The focus of our program is on creating an environment to ensure our Fellows can compete at the next level of their careers. To do this, we have focused our program on mentored research to produce deliverables that serve as the “currency” of the medical research community: research publications, conference presentations and other science communication, and strong letters of support from mentors and collaborators. To complement these product-focused efforts, we have also developed a robust training curriculum by capitalizing on existing programs at Duke University. This training curriculum will provide the scientific tools and experiences to help Fellows in both their immediate research and their future as leaders in cancer research.


Individual Development Plan: Each Fellow will work one-on-one with their mentor to develop an individual development plan (IDP). The IDP will serve as the guiding framework on which the Fellow and mentor can 1) develop a roadmap for near-term and long-term career goals, 2) decide on curriculum and interactive activities in which to participate, 3) address perceived deficiencies in training, and 4) develop a plan for research-based deliverables to ensure success in the next career stage. The first draft of the IDP will be created by the Fellow within the first month of the program . After reviewing the IDP with the mentor, a follow-up draft will be submitted, along with quarterly updates to the IDP, changes to career goals, new didactic experiences, and any changes to research goals. With a focus on mentored training experiences that will produce tangible deliverables and outcomes for the Fellows to succeed at the next level, these didactic and interactive sessions will complement the focused research training by providing a complete window into the world of cancer research. We anticipate that the combination of mentored research and didactic exercises will help ensure the future success of the DIRECT Fellows as the next generation of thought leaders in cancer research.


Professional Development

  • Applying to graduate or medical school
  • Faculty career path panel
  • Grad student panel
  • CV/Resume workshop


Science Communication workshop

  • Elevator pitch (and transitioning elevator pitch to introductory e-mail)
  • Writing scientific papers (writing from the reader’s perspective)
  • Oral communication – presentations
  • Oral communication – posters
  • Personal statements


Research Design

  • Introduction to Population Health Sciences
  • Clinical Research Study Design
  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Health Disparities Research Methods
  • Responsible Conduct of Research, Bioethnics, CITI trainings


Racial Equity Training


Seminars, Journal Club and Conferences

Duke Cancer Institute Grand Rounds

Duke Cancer Institute Population Sciences Seminar Series

Duke Cancer Institute Cancer Biology Seminar Series

Conference Presentations: AACR, Duke Cancer Institute retreat, ASPO, etc