Department of Medicine Fellows Research Retreat connects fellows with resources and support to launch research careers

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Department of Medicine recently held its annual Fellows Research Retreat, a virtual event for fellows with a focus on establishing research careers. 60 fellows and about 15 faculty and staff attended the January event.

“The goal for the retreat was to familiarize our fellows with important milestones along the path to obtaining a career development award and becoming an independent researcher,” said Matthew Crowley, MD, MHS, associate director for Research Development (Clinical Sciences) and associate professor of medicine (Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition), who helped plan the event. “We also wanted to make sure fellows are aware of the many funding and career development opportunities available to them here at Duke.”

During the event, fellows heard from Department leaders on resources and support for conducting research at Duke. Speakers included Kathleen Cooney, MD, MACP, chair of the Department of Medicine; Scott Palmer, MD, MHS, vice chair for research; Gow Arepally, MD (Scientific Integrity); Armando Bedoya, MD, MMCi (Data Sciences at Duke); Maren Olsen, PhD (Statistics Options); and Laura Svetkey, MD, MHS (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion).

Participants then attended small group sessions based on their research interests. A clinical research group was led by Dr. Crowley, and a basic/translational group was led by Xunrong Luo, MD, PhD, associate director of the Physician-Scientist Training Program in the Department of Medicine.

Key takeways from the Fellow Research Retreat

  • The Department of Medicine Research Development Council exists to help our research fellows succeed via: 1) individual meetings with tailored counseling; 2) research concept reviews; 3) statistical consultation; and 4) grant writing support.
  • The Research Development Council has generated extensive materials that will help fellows understand milestones along the path to independent research, as well as stage-appropriate funding and development opportunities available to them.
  • Fellows should not hesitate to reach out to the Research Development Council for any questions at all. Email Saini Pillai (, or reach out directly to Matt Crowley ( to discuss clinical research or Xunrong Luo ( to discuss basic or translational research

“The Department is committed to helping our fellows succeed, and we hope all fellows take advantage of the assistance the DOM Research Development Council has to offer,” said Crowley.