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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 writing to announce a request for applications for supplemental research support from 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. Funding is provided by the Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine (FRCS), funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Yale School of Medicine. 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 to optimize research activities.

Applicants must have a compelling, time-sensitive need for the funds to regain research momentum because of increased family caregiving responsibilities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, another disease, or hardship. Typically, this would be childcare, partner care, and/or eldercare, but applicants may make a case for other reasonable family caregiving responsibilities.

Key Dates

  • Application due date: Friday, March 17, 2023
  • Earliest anticipated start date: Monday, May 1, 2023


  • Applicants must have a full-time faculty appointment at the Yale School of Medicine as Assistant Professor or Instructor at the time of the award.
  • Faculty at the Yale School of Public Health are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicants may not have been a faculty member for more than ten years by the anticipated award start date of May 1, 2023. 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 an MD or a DO degree must have a current US medical license.
  • Applicants with a PhD degree are eligible.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a compelling need for the supplement related to being a caregiver.
  • Applicants must have an active intra or extramural career development award or research project grant with annual direct costs sufficient to provide both research and salary support. Internal start-up funds do not satisfy this requirement.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 50% effort allocation to research at the time of application.
  • Applicants must show evidence of strong research training and productivity.
  • Applicants must be conducting an original and rigorous clinical research project that has the potential to address a health issue that poses a significant clinical burden (with considerable morbidity and mortality, whether it is a rare or common condition) and that has the potential for societal benefit. 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 tissues or pathogens only 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 are eligible to request up to $40,000 for research support for a one-year period. The final funding amount will be decided by the review committee based on the statement of need, how support will alleviate, in the short term, the impact of caregiving responsibilities on the research program, and available funding.
  • Applicants or their departments are encouraged to provide matching funds for 25% of the requested amount; these funds can come from startup funds, departmental funds, or other unrestricted discretionary funds.
  • Funds must be used to further research. Examples include technical support, grant-writing support, or buy-out of required clinical time so that more time can be spent on research. The funds may not be used for the following:
    • Childcare or other caregiving costs directly,
    • Research costs that would not directly help Program Scholars reclaim their research time, or
    • Travel
  • Funds may not be used to support experiments that utilize animals or primary tissues derived from animals.

Application Information

Applications must be submitted by Friday, March 17, 2023, using the online form.

FRCS Leadership

  • Keith Choate M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist who employs tools of human genetics to understand fundamental mechanisms of disease. His laboratory studies rare inherited and mosaic skin disorders to identify novel genes responsible for epidermal differentiation and development.  His laboratory has identified the genetic basis of over 12 disorders and has developed new therapeutic approaches informed by genetic findings.  His laboratory is funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health.Dr. Choate mentors undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in his laboratory, teaches at Yale Medical School, and trains resident physicians and fellows.
  • 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.