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Research

University surgeons exist in an intensely multidisciplinary world. In this academic environment, where new techniques, technologies, and scientific perspectives are constantly being developed and evaluated, it is critical that trainees have the opportunity to acquire skills in experimental study design, execution, and evaluation.

The overarching goal of the research fellowship is to provide trainees the tools to engage at the highest levels in academic biomedical research and to develop a solid foundation for an academic career.

Whether this involves bench research, leading clinical trials, outcomes research, education or being clinical leaders with strong scientific insight, we intend to provide a platform for robust scientific inquiry.

Dr. Whitney Lane, General Surgery Resident, describes the myriad of research opportunities and collaborations available to Duke residents.

Process

All general surgery residents will prepare for, and participate in, a two-year basic science research fellowship (unless other arrangements have been made and approved by the program director, appropriate surgery division chief, and chair).

PGY1 Year

The selection of a research laboratory and mentor and research topic are identified and submitted to the research fellowship program director.

PGY2 Year

All rising research fellows develop and submit a Kirchstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) proposal for the April deadline prior to their first research year. 

This requirement provides an essential academic experience—applying for a grant from the NIH—and gives fellows the opportunity to develop a research plan for internal NIH-funded fellowship (institutional T32) grants, the DCRI Research Fellowship Training Program, or foundation fellowships, such as the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education (TSFRE), Ethicon-SUS (Society of University Surgeons), the American College of Surgeons Clinical Scholars in Residence Program, or the American Cancer Society, amongst others.

PGY3 and 4 Year

Active Research Fellowship – no clinical responsibilities

For more information about the General Surgery Research Fellowship, contact: 

Rita L. Chambers, MBA, MSL
Email: rita.chambers@duke.edu

Training

Within the context of their individual research efforts and the scientific mentorship of research directors, fellows will:

  • Develop and implement a clinical or basic science research project
  • Develop skills to critically evaluate the scientific literature
  • Develop a basic understanding of statistics and epidemiology
  • Understand ethical behavior in performance of human and animal research
  • Submit protocols for approval to IRB/IACUC successfully and in a timely manner
  • Create a year-end research summary demonstrating oral and visual presentation skills
  • Acquire basic skills of writing and submitting manuscripts/abstracts
  • Actively participate in and attend conferences (80 percent conference attendance required)
  • Coordinate learning opportunities for fellow residents
  • Present at local, regional, national, or international scientific meetings

Conference Attendance

Included in the research fellowship is at least one major meeting in the area of investigation each year.

In addition, fellows who successfully submit abstracts and are invited to give platform presentations at meetings within the continental U.S. may apply for their meeting registration, travel, and housing to be funded by the residency program (within the approved guidelines).

Fellows who have successfully obtained external funding for attending conferences may use these funds with the approval of their research mentor and the research fellowship program director.

Research Laboratories

General Surgery residents have the opportunity to work within a wide range of research labs run by Duke Surgery faculty. See all Research Laboratories.

InnovateMD

InnovateMD is an educational program within Duke MEDx designed to provide medical/surgical trainees and faculty with an educational and experience-based opportunity to collaborate with engineering students and faculty in the field of medical device innovation. The program was co-founded in early 2016 by David Ranney, MD, General Surgery Resident, and Ken Gall, PhD, Associate Director of Duke MEDx and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Learn more about InnovateMD.

Learn more about the Duke Surgery Research Training Fellowship in a presentation by David Harpole, MD, Fellowship Director.

View Presentation