OPSD Resources

The goals of the Office of Physician-Scientist Development are to:
  • Develop a sustainable pipeline for physician-scientists in the School of Medicine
  • Coordinate physician-scientist development and community across the School of Medicine
  • Provide infrastructure and resources for physician-scientists in the School of Medicine
  • Increase the number of MDs and MD/PhDs who pursue, succeed, and are retained in basic, clinical, and translational research

OPSD offers concept reviews only to physician-scientist trainees and junior faculty registered in OPSD Scholars who do not have access to a department-run research development or concept review program. If the scholar is unsure about whether they have access to departmental resources, they should inquire with their OPSD Scholars Coordinator and Master Mentor. Participants must commit to providing a draft specific aims page (pre-vetted by a research mentor) at least one week in advance of the scheduled concept review meeting.

The purpose is to identify weaknesses in the scientific concepts early on that can be fixed via changes in strategies, presentation, new collaborations, or improved use of available resources.  This program can be used to vet grants of any size (e.g., K01, K23, R03, R01) and is most useful in the early stages of grant planning, before expending much time writing.

What is a “Concept Review”?

Investigators present their proposed scientific grant idea to a small group of established investigators with relevant expertise and participate in an open discussion with their specific aims page as the starting point

 Process for Concept Review Set-Up:

  1.  At least 2-3 months before the submission due date, the investigator contacts OPSD with the following information:
    •  Whether their research is basic, clinical, or translational
    •  The name and submission date of the award they are applying for
    •  The title of their proposal
    •  The name of their mentor(s) and 5-6 investigators from anywhere within Duke University who have expertise relevant to the subject matter: investigators are encouraged to think outside of the box here.
    •  What days and times the investigator is available for a 90-minute review within the next 3-4 weeks
  2.  The senior basic or clinical faculty lead looks over the suggested SOM reviewers and adds suggestions as needed
  3.  OPSD contacts reviewers to set a date/time for the review session
  4.  Reviewers receive the Specific Aims page of the investigator one week prior to the review session
  5.  The overall format for this 90-minute concept review session is as follows:
    • The investigator presents an outline of the grant (including the background, preliminary data, and research plan) via PowerPoint to a small group of Duke investigators whose expertise aligns with the proposed research (3-5 reviewers total)
    •  Following the presentation, the group provides feedback through an open discussion focused on identifying possible problems and offering suggestions to improve the planned proposal
    •  The OPSD Scholars Coordinator will complete a concept review outcome form to provide notes and feedback after the review session

For more information on the concept review process, including eligibility and program requirements, please email opsd@dm.duke.edu .

The Research Careers Ahead! Professional Development Series aims to inspire students, trainees and junior faculty to embrace a research career.  Each session will equip participants with knowledge and skills needed to develop a robust research program as well as provide an opportunity for professional networking with other scientists. 

If you have a topic, speaker or idea you would like to share, please contact us.


June 28, 4-5pm

Mechanics of Writing a Compelling Grant: What Reviewers Want to See and How to Give it to Them Michael Dee Gunn, MD, Professor of Medicine and Immunology

View prior sessions:

Strategies for Navigating the Academic Job Market  Andrew Landstrom, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University (May 24, 2023)

Dr. Landstrom focuses on practical tips and advice on the transition from the end of training to a faculty position from a first-hand perspective. 

How to Effectively Use Social Media for Public Engagement in Science  Matthew Sparks, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Program Director, Nephrology Fellowship (April 26, 2023)

This session will focus on how to use modern communication skills to not only promote your science, but also to propel your career.

Tips for Writing an Effective Abstract  Samantha Kaplan, PhD; Research and Education Liaison Librarian to the School of Medicine, Duke Medical Center Library (March 22, 2023)

When you search PubMed (or most databases), did you know you’re only searching the title, abstract and keywords? That’s why it’s so important to write an effective, concise, and clear abstract! Watch this session to understand how abstracts help people find your paper, learn how to pick keywords, and think about how to refine your abstract writing skills.