School of Medicine -- 2024 Borden Scholars

Funding Agency:
Duke University

Duke University School of Medicine invites partnership applications from Duke faculty and postdoctoral fellows to explore innovative approaches to harness the immune system to combat cancer. This opportunity is made possible through a generous philanthropic gift from Dr. Ernest and Louise Borden. The intent of these awards is to develop a funding trajectory for junior faculty members through support for an outstanding postdoctoral fellow in their laboratory, together with associated research expenses. Awarded projects will receive $50,000 for a 12-month project period. Areas of focus include, but are not restricted to, immune checkpoint inhibitors, innovative research in tumor evasion, and novel approaches to cell therapy.  

Application packets should be submitted by February 8, 2024, at 5:00pm by email to Late applications will not be considered. Applications should be a single pdf packet that contains: 

·         Research description (limit 3 pages excluding references), including the project aims and significance, translational potential, and overview of the trainee’s research experience, including achievements to date, impact of the proposed project on the trainee’s career advancement plans, and the mentoring role of the faculty member in the proposed project.  

·         Applicant and trainee NIH biosketches  

·         Budget, using PHS 398 form page 4 

·         Budget justification (limit 1 page) 

Eligibility Requirements

This opportunity is open to all faculty at the Assistant or Associate Professor level with primary appointments at Duke University, together with a postdoctoral fellow either already in the faculty member’s lab, or already scheduled to begin working with the faculty member. Applications should be jointly authored by the faculty member and the postdoctoral fellow. Previous Borden Scholars are eligible to apply, although the proposed project must be substantially different from prior applications. 

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of senior faculty and scored anonymously using the NIH scale. All applications will be evaluated based on the novelty, translational relevance, interdisciplinarity, and potential for future funding and publications. Special consideration will be paid to the mentoring plan and the impact of the proposed project on the trainee’s career advancement. 



Amount Description

Awarded projects will receive $50,000 for a 12-month project period beginning April 1, 2024. Funds may be used to support trainee effort, supplies, research services, equipment, and travel necessary to complete the aims of the project. No faculty effort may be included.  

Funding Type



Junior Faculty
Post Doctoral Fellows


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science

External Deadline

February 8, 2024