Duke CTSA TL1 Post-Doctoral Training Program

The Duke CTSA TL1 postdoctoral program is a 2-year training program aiming to provide 2 years of funded time to support the research training of outstanding junior scientists.  We welcome applications from  all eligible potential postdoctoral fellows in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, but we have particular interest in applicants who are interested in broadening their previous training to include a new category of research methodology (e.g., bench science trainees looking to gain training in translational or clinical research, or vice versa).  We also have particular interest in applicants looking to obtain training in data science methodology. The Duke CTSA TL1 will typically be for two years, will provide tailored professional development support, an NIH-scale postdoctoral stipend, as well as federally-designated training-related expenses.


Eligible applicants will be US citizens or resident aliens with a PhD and no more than 2 prior years on a federal postdoctoral training grant, usually 0-3 years after completion of their PhD program.  Awards will typically be for two years and will provide an NIH-scale postdoctoral stipend as well as federally-designated training-related expenses.


Scientific mentors must support the application. Applicants must have identified an outstanding senior primary research mentor at Duke with whom they will work closely to complete scientific projects with the goal of achieving career development or independent funding.  The mentorship team should also include a quantitative mentor (ie, a statistician or other strong data analyst), and may have other faculty members as expertise is needed for the proposed science.  Applications should include the primary mentor’s NIH biosketch, and a letter of support from the primary mentor indicating both intellectual and resource support for the applicant. This letter should include a statement as to whether or not the mentor is willing to review applications to the program for years during which the mentor has a trainee supported by the grant.


Didactic Coursework directly relevant to the trainee’s professional development may be proposed, and should be delineated in a separate document as part of the application.  Under many circumstances coursework may be paid for by the CTSA TL1.  These courses should be identified by location and number of hours, and the applicant’s need for each course should be justified in that document.  Applicants proposing a very new direction—for example, the blending of clinical into basic science—should strongly consider proposing course work to support the new methodology.


Applications are due Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Up to 3 fellowships may be awarded.  Awardees may start at any reasonable time after acceptance, but a July 1 start date is targeted.

Application process

Applications require the following:

  1. A brief (300-600 word) personal statement describing the applicant’s intended scientific career trajectory.

  2. A 4-5 page scientific project proposal describing in some methodological detail a core project to be completed during the training period.  The project should be an important, novel scientific endeavor, and should be feasible but not trivial to complete over the two year training period. This project proposal will be evaluated for significance, innovation, and soundness of approach, and will be the most important element of the application. 

  3. Applicant’s NIH biosketch.

  4. Primary mentor’s NIH biosketch.

  5. Letter of support from the primary mentor that includes a statement as to whether or not the mentor is willing to review applications to the program for years during which the mentor has a trainee supported by the grant.

  6. NEW - Description of proposed mentoring/training plan (include didactic coursework, if applicable).

Please include a footer on each section uploaded by applicant with name of section and page number (i.e. Mentor Biosketch_Page 1 of 5; Department Chair Letter_Page 1 of 3, etc.).

Proposals are submitted via Duke’s MyResearchProposal online submission system.

  • To apply, visit MyResearchProposal and click “Create New User” (or log in if you already have an account).

  • Download a step-by-step user's guide for applying via the MyResearchProposal software.

  • Proposals must be submitted under the applicant’s name.

  • Enter Access Code ‘CTSI’ then select the “Duke CTSA TL1 Postdoctoral Program 2021” funding opportunity and follow the instructions to submit your TL1 application.  

  • For questions concerning MyResearchProposal passwords or system issues, please contact Anita Grissom or Lesia O’Hara at myresearchproposal@duke.edu.

Submit the completed online application form and provide all supporting documents.  

All supporting documents must be submitted as pdfs. 

Contact with questions about the program: 

Stephanie Molner, MSW
CTSA Education Administrator

David Edelman, MD, MHS
Program Director

Kevin Thomas, MD
Program Director

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you accept applications from external institutions?
    No. You must have an appointment at Duke University Medical Center (as of the start of the funding period) to be eligible for the Duke CTSA TL1.

  • My mentor is not in the School of Medicine. Is this allowed?

  • My mentor is not affiliated with Duke. Is this allowed?
    It is strongly preferred that your primary mentor be at Duke.  However, if a mentor outside of Duke can best provide you the guidance and knowledge pertinent to your research project and interests, your primary mentor does not have to be located at Duke. 

  • Can a mentor be on more than one person’s application?

  • Does the quantitative mentor need to be a faculty member or can it be someone from the Biostatistics Core?
    The quantitative mentor must be a faculty member.

  • Does the five-page limit for the proposed research project also include references?

  • The statistician my group works with does not have a faculty appointment, and our group does not have an established relationship with a faculty member statistician. Do you have any recommendations for finding a quantitative mentor?
    It has come to our attention that many people are having a difficult time identifying a quantitative mentor. If your group has worked with a Masters' Statistician, it may be helpful to ask that person for a recommendation of a Statistician with a faculty appointment. If you are unable to identify a quantitative mentor at the time of application, please indicate as such in the application and, if you are awarded the TL1, we will assist you in finding a quantitative mentor.

  • If I begin the online application form, can I and stop and save it to submit later? Or once I begin, do I have to complete and submit it?
    Yes, you can save your application form and submit it later.

  • Is there a specific font/font size/margin I should use for my application?
    Yes. Please refer to NIH submission guidelines for this information.