Fellowship Program Information

The DDRF fellowship program provides financial support to medical students in the 2nd or 3rd year for approximately one year of full-time research under the direct tutelage of a carefully chosen mentor. This program is intended to develop serious interest in a career as a physician-scientist in the field of gastroenterology among medical students. Grant payments are made directly to students and are generally for a 9-12 month period, with the understanding that the student’s clinical research project will be a full-time commitment under close mentorship by a senior physician scientist. DDRF will consider alternate schedules under certain circumstances.

Key Features of the DDRF Student Clinical Research Program:

  • Focus on students: In recent years, the number of medical students taking a year off during medical school in order to explore a special scholarly interest has increased. But with only about 150 funded internships available nationally, 90% of applicants are unable to receive financial support.
    A successful research experience during student life correlates with the later choice of a career that includes research.
  • Focus on mentoring: Medical students pursuing one-year scholarly opportunities receive one-on-one mentoring from an established physician-scientist. The identification of a committed mentor is essential to the success of the year.
  • Focus on clinical research in gastroenterology: The burden of digestive diseases in the United States and world-wide is enormous. Continued progress in the field depends on the research efforts of gifted physician-investigators. Recruitment of gifted students into gastroenterology research is more challenging today related to funding shortages, increased financial pressures on students, and alternative career paths. DDRF is dedicated to exposing medical students to G.I. research, with the goal of encouraging students to pursue careers as clinician-researchers in the field of gastroenterology.

Fellowship Awards

DDRF will award up to two year-long, full-time fellowships per year. Each full-time award will be made in the amount of $35,000 per year, to be paid directly to the student in quarterly increments of $8,750. DDRF will also cover student’s healthcare expenses up to $4,000 per year. In addition, DDRF will cover travel and related expenses for the student’s participation/presentation at pre-approved medical conferences. The student is responsible for paying all applicable taxes for receipt of their award and will receive a 1099-MISC form for their Fellowship stipend payments.

Funding Criteria and Eligibility

Students must choose a research topic focused on advancing the understanding and treatment of digestive diseases, and assume a leadership role for the study. They must designate a mentor, who is an established and committed physician-scientist in the chosen research area, who is willing to supervise the student. The chosen research topic must:

  • Expose the student to all elements of designing and implementing a research project (i.e. IRB submission, statistical design, subject recruitment, subject management, data analysis, safety monitoring, preparation of abstract and/or full-length manuscript, travel to meetings, and inclusion in conferences).
  • Have clear objectives that are feasible to complete in one year.
  • Represent a full-time professional effort for the student during the twelve month fellowship period.

The Application Process

Students interested in applying for a DDRF fellowship with an existing DDRF mentor should submit a fellowship application along with the required supporting documents. Students applying for a fellowship award with a new mentor (who is not already a current DDRF mentor) must submit both a Fellowship and Mentor Application along with required supporting documents. Applicants will be notified via email of receipt of materials. DDRF will review all applications and notify applicants of status within one month of receipt of the application.

Application deadline: April 1, 2016
Notification of award: No later than May 1, 2016
Internship start date: No later than August 31, 2016
Internship duration: Expected to be no less than 9 months and no more than 12 months

Review Process

Awards will be made by a special committee of DDRF that will include DDRFphysician-scientist mentors and members of the DDRF board who serve on the Grants Committee. For questions regarding the application process, email info@ddrfny.org or call 212-659-2258.


To download a DDRF Fellowship Application,please click here

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Jay Desai 2006-2007 DDRF Fellow