Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellowship

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: India, 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. 

Eligibility Research LocationsAwardHow to ApplyFellow Profiles

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Laura Bey
Assistant Director of Undergraduate and Medical School Programs


Will be announced Fall 2015

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 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,
  • round-trip travel to the mid-year fellowship meeting with other program participants, and
  • travel support to a relevant research conference.

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.


Faculty mentor: Truls Ostbye
Potential projects: The project would begin with a broad health assessment and could lead to further study of the following topic areas examining the physical and psychosocial health of community members.

  • Health of elderly in rural villages in Maharashtra
  • Health problems among caregivers for elderly in rural Maharashtra
  • Health problems among foreign domestic workers and their families
  • Violence against hospital workers

View more work in India


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

  • Study of the genetics of atrial Fibrillation in an African population
  • A case-control study of the genetic associations with atrial fibrillation
  • Household air pollution and its effects on cardiac structure and function
  • An intervention study among women who predominantly use traditional cookstoves
  • The prevalence of markers of atherosclerosis among adult patients with congestive cardiac failure
  • A case-control study of the contemporary causes of heart failure in Kenya


Faculty mentor: William Pan
Potential projects:

  • Impact of chronic low-exposure to heavy metals (such as mercury) on absorption of micronutrients (in collaboration with Duke faculty member Heileen Hsu-Kim)
  • Develop cross-cultural vulnerability and resilience rapid surveys and indices to measure the potential impact of climate variation and land cover change on human health (in collaboration with universities in Ecuador and Brazil)
  • Measuring the emergence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in rural areas of the Amazon
  • Building an early-warning system for malaria
  • Explore testing viability for leishmania (collecting and identifying sandflies, working with local health centers, reporting risk factors for infection)

View more work in Peru


Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)Faculty mentor: John Bartlett, MD
Potential projects:

  • Pathogenesis and treatment of HIV infection and its complications, especially in resource-limited settings
  • Developing research capacity in Africa for studies on HIV-associated malignancies

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

  • Epidemiologic risk factor analyses for zoonotic causes of severe febrile illness in northern Tanzania.
  • Assessments of non-biological, socio-behavioral risk factors  for poor outcomes (e.g., delays in seeking care, delays within health systems) among patients presenting to hospital with severe infectious syndromes. 
  • Capacity-building for clinical laboratory systems and services in northern Tanzania

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

  • 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

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 Laura Bey.

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 (2016-2017)


  • Application & Letters of Support due: January 12, 2016 by 11:59pm EST
  • Interviews begin: Feb 1, 2016
  • Offers begin: March 18, 2016
  • Decisions due: March 25, 2016 by 1:00pm EST


Fellow Profiles


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