Opportunities for exposure to research are offered through the Howard Hughes and Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center programs to talented high-school students interested in working in a laboratory during the summer. Undergraduates, graduate students and medical students frequently work in basic research laboratories of investigators in the Center. The Medical Scientist Training Program is one of the oldest in the nation, started in 1966.
Research opportunities also exist during residency training as well as during fellowship and post-doctoral years.
Fellowship opportunities include training grants in Hematology, Cardiology and other Divisions in Medicine. Research opportunities are also available through other clinical and basic science departments at Duke.
Additional opportunities for training exist through a variety of mechanisms, including through the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Center for Human Genetics.
Clinical training opportunities
The Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP) at Duke is funded by a K30 mechanism from the NHLBI. It has offered a formalized academic program in the quantitative and methodological techniques of clinical research to clinical fellows and other health professionals since 1986. In collaboration with the Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center at NIH, this training program is currently offered to medical students, clinical fellows and other health professionals at NIH by means of interactive video-conferencing from Duke, supplemented by web-based instructional modules.
Current initiatives include a systematic expansion, implementation and evaluation of the CRTP distance learning initiative. Faculty development in the use of technology and the curriculum delivery systems used will be designed specifically for the subject matter in the curriculum and the unique needs of the distance learners participating in the program. The resulting curriculum model(s) will be exported to at least one additional site and findings regarding faculty development and curriculum delivery for training clinical researchers will be disseminated.
The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) is another K12 institutional program that was established in 2002. The goals of the program are:
- To contribute to improvement in women's health by providing training and experience in research methodology to new investigators interested in addressing important questions.
- To foster innovative approaches to these questions by encouraging investigators to utilize the wide range of intellectual capital available through interdisciplinary training and collaboration.
- To build the capacity of Duke and North Carolina Central University to provide leadership in women's health research.
- To serve as a model for broad-based interdisciplinary research training and collaboration for both universities.
The program provides didactic and practical training in the conduct of research in women's health for junior faculty across a broad spectrum of disciplines, focusing on four broad areas:
- Clinical Trials and Outcomes
- Decision Making
- Health Disparities
- Basic and Translational Research
It builds upon existing interdisciplinary faculty relationships to foster productive and innovative collaborations and is creating new interdisciplinary research relationships between Duke and NCCU faculty. It also provides additional mechanisms for the ongoing exchange of ideas, methods and insights among the community of researchers at Duke interested in women's health as well as a mechanism for recruitment and career development of junior faculty committed to the long-term goals of the program.
Trainees in the program complete a minimum of two years of mentored research training, including weekly seminars on research methods and career development topics, experience in peer review and grant writing, and completion of at least one project working in conjunction with a senior faculty research mentor. Trainees are expected to complete and submit at least one application for independent research training by the end of their time in the program.