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Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine (FRCS)

Made possible through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

We are announcing a request for applications for support from the Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine (FRCS), made possible by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and funding from the Yale School of Medicine. The FRCS program provides supplemental research support to early-career physician-scientists and scientists who face significant caregiving demands. The goal of the program is to retain such scientists in the research enterprise. Yale is one of only 10 institutions in the country selected for this timely and important award. We encourage junior investigators, who are experiencing significant caregiving burden, to apply. Our process will consider the degree of demonstrated caregiving burden and prioritize applicants with limited access to other resources such as institutional support packages. Funds can be used to “buy out” clinical obligations or to hire additional research staff in order to optimize research activities.

Key Dates

  • Application due date: February 25, 2021
  • Earliest anticipated start date: April 1, 2021


  • Applicants must have a full-time Yale faculty appointment at the level of Assistant Professor or Instructor at the time of the award.
  • Applicants may not have been a faculty member for more than 10 years by the anticipated start date of April 1, 2021. The 10-year period is cumulative and includes all appointments as assistant professor, associate research scientist, lecturer, or instructor at any institution (any part time appointments and leaves of absence should be described and will be considered in calculating the total time at a faculty rank).
  • Applicants with a MD, DO or PhD degree are eligible to apply. Applicants with a MD or DO must also have a current medical license.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a compelling need for the supplement that is related to being a caregiver.
  • Applicants must have existing research support such as a career development award, research project grant or serve as a PI on a supplement. Internal start-up funds do not satisfy this requirement.
  • Applicants must show evidence of strong research training and productivity.
  • Applicants must be conducting a clinical research project that has the potential to impact human health. Clinical Research is defined as the scientific investigation of the etiology, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of human disease using human subjects, human populations, or materials of human origin. Included in the definition are studies that utilize only tissues or pathogens if they can be linked to a patient.
  • Previous awardees may request a second year of support in select circumstances if well justified and if previously awarded funds have been expended by the anticipated start date.

Award Information

  • Applicants may request $30,000 to $50,000 for research support for a one-year period.
  • Applicants or their departments must provide matching funds for 25% of the requested amount, these funds can come from start up funds, departmental funds, or other unrestricted discretionary funds.
  • Funds must be used to further the applicant’s research and may not be used directly for childcare or other caregiving costs. For example, funds may be used to support additional research team members such as a data analyst, a study coordinator or a laboratory technician, or to enable the applicant to reduce clinical effort and gain protected time for research.
  • Funds may not be used to support experiments that utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals.


Applications are due on February 25, 2021 at 5 pm and are to be submitted via an online questionnaire. Please pay careful attention to all application instructions and required submission templates.

FRCS Leadership

  • Dr. Juthani is an Infectious Diseases physician at Yale School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Pennsylvania, attended Cornell University Medical College, completed residency training at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Campus, and was a Chief Resident at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She arrived at Yale School of Medicine in 2002 for Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training and joined the full-time faculty in 2006. She assumed the role of Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director in 2012. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been instrumental in leading the ID efforts at Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital. Her federally funded research has focused on infections in older adults, specifically urinary tract infections and pneumonia. Most notably, she was the Principal Investigator of an R01-funded research project that resulted in the 2016 JAMA publication entitled, “Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” This publication received widespread attention in the lay press, including The New York Times and CNN to name a few, and achieved an Almetric Attention Score of 1546, placing it in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric. In December 2016, The New Yorker identified this research as one of the most notable medical findings of 2016, and Dr. Juthani was interviewed and featured in the GeriPal and Gastropod podcasts. Additionally, in her parallel work with pneumonia prevention, she was the first author on the 2015 Clinical Infectious Diseases publication entitled, “A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial of a Multicomponent Intervention Protocol for Pneumonia Prevention Among Nursing Home Elders.” In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dr. Juthani enjoys talking and writing about medical topics in the lay press. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been featured on CNN, WTNH, ABC's 20/20, CT Public Radio/NPR, BBC's News Hour, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and CGTN. Her written pieces have been featured in The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, Pacific Standard, and Next Avenue. Her most recent area of research interest is at the interface of infectious diseases and palliative care, specifically the role of antibiotics at the end of life. Additional areas of interest include antibiotic resistant organisms, the emergence and spread of resistant organisms, hospital epidemiology, and medical education.

  • Growing up in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, a health professional shortage area, Marcella Nuñez-Smith, MD, MHS, remembers stories of loved ones and members of her community who struggled with their health or died prematurely. That experience led her to pursue a career in medicine and conduct research that focuses on vulnerable populations and their interactions with healthcare systems.

    Ever since her arrival at Yale as a fellow in what is now the National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP), Dr. Nuñez-Smith has been on a mission to address health and healthcare inequities wherever they are found. As a 2006 YCCI Scholar, she gathered data for what is now known as PreDict (Patient-Reported Experiences of Discrimination in Care). PreDict is a tool that assesses the patient care experience and hospital performance with the goal of improving the quality of care. 

    Dr. Nuñez-Smith went on to develop the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN), a collaborative multi-million dollar research study funded by the National Institute for Minority Health Disparities (NIMHD). ECHORN examines the risk factors and prevalence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease in the Eastern Caribbean.

    Both ECHORN and PreDict are now incorporated into the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC), for which Dr. Nuñez-Smith is director. ERIC builds on the experience of Dr. Nuñez-Smith and 60 team members involved in research to narrow health and healthcare inequities, as well as disparities in the healthcare workforce and medical education.

    Dr. Nuñez-Smith serves as academic advisor to Yale School of Medicine students. She also continues her involvement with the NCSP as a core faculty member of the Scholars Program and co-director of Community Research Initiatives.