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ASPIRE Internship: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Scientific Peer Review Management Intern

Posted by on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in Announcements .

ASPIRE Internship Opportunity:

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
New York, NY 10019

Scientific Peer Review Management Intern

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being, and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The foundation’s Medical Research Program supports clinical research that advances the translation of biomedical discoveries into new preventions, diagnoses and treatments for human diseases. To learn more about the program, visit

Do you want to learn what it is like to work at a nonprofit grant making organization and to take a deep dive into scientific peer review? The Medical Research Program is seeking an intern to help manage a competition to select the 2020 Doris Duke Physician Scientist Fellowships. The specific goals of the Physician Scientist Fellowship program are to: 1) provide support to physician scientists in subspecialty training to conduct an outstanding clinical research project; 2) ensure research time protection to enable development of research skills; and 3) facilitate strong mentorship relations.

The intern will help with the following steps in the peer review and selection process:

  • Revise guidelines for the reviewers who help select finalists
  • Help check compliance of applications to competition guidelines
  • Read application abstracts and help assign reviewers to each application based on scientific content
  • Communicate with reviewers by email
  • Go over reviewers’ scores and comments and help set the order of discussion for the panel meeting
  • Participate in the panel meeting, which takes place by teleconference on March 16, and take notes
  • Work with Grants Management to revise grant agreement language
  • Work with the Communications department to draft a press release

This internship should enhance the intern’s understanding of:

  • Scientific peer review
  • Components of a successful research proposal
  • Components of a successful mentoring plan
  • Translational and clinical research
  • Grant contracts and agreements
  • Challenges for physician scientists in post-doctoral training
  • What it is like to work at a nonfederal grantmaking organization and to interact with Medical Research Program staff plus Grants Management and Communications

Internship details

  • The intern will work closely with Sindy Escobar Alvarez, PhD, Senior Program Officer, and Betsy Myers, PhD., Director of the Medical Research Program. We are both PhDs who made the transition from academic research to a nonprofit biomedical grantmaking organization.
  • The internship will run for 12 weeks from January 2020 to end of March 2020.
  • Time commitment will be 8-10 hours per week.
  • The intern will work remotely except for a trip to the foundation in New York City at the beginning of the internship (travel to/from and lodging in New York City will be covered by the foundation). The tentative dates of the visit are January 6-7, 2020.
  • Internship will be paid

Deadline to Apply:  Noon, Friday, Dec 6, 2019

 To apply:

  • Fill out the following ASPIRE Internship Application found here: (
  • Submit a CV and cover letter to Ashley Brady at  (Please submit documents as pdfs with your last name_DorisDuke_Sp2020 in the file name and with subject line: Doris Duke Spring 2020.  The candidate should describe qualifications and interest in the cover letter.
  • Schedule an “internship” meeting with Ashley Brady via prior to the application deadline.

Your information will then be passed along to the host who will contact you directly to schedule an interview.


Please review ASPIRE Internship FAQs: Found here
​For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (

Eligibility requirements

  • Applicants must be a current Vanderbilt University PhD student or a current postdoctoral fellow.
  • All PhD students must have completed all coursework for their degree prior to the start of the internship.
  • Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  • Students and postdocs may not participate in more than one internship at a time.  More than one application may be submitted at a single time, but only one position can be accepted.
  • If you are not in a department supported by the BRET office, we will also require that you complete a form guaranteeing PI approval to participate in this program.  Please contact Ashley Brady at for more information.
  • If you are an international student or postdoctoral fellow, your visa status may affect your work eligibility. Please contact Ashley Brady ( to discuss this further.

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