Chancellor's Discovery Program Research Fund


Application Deadline: January 25, 2018

The Chancellor’s Discovery Program is intended to fuel new opportunities for innovative research projects at Duke Health that can lead to long-term externally funded research support. The Discovery Program will fund up to five one-year awards of $75,000 in 2018 to initiate support for exciting new research projects led by regular-rank faculty members, at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher, with primary appointments in basic and clinical departments of the Duke Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Every applicant is required to provide clear documentation that the project represents a new, unfunded line of investigation; lack of such documentation will result in triage. In addition, every submission must convey the innovative nature and likely impact of the project and clearly explain how this funding will be used to support the subsequent application for major research funding.

SUBMISSION CLOSES AT 11:59 PM on January 25, 2018. 

Questions should be addressed to Paige Smith at or 919-684-6425.


Each award will consist of $75,000 for one year, with an expected start date of April 15, 2018.  A one-page summary of the outcome of the project is required at the close of the funding year.  Previous recipients may apply for renewal for an additional year of funding.  When requested, all awardees will be expected to provide updates of publications and long-term grant support that originated from the award.


Proposals will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Innovation and creativity
  • Strong scientific merit and feasibility
  • Lack of overlap with existing funding – applications will be triaged if it is not clear that they represent a novel research avenue for the faculty member(s).  This RFP should be viewed as an opportunity to explore new ideas outside the realm of the investigator’s current research portfolio.  Inclusion of preliminary findings is not required and may be disadvantageous if the project is deemed to be beyond the discovery stage.


Awarded funds must be used to conduct the project proposed.  Discovery Funds can be used to purchase reagents or materials or to pay for the time/effort of a person conducting work as part of the project, or other expenses directly incurred as a part of the proposed project.  All applications, including collaborative proposals, must identify only a single project leader/principal investigator (PI).


Only faculty members at the rank of Assistant Professor or higher on any regular-rank track with primary appointments in basic or clinical departments of the Duke University Schools of Medicine and Nursing are eligible to submit a proposal and to be identified as PI.  Each eligible faculty member is permitted to submit ONLY ONE application as PI.


Applications will be reviewed by ad hoc internal reviewers recruited as necessary to provide content area expertise.  Applications for projects that are perceived to overlap currently or recently funded lines of investigation will not be reviewed.


Proposals must include:

  • A title page that includes ONLY the following:  title of the proposal, a brief abstract that summarizes the project and its expected impact (not to exceed 250 words), the PI’s name, primary appointment, faculty rank and contact information, and the names and primary affiliation of other senior/key personnel.  Note that all applications must identify only a single PI. 
  • A narrative that includes: 1) a more complete description of the project, rationale, planned experiments, and expected outcomes, 2) a brief statement summarizing the innovative nature of the proposed research, and 3) a summary of the expected impact on the faculty member’s future research directions.  Applications have a 3 page limit, and should be single spaced, Arial 11 point font, with 1 inch margins on all sides.  Figures and images are included in the three-page limit; references do not count toward the page limit.
  • An NIH-style biosketch of the PI (new format; 5-page maximum).  Download instructions and sample; all recently completed funding (within 3 years) should appear on the biosketch.
  • A listing of all current and pending research support in the format of NIH other Support.  If any listed funding appears to have overlap with the proposed research, you should carefully describe how the proposed research represents a new direction in your research program (each overlap statement not to exceed 500 words).
  • A budget and budget justification should be included using the Downloadable NIH PHS 398 form page 4.


The application deadline is 11:59 pm, January 25, 2018.


The title page, narrative, biosketch, other support, budget, and budget justification should each be uploaded as separate documents through My Research Proposal.  All documents must be submitted in pdf form.  To submit nominations for this RFP:

  • To apply visit MyResearchProposal and click on “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account.) 
  • Download and review a step-by-step user’s guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software.
  • Enter Access Code ‘SOM’ then select the “Chancellor’s Discovery Program 2018” opportunity and follow the instructions.

For questions related to accessing the system, please contact Anita Brantley at or

For questions related to this RFP, please contact