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Research Training

At Duke, medical research training opportunities continue to expand dramatically with each new discovery and technical innovation. The information below summarizes research training opportunities in basic, clinical, and translational research at Duke University and beyond.

Undergraduate Research

There are multiple sources of Duke support for undergraduate students interested in pursuing research projects, and there are research programs across the country to which Duke students may apply to become engaged in important research.  For more information about undergraduate research opportunities at Duke and elsewhere, please visit the Duke Undergraduate Research Support Office.

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Medical Student Research

There are numerous research opportunities for medical students in the Department of Pediatrics, from bench top to translational to clinical research. The third year at the Duke University School of Medicine represents a unique opportunity for the student to broaden his or her background in the biomedical and social sciences which are the basis of clinical medicine. The primary goal of the third year is to develop tomorrow's physician leaders through a rigorous scholarly experience in biomedical-related research.

For a list of the approved faculty mentors and research programs and additional information about the third year, please visit the Medical Student Education section of this web site.

Duke Pediatric Research Scholars Program for Physician-Scientist Development

The Duke Pediatric Research Scholars Program for Physician-Scientist Development (DPRS) is dedicated to training young physician-scientists and preparing them for successful careers in academic medicine. The program focuses on the period from the completion of the MD, MD/PhD, or DO/PhD degree through residency and fellowship training, with the goal of achieving a full-time academic appointment as an investigator. The DPRS combines the intensive clinical training environment of Duke Children’s with the rigorous scientific training of the world-renowned laboratories at Duke University. 

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Duke School of Medicine Clinical Research Training Program

The Duke School of Medicine Clinical Research Training Program provides academic training in the quantitative and methodological principles of clinical research. Designed primarily for clinical fellows who are training for academic careers, the program offers formal courses in research design, research management, medical genomics, and statistical analysis.

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Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI)

The Duke Translational Medicine Institute (DTMI) offers specific research training that addresses the need for a smooth continuum of clinical and translational research education that spans pre-doctoral years to the crucial early faculty years and incorporates training that facilitates translation of basic and clinical sciences discoveries to the bedside and to the clinic. Moreover, the training emphasizes multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches to increasingly complex problems.

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Employee Tuition Assistance Program

Formal education is an essential part of a successful research career, and the Duke University graduate schools offer a broad range of classes and seminars. The Employee Tuition Assistance Program provides reimbursement of tuition for classes taken at Duke or any other higher educational institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with a physical presence in North Carolina. For detailed information, please visit the Duke Human Resources web site.

Additional Opportunities

Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) (K12)

In the spring of 2013, the Department of Pediatrics successfully renewed its Child Health Research Career Development Award (CHRCDA) entitled “Center for Molecular and Cellular Studies of Pediatric Disease” for another five years. This program is funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health and is intended to foster the maturation of pediatric junior faculty into independent physician-scientists who are skilled in cutting-edge methods of laboratory research and who pursue long-term academic careers investigating important issues related to childhood diseases. The program at Duke emphasizes opportunities in four broadly defined areas of research excellence, namely Developmental Biology, Cell Biology and Cell Signaling, Infection and Immunity, and Genetics, Genomics, and Metabolomics and benefits from mentors across Duke University. Laboratory research experiences are complemented by opportunities for didactic courses and career development workshops. Ann Reed, MD serves as the principal investigator and Michael S. Freemark, MD serves as the training director for the program, which is one of only 20 such programs across the country. 

There are also additional opportunities for specialty pediatric research training supported from grants where the PI and Co-PI are in other departments. Specific examples of these opportunities include endocrinology, neuro-oncology, and pulmonary medicine.