Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship

The Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship provides medical students with the unique opportunity to conduct clinical research at an international site under the mentorship of Duke faculty.

The Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship (ICRF) from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation provides an opportunity for up to three US medical students to complete a yearlong international clinical research project in one of four locations: Sri Lanka, Kenya, Peru or Tanzania. The fellowship begins in July and includes a detailed orientation before the fellows travel to the research location for a minimum of 8 months. There they will work on their project with mentorship from Duke Global Health Institute faculty and those from our partner universities, non-governmental organizations, and community practice settings.

The goal of the fellowship is to produce future leaders in global health clinical research. 


The Doris Duke ICRF fellowship is open to US-based medical students with at least two years of medical school training who are planning to conduct clinical research in a low- or middle-income country. Three students will be selected each year. Interviews with select applicants will be conducted during the month of February.


Fellows receive:

  • a stipend of $29,000,
  • health insurance (if applicable),
  • didactic training in research methods,
  • travel expenses to the annual Doris Duke Foundation meeting,
  • round-trip travel to the research site, and
  • travel support to a relevant research conference.
Newest Fellows
2018-2019 fellows (L to R): Aarti Thakkar, Sruti Pisharody and Helen Wu Li



Lysa MacKeen
Assistant Director for Experiential Learning


January 10, 2019

Get More Information

Research locations and Potential Projects

Research for the Doris Duke ICRF program at Duke University will center around four locations: Eldoret, Kenya, Moshi, Tanzania, Peru and India.


jerry_in_clinic-resizedcropped.jpgFaculty mentor: Gerald Bloomfield
Potential projects:

  • Cardiovascular complications of HIV infection 
  • Cardiac arrhythmias in patients of African descent
  • Systems-level approaches to hypertension care in Kenya

Faculty mentor: Wendy O'Meara
Potential projects:

  • Malaria prevention in children with Sickle Cell Anemia: Testing new methods of malaria chemoprevention in children with sickle cell anemia at a single site in rural western Kenya (Steve Taylor, co-supervisor)
  • Management of malaria fevers outside of the formal health sector:  Implementation of new technologies to measure individual treatment beliefs and expectations in suspected malaria fevers
  • Assessing Community Health Worker perceptions of involvement in diagnostic and treatment interventions; evaluating the impact of community-based malaria testing on their role in the community

Faculty mentor: Peter Kussin
Potential projects:

  • Continued research on perception and knowledge regarding palliative care
  • Implementation of modified cookstoves and cooking houses to reduce indoor air pollution burden
  • Continued research on obstructive lung disease in Kenya

View more work in Kenya



Faculty mentor: William Pan
Potential projects:

  • Following up a previously enrolled birth cohort to evaluate the impact of in-utero exposure to mercury on child development
  • Conduct an intensive dietary consumption study in native/non-native and urban/rural communities to link with chemical exposures, obesity and under-nutrition  
  • Assist in the development of an early warning system for malaria in the Amazon
  • Assist in conducting a leishmaniasis study to evaluate the ecology and transmission of cutaneous leishmania between humans and animals
  • Work with a team from Duke, Tulane, the Field Museum and local universities in Ecuador, Brazil and Peru to develop a framework, quantifiable measures, and evaluation of human vulnerability to nutritional disorders, vector-borne disease, chronic disease, and toxicological exposures.

View more work in Peru


Sri Lanka

Faculty mentor: Truls Ostbye
Potential projects:

  • Community-based survey of the physical and psychosocial health of a group of vulnerable workers
  • Health problems of the elderly and their caregivers
  • Mental health in new mothers

View more work in Sri Lanka



Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)Faculty mentor: Dorothy Dow
Potential projects:

  • Addressing mental health needs among HIV-Infected Adolescents
  • Associations between mental health and antiretroviral adherence and HIV outcomes
  • Positive transition models from adolescent to adult HIV clinical care

Faculty mentor: Matthew P. Rubach, MD
Potential projects: 

  • Epidemiologic risk factor analyses for zoonotic causes of severe febrile illness in northern Tanzania.
  • Etiologic investigations on infectious cause of death in northern Tanzania (low malaria prevalence and low-to-moderate HIV prevalence)
  • Detection and characterization of emerging, high-consequence pathogens among febrile inpatients in northern Tanzania
  • Novel diagnostics for bloodstream infections
  • Health outcomes for typhoid fever intestinal perforations and characterization of other causes of intestinal perforations in northern Tanzania
  • Capacity-building for clinical laboratory and histopathology systems and services in northern Tanzania
  • Barriers to optimal sepsis management in northern Tanzania: health systems, medical culture, nursing capacity, patient hemaphobia and other conspiring factors

Faculty mentor: Catherine A. Staton, MD MScGH
Potential Projects:

  • Evaluating and improving mental health and functional outcomes for Traumatic Brain Injury Patients in Moshi, Tanzania
  • Knowledge and attitudes of at risk alcohol use amongst injury patients seen at KCMC
  • Developing an intervention for alcohol amongst injury patients at KCMC

Faculty mentor: Melissa Watt
Potential Projects:

  • Postpartum HIV care engagement in the context of Option B+ for prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT)
  • Addressing HIV stigma to promote linkage to HIV care and on-going retention in PMTCT
  • Development and pilot testing of a patient navigator intervention to address hypertension among individuals living with HIV

View more work in Tanzania


How to Apply

Applicants must complete the Doris Duke common application and DGHI supplemental application. The common application (obtained and submitted through the Doris Duke website) requires the following:

  1. A personal statement containing a description of a) your reasons for undertaking global clinical research; b) your plans for future professional or graduate education as well as your long-term career plans; and c) a brief description of your research interests
  2. Letter of support from the Dean’s office of the medical school in which you are currently matriculated
  3. Two letters of support from faculty who can comment on your academic performance and potential for clinical research
  4. Curriculum vitae
  5. Medical school transcript (unofficial copies are accepted)

Students must also submit the DGHI supplemental application by email to Lysa MacKeen.

Both the common application and the supplemental application must be submitted by the application deadline. Failure to submit both documents will remove a candidate from consideration for the award.

Doris Duke Common Application DGHI Supplemental Application

Application Deadlines (2018-2019)


  • Application & Letters of Support due: January 10, 2018
  • Interviews begin: Feb, 2018
  • Offers begin: March, 2018
  • Decisions due: March, 2018


Fellow Profiles


Emma Fixsen


Undergraduate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Art)
Medical school: Duke University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Duke mentor: William Pan
Fellowship project: Study how local environmental changes affect dietary habits and subsequent mercury exposure; assess the impact of mercury exposure on maternal-fetal health outcomes.



Undergraduate:  University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
Medical school: Duke University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Moshi, Tanzania
Duke mentor: Catherine Staton
Fellowship project: Study perspectives on palliative and end-of-life care at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center. 



Undergraduate: Amherst College (Biology)
Medical school: University of Rochester
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor:  Wendy Prudhomme-O’Meara
Fellowship project: Based at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Silver will study the prevention of malaria in children with sickle cell anemia.


Cody Cichowitz

Cody Cichowitz

Undergraduate: University of Colorado (Applied Mathematics)
Medical school: Johns Hopkins University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Moshi, Tanzania
Duke mentor:  Melissa Watt
Fellowship project:  Use implementation science to identify factors at both the facility and patient levels that support or obstruct women’s engagement in HIV care and to support the successful implementation of Option B+ in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.

Andres Mallipudi

Andres Mallipudi

Undergraduate:  Brigham Young University (Molecular Biology)
Medical school: Johns Hopkins University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Duke mentor: William Pan
Fellowship project:  Investigate the effect of environmental changes on dietary habits and subsequent exposure to mercury in households near Peru's Interoceanic Highway with a focus on maternal-child health outcomes.

Faith Rialem

Faith Rialem

Undergraduate:  Hofstra University (Health Sciences)
Medical school: Duke University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor:  Peter Kussin
Fellowship project:  Research knowledge and perceptions regarding palliative care among pastoral leaders in Uasin Gishu, in collaboration with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Moi University School of Medicine.


Helena Frischtak

Helena Frischtak

Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin-Madison (Neurobiology)
Medical school: University of Virginia
Fellowship fieldwork site: Lima, Peru
Duke mentor:  William Pan
Fellowship project:  Research human surveillance and determinants of Leishmania infection in collaboration with researchers from Duke University, the Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 (NAMRU-6) and the Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA)

Hussain Lalani

Hussain Lalani

Undergraduate:  Duke University (Neuroscience with a Global Health certificate)
Medical school: Duke University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor: Peter Kussin
Fellowship project:  Investigate intensive care outcomes and mortality at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital through a retrospective chart review of intensive care unit (ICU) patients with a special focus on traumatic brain injury and sepsis

Claudia Leung

Claudia Leung

Undergraduate:  Northwestern University (Human Communication Sciences and Global Health)
Medical school: Northwestern University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor:  Gerald Bloomfield
Fellowship project:  Investigate the utility of group medical care and microfinance groups in the management of patients with hypertension and diabetes in rural western Kenya


Rebecca Lumsden

Rebecca Lumsden

Undergraduate: Emory University (Anthropology and Human Biology)
Medical school: University of Massachusetts
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor: Gerald Bloomfield
Fellowship project: Explore the demographic and geographic factors associated with rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in western Kenya. Work with Kenyan medical students to conduct a retrospective chart review of cardiology clinic patients at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to identify and map RHD patterns throughout the country.
Olajumoke Ogundare

Olajumoke Ogundare

Undergraduate: Clayton State University (Biology with a minor in Chemistry)
Medical school: Duke University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Pune Maharashtra, India
Duke mentor: Truls Ostbye
Fellowship project: Conduct a community survey of rural dwelling elderlies in Pune Maharashtra, India, to measure the prevalence of 15 dimensions of health by age and gender and to assess their relationship to quality of life
Helen Zhang

Helen Zhang

Undergraduate: Duke University (Biology)
Medical school: Duke University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Moshi, Tanzania
Duke mentor: John Crump
Fellowship project: Analyze a mixed methods survey on zoonotic disease awareness and practices among human and animal healthcare workers in Moshi, and conduct a health program evaluation framework case study of a Good Clinical Laboratory Practices laboratory in Moshi


Anubha Agarwal

Anubha Agarwal

Undergraduate: Columbia University (Biology with minor in Human Rights)
Medical school: Stanford University
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor: Gerald Bloomfield
Fellowship project: Investigate the cross-sectional associations between household air pollution (i.e., from traditional cookstoves) and cardiac structure and function using echocardiography

Julia Beamesderfer

Julia Beamesderfer

Undergraduate: Brown University (Biological Sciences with a focus in Cell and Molecular Biology)
Medical school: University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship fieldwork site: Moshi, Tanzania
Duke mentor: John Crump, Elizabeth Reddy
Fellowship project: Help manage data collection for a large field study assessing the impact and social ecology of bacterial zoonoses in northern Tanzania and design and lead a retrospective study examining the effect of physical proximity of HIV testing centers on testing uptake

Jing Ren

Jing Ren

Undergraduate: Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs)
Medical school: University of Pennsylvania
Fellowship fieldwork site: Eldoret, Kenya
Duke mentor: Wendy Prudhomme-O’Meara
Fellowship project: Examine whether tying an incentive program to specific indicators would encourage clinicians to follow the official test-then-treat policy promoted by the Kenyan Ministry of Health