidential online stress assessment system that will help quantify the burden posed by extraprofessional demands.  This Stress and Adversity Inventory, known as STRAIN, was developed by investigators at UCLA to quantify the burdens and scope of stressors in different life domains.  Specific responses will remain strictly confidential.  Summary scores in different domains covered by the assessment will be used by the review committee, but the committee will not have access to item level detail.

Application Form and Budget

Application deadlines are scheduled for April 1 and October 1.

The application form includes a section for your budget and justification. The budget should be for one year for direct costs ranging from $30,000 to $50,000. Funds may be requested for personnel support, grant writing support, or research supplies or services. Up to 25% salary support for the applicant may be included or the applicant may request funds for buy-out of clinical time in order to devote greater effort to research. Each expense must be supported by a brief justification. Funds may not be used for animal research.

Current Biosketch and Other Support

The personal statement for the Biosketch should focus on current career development and goals (both near and long-term)

NIH Biosketch Template »
NIH Other Support Template (doc) »

Research Plan

The Research Plan should be a maximum of 3 pages (references not included in your 3-page limit) and should focus on the project to be supported by the DDFRCS grant, and addresses the following:

  • Specific Aims (1/2 page)
  • Significance (including impact) and innovation (1/2 page)
  • Approach (2 pages)

DDFRCS funds may be used to supplement support of a study already funded by other mechanisms, but for which the applicant’s extra-professional demands are limiting progress. Or, the DDFRCS funds may be used to extend studies already funded, but for which new efforts by the applicant are difficult because of extra-professional demands. In these instances, the DDFRCS Research Plan is expected to be similar to that of the originally proposed study.

Abstracts of Funded Grants

Applicants must submit abstracts from each of their currently funded grants that they are serving as a principle investigator on.  These grants can be an NIH, federal agency or foundation-sponsored grant.

Department Chair Recommendation Letter

Applicant’s Department Chair or Division Chief is required to submit a letter of support describing the applicant’s career potential as a clinical investigator and the willingness of the department to commit matching funds to support the applicant.

Additional Recommendation Letter

Each applicant has the option to have a second letter of recommendation submitted by a reference in addition to the Department Chair or Division Chief.  This letter should describe the applicant’s potential to succeed as a researcher. This letter does not need to be from a faculty member at Washington University.

Required Format Documents Other than Letters of Support

  • Black font of either Arial or Helvetica
  • Font size of 11 points or larger (a symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters; the font size requirement still applies.)
  • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch
  • Single spaced paragraph type
  • Margins should be at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages
  • PDF versions are required
  • Appendices are not allowed

Timeline for Applications

Letters of Intent are accepted on a rolling basis. Application deadlines are scheduled for April 1 and October 1.

Only complete applications will be reviewed. Applications will not be considered as complete until all supporting documents have been received. Supporting documents may be updated and re-submitted online prior to the application deadline. Applications which are incomplete for any reason will not be reviewed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the status of ALL required documents.

Selection of Awardees

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of senior faculty who are clinical researchers. Applicants will be notified of outcomes by email.

Responsibilities of Recipients

Applicants will meet with the Program Directors annually. Applicants must present their work annually at a DDFRCS program. All presentations and publications related to research funded by the DDFRCS must cite the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. View Citation Guidelines for more details.

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