Application Process

The following are the steps for completing the application process for the Postdoctoral Research Training Program.

Step 1: Initiate Contact
Initiate your application by sending a letter briefly describing your research and a copy of your Curriculum Vitae to:

Dr. Deborah Gold
Research Training Program
Center for Aging, Box 3003
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710.

Dr. Gold can work with you on finding an appropriate mentor, if necessary. The application must be written in conjunction with your chosen mentor. If you have questions you may contact Dr. Gold by e-mail at, by phone at (919) 660-7530, or by mail at the above address.

Step 2: Write a Research Proposal
You must submit a brief research proposal that will outline your planned research for the 2 years of the postdoc. This should be developed with your mentor or have your mentor’s approval. Your proposal should outline clearly the research questions/hypotheses to be addressed, the sample from whom data will be collected, the analytic strategy, and the expected or potential outcomes.

The proposal should include the following:

  1. Cover letter indicating your interests in aging and the general direction of your research
  2. Specific Aims: Up to one page
  3. Background and Significance: Up to one page
  4. Research Proposal: Up to three pages as described above

Step 3: Submit Additional Materials

  1. Career Plan: Briefly outline your long-term career goals. Indicate the type of institution, role and field(s) of interest to which you hope to move in the future.
  2. Training Plan: Indicate the specific aspects of training you wish to accomplish and how the proposed research in this program will carry you toward your indicated career goals.
  3. Mentor Letter and Mentor CV: Please ask your proposed mentors to write a brief statement in which they state that they are (1) willing to serve as mentors and (2) willing to provide whatever resources are necessary for you to complete your proposed research (lab space, computers, and so on). This letter and the mentors’ CV’s should be sent to Dr. Gold by the mentors.
  4. Letters of Reference: Please have three individuals familiar with your research and academic potential write letters of recommendation for you. Each should have the recommendation form attached to it. These letters and forms should be sent to Dr. Gold. NOTE: Your letters of recommendation should come from people other than your mentor. Recommendation Form
  5. Transcript: Please have your graduate school send a transcript of your course work directly to Dr. Gold.

All materials for the application should be submitted to Dr. Gold. Submission can be electronic via e-mail or in hard copy. Our preferred deadline is March 1, 2019 but we will certainly accept applications sooner. If you have any questions or concerns about deadlines, please contact Dr. Gold at

Basis for Judging Applications
Applications are judged on the basis of their scientific merit, relevance to aging, and the fit of the trainee’s needs for training with the resources of the mentor and the training program.