Fellowship Program Information

The DDRF fellowship program provides a year of financial support to exceptional medical students to conduct clinical research in gastroenterology  under the tutelage of an experienced mentor.  It is expected that the student’s clinical research project will be a full-time commitment. DDRF will consider alternate schedules under certain circumstances.

Key Features of the DDRF Student Clinical Research Program:

  • Focus on students: The number of medical students applying for a scholarly research year 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 medical training lays invaluable foundations for a future career as a physician-scientist.

  • 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-scientists. Funding shortages and increased financial pressures are barriers to research opportunities for many of today’s students.  By exposing medical students to GI research and leading mentors, DDRF seeks to inspire the next generation of physician scientists in the field of gastroenterology.

Fellowship Awards

DDRF awards year-long, full-time fellowships, which includes a $35,000 stipend, a health insurance allowance of up to $4,000 per year, travel and related expenses for the student’s participation/presentation at pre-approved medical conferences, and appropriate research supports. The student is responsible for paying all applicable taxes related to their stipend and will receive a 1099-MISC form.

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, and who is willing to supervise the student. The 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 applying for a DDRF fellowship with an existing DDRF mentor (see Mentor tab) should submit a fellowship application along with the required supporting documents. Students applying for a fellowship award with a mentor who is new to DDRF must submit both a Fellowship Application and Mentor letter 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
Notification of award: No later than May 1
Internship start date: July 1 or no later than August 31
Internship duration: 9 - 12 months

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee that includes DDRF physician-scientist mentors and members of the DDRF board. For questions regarding the application process, email info@ddrf.org.


To download a DDRF Fellowship Application, please click here.