Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: Doris Duke’s Medical Research Program awards grants to “…support the prevention, treatment and cure of human diseases.”

IP TAKE: Although your research does not have to be in the human trials phase, if you use animals in any of your research experiments, you will not be funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

PROFILE: The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) funds translational medical research work. While it does not have a grantmaking program earmarked exclusively for diseases, its Medical Research program, DDCF awards plenty of related grants in this space. The Foundation has two major strategies within its Medical Research program.

First, it seeks to Encourage and Develop Clinical Research Careers. It addresses this goal through several award programs:

  • Clinical Research Continuum: High School to College - The goal of this grantmaking program is to provide clinical research activities for students in underserved populations.
  • Clinical Research Mentorships - These mentorships provide previously funded Doris Duke investigators the opportunity to "foster the next generation of clinical researchers" by mentoring a medical student for one year. Selected teams will receive $70,400 over one year.
  • Clinical Scientist Development Award - These awards provide up to $486,000 over three years to junior scientists who are “conducting clinical research in any disease area.”
  • International Clinical Research Fellowship - This fellowship allows medical students based in the US to take a year off from medical school to perform clinical research in a developing country.
  • Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists - The fund awards five year grants of $540,000 to to medical schools and hospital for them to pass on to early career researchers, with the goal of keeping them in the research sector. Individuals cannot apply for these funds directly.

Second, DDCF also seeks to Advance Biomedical Research and Innovation, through its Innovations in Clinical Research Award. Recently, this award has provided three year grants of up to $486,000 to clinical investigators with the potential to make breakthroughs in sickle cell disease. The focus of this award changes from time to time; you can get a sense of what sort of research it has supported in the past by looking at past grants.

Scientists and investigators can begin a pre-proposal application via the Foundation's website. An important note—in most cases scientists, researchers and investigators do not have to be nominated by their respective academic or research institutions to be eligible for a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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