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Medical Research

Incentivizing Early-career Creativity for Transformative Health Solutions


Physician scientists are uniquely positioned to improve human health. Through its Medical Research Program, the Doris Duke Foundation aims to strengthen new pathways for visionary physician scientists to pursue every avenue of research that will save and improve lives.

Rationale and History

Since 1998, the Doris Duke Foundation has supported early-career physician scientists, driven by our fundamental belief that their interactions with patients and the health care system can spur highly significant research questions, approaches and insights to lead to medical innovation and to address unmet medical needs.

To accelerate the pursuit of medical innovation, we seek to broaden pathways to research funding so we can more effectively support a wider range of ideas with high potential to transform human health. Our efforts build on the excellence exemplified by the network of outstanding recipients of the highly competitive Doris Duke Foundation awards for subspecialty fellows and early-career faculty: the Physician Scientist Fellowships and the Clinical Scientist Development Awards, respectively. While no new grants will be offered through these competitions, our support for physician scientists will continue.

Conventional approaches to funding research have made the United States a leader in biomedicine but are currently inadequate to the full range of clinical innovation needed to improve patient outcomes. As a result, some novel ideas that could save and improve lives are left untouched.

We seek to change this reality by demonstrating the power of diverse pathways to innovation to measurably improve human lives.