Scholarly Activities

Clinical research is a key mission of the Department of Medicine. Our faculty investigators are known for results with high impact on improving health outcomes.

Similarly, the Duke Internal Medicine Residency Program promotes and nurtures resident research and productivity to:

  • Train the next generation of clinical investigators and physician-scientists
  • Promote intellectual and academic curiosity
  • Support academic subspecialty fellowship applications
  • Lay the foundation for successful careers in academic medicine.

Scholarly activities

All Duke Internal Medicine residents are required to carry out scholarly activities. There are diverse opportunities, including case studies, literature reviews, teaching conferences, quality improvement, as well as research projects.  Residents are strongly encouraged to directly become involved in clinical research, including patient-oriented research, basic laboratory-based investigation, as well as translational research projects.

Research curriculum

Research opportunities are available for all residents, including residents with a prior track record of research experience (eg. MD, PhD residents), as well as those residents who do not have prior research experience but who desire research training and experience during residency training. Learn more.

The Robert J. Lefkowitz Society

The Robert J. Lefkowitz Society provides a home for MD and MD/PhD post-graduate trainees who are in the Duke University Department of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship programs and are pursuing careers with a primary focus on basic and translational research as physician-investigators. Learn more.

Duke's program is incredibly supportive of resident research. Participating in the Comprehensive Introduction to Clinical Research course and attending GME research training sessions have given me the tools to design my own clinical studies and submit grants for research funding. I am excited to build on these skills in becoming an independent and academic leader in oncology. 

 Rajiv Agarwal, MD, Internal Medicine Resident, Class of 2016

Advising and mentoring

Every Duke Internal Medicine resident is assigned a faculty advisor who meets regularly with the resident to discuss clinical performance, research opportunities and career interests.  At the beginning of the training in each academic year, the specific background and research interests of each Intern and the career aspirations are identified.  Potential research mentors are suggested and contacted so that residents can begin early on during their training to identify their mentor, schedule meetings and formulate research projects. Learn more.

The Clinical Implications of Basic Research / Mechanisms of Disease conference series for residents and the Department of Medicine Research Conference throughout the academic year provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about state-of-the-art clinical, basic science and translational research carried out at Duke and presented by distinguished Duke clinical investigators, physician-scientists and scientists who exemplify role models in academic medicine.

Residents who would like to pursue patient-oriented clinical investigation and research projects are encouraged to apply for a four-week course that is offered during the PGY-2 year. The structured curriculum of the Comprehensive Introduction to Clinical Research (ClinEpi) course provides training in basic methodology of clinical research and study design, including clinical research methods in epidemiology, biostatistics, and data base management.

Learn about other resources available to support your research career.

Research funding

To facilitate the implementation of resident research projects, funding support is also available for selected research projects.  Additionally, protected time in the form of research electives are granted to selected residents who have formulated a research project and plan.

The Faculty Resident Research Grants consist of $2,000 awards per research proposal, part of which may be utilized for travel to scientific meetings to present research results. The request for applications (RFA) is announced in November and the grant applications are due by March of each academic year. Funding is available as of July 1st of the next academic year after a grant review process and selection of the proposals for funding by a faculty committee.

In April 2014, a total of 23 resident research projects were approved for funding by the Program Leadership and the Department of Medicine. Learn more.

Research events and awards

All residents are encouraged to submit their research findings for presentation at local or national professional and scientific society meetings, such as the annual meeting of the American College of Physicians or scientific society meetings of subspecialties of Internal Medicine.

Residents present their research projects during Resident Research Night in June of each academic year, when the Califf Medicine Resident Research Awards, which promote and celebrate resident research, are presented at the conclusion of poster sessions and oral research presentations. Learn more.