Caregivers at Carolina: Support for Physician Scientists Program accepting applications for research funding

The Caregivers at Carolina Program provides supplemental research funds for early career physician scientists who have a strong program of research and who are also facing extraordinary caregiving demands at home.

The UNC School of Medicine is pleased to announce a call for applications for supplemental research funding for physician scientists who are facing significant extraprofessional caregiving responsibilities through the “Caregivers at Carolina” Program. UNC SOM is one of only 10 U.S. medical schools to receive this five year grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). The program is specifically designed to help retain physician scientists in research by assisting them in obtaining funding for direct research support (e.g., technician time; grant writing support) or buy out of clinical time so that the scientist may maintain research productivity during a transient period when caregiving demands are high. Funding is for up to $40,000 per year for one year with a possible extension for a second year. Funds may not be used directly for family care.  The program will also provide access to mentoring and career development resources.

Applications are now being accepted and are due on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 before 5 p.m.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Physician Scientist (MD or DO) at the Assistant Professor or Instructor rank
  • Full-time appointment with UNC SOM
  • Active US Medical License
  • PI on an active, extramurally funded clinical research award. This award may be a research or career development award. This does not include being a site PI for a multi-center clinical trial. 
  • Experiments that utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals will not be supported by this program as per DDCF guidelines. Clinical research is defined as the scientific investigation of the etiology, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of human disease using human subjects, human populations, or materials of human origin if they can be linked to a patient.
  • Funding may not be used for bridge funding (to support salary or research between the current award and future funding).
  • The active research funding must include some salary support.
  • Sources of salary support must be clearly stated in either the applicant’s CV or in the application.
  • Current, substantial caregiving demands which would typically include, but are not limited to, caring for young children, a sick family member, or eldercare.
  • Applicants must be available to participate in program activities held at the UNC SOM.
  • If requested, IRB approval notification for project(s) mentioned in submitted application.

Email of Intent:

  • Email a letter of intent to apply is required and may be sent directly to Erica_Nouri@med.unc.edu by Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 before 5 p.m. The email letter of intent should include the title of the current clinical research project, the extramural funding mechanism, total direct costs and project dates. 

Application Materials to be compiled into one pdf file:

[**All documents must be typed in Arial at a font size of 11. Margins, in all directions, must be one inch.]

  • Two page (maximum) description of the candidate’s background, research training, current research and funding, planned research, and career goals 
  • Curriculum vitae
  • One page (maximum) statement of need with specific detail on the nature and extent of caregiving (e.g., type of care, how much) and examples of the impact the caregiving has on the candidate’s research productivity 
  • One page proposal on how the funds would be used, with a budget, and career development milestone that would be achieved with the funds (e.g., grant submitted, research results published).  Although the budget may be for two years, the award of a second year of funding would be dependent on meeting milestones outlines in Year 1.  
  • Completion of the Uniform Survey which will be provided to you subsequent to receiving the letter of intent.

In addition, in a separate document sent directly from the candidate’s chair or division chief, the application must include:

  • Letter of support from department chair defining the institutional commitment to the applicant, guarantee of protected research time (current and proposed); specific details regarding hours/week for non-research activities; and significance of candidate’s research and future research potential

Review Process and Criteria:

Applications will be reviewed by an independent committee and evaluated for:

  • Research training, productivity and evidence that the candidate is on a clear trajectory to an independent research career
  • Need/justification related to caregiving
  • Public health significance of the candidate’s clinical research project
  • Support of the department chair/division chief, including statement of protected research time
  • Detailed plan for the funds, including budget.

Please submit application materials to Erica_Nouri@med.unc.edu.

Following Submission:

Please direct any questions to the Program Directors:  Amelia_Drake@med.unc.edu or Susan_Girdler@med.unc.edu