Doris Duke Charitable Foundation International Clinical Research Fellowships (DDCF / CRF)
On this page
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) International Clinical Research Fellowship program for medical students is a one-year mentored clinical research opportunity designed to span a broad range of research ranging from bench laboratory science to clinical and translational science, epidemiology and outcomes research. We define clinical and translational research as research designed to address a question of clinical importance. The program is designed to be flexible and will be tailored to meet the needs of each student.
UCSF offers excellent resources for student researchers:
- NIH-funded Clinical Research Centers (CRCs)
- Medical centers that serve different segments of the San Francisco Bay Area population
- Over 60 organized research units (ORUs) centered on specific diseases and populations; access to a wide variety of local, state-wide and national databases and research cohorts
- Excellent graduate programs in basic research
The International DDCF program is structured so that the student will have some didactic training throughout the year while they work in parallel to develop, perform and analyze the results of their study. The didactic training consists of two options:
- Clinical Research Workshop (CRW) offers a set of three summer courses that train scientists in the skills needed to plan and conduct clinical research; critique and interpret the research of others; identify and resolve ethical dilemmas; and write a successful proposal. Each student will work with his or her mentorship team to create a 5-page, NIH R01-style research proposal.
During the course of the year, the students will also have a series of other regular activities, including bi-weekly Works-in-Progress (WIP) seminars, inter-professional Journal Club meetings, and guest faculty lecturers.
- There are many other basic and clinical research seminars and journal clubs on campus and students will be free to choose those of greatest interest to him or her
During the last two months of the program, students will begin to analyze the data that they have collected up to that point in time and prepare them for a written report and oral presentation. The final oral presentations will be given at the annual student research symposium on campus. Students may present their data at other student/fellow research meetings as well, including a national meeting for DDCF medical student fellows. Attendance at that national DDCF meeting is a requirement of the program.
Clinical Research Opportunities in Africa
UCSF has a large and growing clinical research infrastructure in Africa. Major collaborative projects have been established at sites in Uganda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe (see summary of relevant institutional research collaborations and opportunities for more details). Major areas of research interest include HIV, HIV and co-infections, malaria, and sexually transmitted infections. Over the last several years many UCSF medical students have worked on UCSF sponsored projects in Africa, including 6 students as part of the DDCF program. Projects have included developing genotyping methods for tracking malaria parasites, immunologic correlates of clinical malaria and interactions between HIV and malaria.
An annual stipend of $29,000 is provided to each DDCF/CRF fellow. In addition, funds are available to support the conduct of the research study. Funds for relocation are provided, as are travel funds to the national DDCF conference.
Please note that research projects using animals are strictly prohibited by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
UCSF medical students wishing to apply for an international fellowship with a UCSF Faculty mentor should apply to both the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as well as through the Resource Allocation Program for Trainees (RAPtr). This will increase an applicant's chance for funding. Please note that project proposals for DDCF can allow for up to 9 months abroad and RAPtr applications are limited to 4-5 months abroad. Each application must reflect this difference.
To apply, interested students MUST complete three elements of the application: A)a non-binding Letter of Intent by December 3, 2012, B) the Doris Duke Common Application, and C) the DDCF supplemental application. These elements are described in detail below. The deadline for the application is January 15, 2013.
Please note: No applicant interviews will be conducted.
A. UCSF Letter of Intent
The letter of intent is found here. It must be completed by December 3, 2012.
B. Doris Duke Application Requirements
A complete application package must include the following seven components:
- Completion of the online common application form
- A letter of support from the Dean’s office of the medical school in which you are currently matriculated
- Two letters of support from faculty who can comment on your academic performance and potential for clinical research
- A personal statement
- A copy of your curriculum vitae
- A copy of your medical school transcript (unofficial)
- The additional materials and/or requirements specified by the school(s) to which you are applying (see C. below).
Detailed instructions are provided below for each of the six components listed above required by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Read the FAQs before starting to prepare your application for helpful guidance on questions about the program, application process and eligibility, as well as for students who are considering applying to schools at which they are not matriculated.
1. Online Application Form
Complete all sections of the online application form, which requests the following information:
- Your contact information
- Education history
- Areas of clinical research you are interested in during fellowship year
- Schools to which you are applying
- Description of prior medical and/or research experience in an international setting, if applicable
2. Letter from the Dean
Request the letter of support from your Dean on the online application form well in advance of the deadline. Your Dean will receive an e-mail from email@example.com and will be asked to submit their recommendations through the online DDCF Application system by 11:59PM EST, January 15, 2013.
3. Letters of Support
Request the letter of support from your references on the online application form well in advance of the deadline. Your references will receive an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org and will be asked to submit their recommendations through the online DDCF Application system by 11:59PM EST, January 15, 2013.
4. Personal Statement
A personal statement containing a description of a) your reasons for undertaking global clinical research; b) your plans for future professional or graduate education as well as your long-term career plans; and c) a brief description of your research interests. Limit to 1 page, 10 pt. font. (PDF)
5. Curriculum Vitae
You will need to upload a copy of your CV (PDF) to submit your application. (Limit to 2 pages, 12pt. font.)
6. Medical School Transcript
Request your medical school transcript well in advance of the deadline. You will need to upload a copy (PDF) to submit your online application. This can be an unofficial copy.
7. Supplemental Application (this is required for UCSF applicants).
C. UCSF Supplemental Application Requirements: The online Supplemental Application Form is REQUIRED and must be received by 8:59 p.m. (PST) on January 15, 2013.
The required supplemental application materials include the following:
- Research Plan Title (should not exceed 255 characters, including spaces)
- Research Plan Summary (should not exceed 250 words, or approximately 1/3 of a single spaced page)
- Research Proposal (limited to 2,100 words or less or approximately three single-spaced pages. The plan should be divided into three sections: a) Research question, b) Background, and c) Study design) (You should work closely with your mentor on writing the research plan).
- Research Plan Citations (should not exceed 700 words, or approximately one single-spaced page)
- Mentor Endorsement. This portion of the supplemental application form must be completed by the proposed mentor(s).
- See the list of available mentors. Students are not limited to those listed here, however, but proposed mentors must be UCSF Faculty.