Seeking applications for funding for physician scientist caregivers

UNC is one of only 10 U.S. medical schools to receive a five year grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) that is specifically designed to help retain physician scientists who are facing significant extraprofessional caregiving responsibilities. With the DDCF award, the Dean’s Office has created a “Caregivers at Carolina” Program.

Funding is for up to $40,000 per year for one to two years to provide 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.  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, Feb. 4 before 5 p.m. EST.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Physician Scientist (MD or DO) at the assistant professor or instructor rank
  • Active research funding for clinical research.  Experiments that utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals will not be supported by this program. 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.
  • The active research funding must include some salary support.
  • Current, substantial caregiving demands which would typically include, but are not limited to, caring for young children, a sick family member, or eldercare

Application Materials to be compiled into one pdf file:

  • 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) 

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:

  • Need/justification related to caregiving
  • Research training, productivity and evidence that the candidate is on a clear trajectory to an independent research career
  • 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


Please direct any questions to the Program Directors: or

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