With new grant, University to train medical students in China, Malawi and Zambia

University of North Carolina School of Medicine awarded grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for international clinical research fellowships

October 30, 2012 – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of six institutions to receive grants from The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) to offer International Clinical Research Fellowships (ICRF) to medical students.

Kamuzu Central Hospital burn unit

ICRF fellows who are interested in research on trauma and burns could work on the burn unit at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. Photo by Caitlin Kleiboer.

The ICRF program encourages medical students to pursue clinical research careers by exposing them to exciting one year, in-country research opportunities in developing countries. UNC was awarded $864,000 to offer three fellowships per year over four years, beginning in 2013.

Students participating in the ICRF program will take a year out from medical school to conduct clinical research abroad under the direction of a mentor working in global health.  UNC will place medical students at affiliated sites in China, Malawi, and Zambia.

“We are very excited about the global research opportunities we can provide with these fellowships,” said Irving Hoffman, PA, MPH, professor of medicine at UNC and co-principal investigator of the ICRF. “Our goal is to provide experiences for medical students that will inspire them to become global academic leaders in research, training and care,” Hoffman said.

Fellows in the Doris Duke ICRF program have the opportunity to conduct research in a broad range of areas, including HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, emergency obstetrics, cancer, diarrheal diseases,  reproductive health and traumatic injuries.

Hoffman, who is also the US-based director of UNC’s research, care and training site in Malawi, said, “The UNC faculty based at our well-established international sites provide excellent mentorship to young scholars. The combination of dedicated in-country leadership and robust research infrastructure is the strength of our program.”

With this new grant from the Doris Duke Foundation and a recently announced UNC-led consortium that will train pre- and post-doctoral fellows through the Fogarty Global Health Fellows program, UNC is playing a critical role in building the next generation of global health leaders.

The application process for the 2013-2014 fellowship year begins in November, and applications are due January 15, 2013. Students enrolled at any U.S.-based medical school are eligible for the ICRF.  For more information about the ICRF at UNC, visit our web page.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.


Media contact: Lisa Chensvold, 919-843-5719 / lisa_chensvold@med.unc.edu

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