Programs & Funding Opportunities

Previous funding opportunities:

Regeneration Research Fellowship for Duke Medical Students

Duke Regeneration Center (DRC) is pleased to announce an inaugural fellowship for Duke medical students interested in regeneration research. The goal of this fellowship is to encourage the development of future physician-scientists who pursue basic research in regeneration and regenerative medicine fields that are linked to clinical areas of interest. It is recognized that many physician-scientists organize their clinical and research programs around a particular disease process or topic of interest, with efforts made to contribute to the spectrum of knowledge of this area, which may include both basic science and clinical publications. The intent of this fellowship is to foster this synchrony in medical students interested in regeneration, abiding by the observation that a successful research program may involve capabilities in both basic and clinical sciences.

Eligibility: Duke University Medical students who are dedicating at least 2 academic years’ time to research are eligible. Medical students committing their MS3 year plus an additional year are eligible. MSTP and combined degree program students are ineligible.

Structure: Candidates will identify a research mentor and a clinical mentor. Research mentors must be affiliated faculty of the DRC. Clinical mentors must have an active clinical practice within the Duke system. Either may serve as the student’s official third-year mentor if they have been approved by the SOM. Candidates will submit a proposal for a laboratory research project on a regeneration-related topic as well as involvement in clinical research, education, or project development in a related clinical field. It is expected that candidates exhibit progress in both basic and clinical research realms, as evidenced by publications, presentations, posters, quality improvement projects, etc. While it is expected that laboratory research will constitute the bulk of the time commitment during the award period, all proposals will be considered.

Award: Students will be provided $10,000 for research expenses each year, for a total award of $20,000. Funds may not be used for salary, tuition, or personal stipends. As DRC Fellows, recipients will be expected to participate in DRC activities and present their work at the DRC Annual Retreat in the second year of the award period.

Application: Please submit the following (as a single PDF file) to

  1. Brief research proposal (1 page) consisting of research plan and career goals
  2. Letters of support from clinical mentor and research mentor
  3. Biosketch/CV, including educational background, research experience, and publications. Applications will be accepted for the 2022-2024 cycle until May 31, 2022 at 11:59. Questions? Email David A. Brown, MD, PhD, Co-Director of DRC (

Frequently Asked Questions

I am only planning to take one year for research. Can I still apply? Unfortunately, we are only considering applications that span two academic years.

How can I find mentors? If there is a topic or field of medicine that interests you, it may be easiest to approach a faculty member in that clinical department about a research project. They may have ideas about regeneration research faculty with whom you can collaborate. If not, reach out to for guidance on finding a lab mentor. We anticipate that students will often identify mentors with primary appointments in basic science departments.

Can I propose a single clinical mentor who is involved in regeneration-related lab research? For this award, we are requiring two mentors. However, almost all clinical faculty engaged in regeneration research have formed close collaborations with basic science faculty. We anticipate that they will have ideas for research mentors for your project.

What are some examples of projects? Some example combinations of lab research and clinical topics we envisioned are heart regeneration research and heart failure, spinal cord regeneration and spinal cord injury, limb regeneration research and peripheral nerve surgery, lung stem cell research and respiratory infections, digit regeneration and bone fracture healing, neurogenesis and stroke, polyploidy in organ repair and oncology, etc. There are endless possibilities and we encourage creativity in project design.

I am planning to use the majority of my research time for clinical research, though I would like to include some lab research as well. Can I still apply? We are considering all applications, but the intent of this fellowship is to help the student to build laboratory research skills. While we encourage for productivity in clinical research during your research time, this award is meant for projects that are primarily lab based.

What type of involvement is expected in clinical research with this award? Your clinical research should revolve around the topic of interest. It will probably not be possible to lead major clinical research projects if you are invested in lab work, but we understand that many students have an interest in showing productivity in their clinical field of interest to support their residency application, establish relationships with clinical faculty, etc. This is how most physician-basic scientists approach their career and we support that!

Is it okay to apply for other grants and awards along with this one? Yes! We encourage you to seek out all available resources to help you become successful during your research time.


DRC Postdoctoral Research Award to Accelerate Career Independence

Duke University School of Medicine has established Duke Regeneration Center (DRC) to enhance discovery and applications in the broad field of tissue regeneration. DRC is pleased to announce availability of funding support to help DRC-affiliated labs recruit strong postdoctoral candidates. This funding mechanism is intended to support and accelerate the career development of postdoctoral trainees. The funds are directed by the discretion of the trainee and can be used toward any research-related expenses, including supplies, equipment, core facility services, and educational resources, but not one’s own salary. Each awardee (trainee) will receive $10,000 per year for a maximum of two years. We encourage Duke PIs to inform prospective postdoctoral candidates of this potential opportunity during recruitment.

DRC intends to support up to four DRC Postdoctoral Research Awards per year. Trainees are expected to participate in mentored laboratory research, the annual DRC retreat, seminar series, and career developmental activities. It is important that awardees are actively engaged in DRC activities.

Eligibility and program requirements:
• The candidate must hold a Ph.D. and/or M.D. (or equivalent) degree at the time of funding.

• This award is intended for incoming postdoctoral fellows and current fellows that joined Duke within one year prior to the application deadline (February 28, 2022) or subsequently join Duke.
• The awardees can be mentored by DRC-affiliated faculty in any department/center, provided there is a broadly defined regenerative biology or medicine component to the awardee’s research.
• The trainee need not be a US citizen or permanent resident.
• Awardees may simultaneously hold another fellowship.
• Second year of funding is contingent on submission of a one-page progress report and active participation in DRC activities, e.g., annual retreat/symposia and research seminars.
Anticipated funding start date: The anticipated award notification is March 2022. The start date is flexible, but award must be initiated within 8 months after the notification.

Application materials:
1. Cover Page – include Duke mentor name, trainee name, potential start date of trainee in a DRC-affiliated faculty laboratory.
2. Brief research proposal (limited to 1 page) consisting of research accomplishments, proposed postdoctoral research work and long-term career goals of the trainee.
3. Biosketch/CV of the trainee, including their educational background, research experience, and publications.
4. 5-page standard NIH Biosketch of proposed Duke mentor.
5. Reference letter from proposed Duke mentor to be emailed directly to the Committee at

The deadline to receive applications is February 28, 2022 (5 pm ET). Applicant or the proposed Duke mentor must submit the application materials by email (as a single PDF file) to In the email Subject line, please write “DRC Postdoc Research Award application – Duke PI name”.