Program Director for Medical Research

New York City, New York (US)
Highly competitive
December 17 2020
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type


The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The Medical Research Program (MRP) aims to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease by strengthening and supporting clinical research.

The foundation is headquartered in New York City and is governed by a board of 12 Trustees.

DDCF's activities are guided by the will of Doris Duke, who endowed the foundation with financial assets that totaled approximately $1.9 billion as of December 31, 2019.    


The Medical Research Program currently supports clinical research through two complementary strategies:

Encourage and Develop Clinical Research Careers

The foundation supports the development of clinical investigators through several competitive grant programs ranging from its core program of support for early career physician scientists to research opportunities for high school and college students with the goal of diversifying of the biomedical research workforce to funding medical students and post-doctoral students to complete immersive research opportunities.

Advance Biomedical Research and Innovation

The foundation also supports innovative approaches to clinical research in targeted disease areas through competitive awards to catalyze breakthroughs in those disease areas. The program has supported innovative clinical research in cardiovascular disease, stroke, blood disorders, sickle cell disease and the development of diagnostics and therapeutic monitoring of AIDS in resource-poor countries. 

The Medical Research Program has made 844 Grants totaling $330.9 million since 2000.


Reporting to the President, the Program Director for the Medical Research Program is responsible for the planning, design, management, and evaluation of the Medical Research Program, which provides approximately $15 million annually to leading researchers and research institutions.

The Program Director designs and manages grantmaking programs that support physician scientists in their research and innovation; that encourage research careers; and that build a diverse pipeline of physician scientists. The Program Director is a member of the foundation’s programmatic leadership team and lends perspective and expertise to all foundation funding areas in collaboration with colleagues.  In planning and administering its programs, the foundation relies on input from leading medical researchers and scientific experts. The Program Director works closely with the Scientific Advisory Council, which provides general advice and guidance to the Medical Research Program.

In keeping with the wishes expressed in Doris Duke's will, the Medical Research Program does not fund research that utilizes animals.


  • Develop and implement a strategic vision for the program that builds on its significant accomplishments and enhances the program's profile.
  • Assure that the Medical Research Program and its grant making are truly national in scope, working across race, class, ethnic and geographic boundaries.
  • Continually monitor the biomedical research arena to develop programs that further program goals and fill unmet needs.
  • Maintain regular contact with the research community as well as other private and corporate foundation colleagues to spur collaborative planning and programming.
  • Lead and mentor Medical Research Program staff and oversee the day-to-day operations and administration of the department.
  • Participate in foundation-wide committee activities including program reviews, collaboration, and cross-program opportunities.
  • Present Medical Research Program strategies and objectives, and recommend grants, to the Board of Trustees at their regular meetings.
  • Collaborate with other foundations to co-fund grant programs and share evaluation data and policies to improve grant making among research funders.


The ideal candidate will be a strategic, visionary leader with a passion for the clinical research field, and should have the following experience and qualifications.

  • PhD or MD with significant experience conducting research and/or managing biomedical research programs; general interest in global health.
  • Depending on career experience, a track record of scientific publications and invited presentations.
  • Participation as a reviewer on scientific review panels.
  • Ability to strategize, conceptualize, plan and critically analyze projects.
  • A track record of demonstrated managerial skills; ability to plan, organize and follow through with budgets, staff and a variety of constituencies.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate (both internally and externally), inspire others, negotiate compromise and take initiative.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communications and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with all levels of professional, technical and support staff.


The successful candidate should be:

  • A strategic thinker who is able to successfully manage the Medical Research Program while providing a vision for the future; open to new ideas and new approaches to meet unmet needs;
  • A decision maker who is firm and confident, yet flexible; willing to take risks;
  • A collaborator and consensus builder with good judgment and the ability to reconcile divergent points of view;
  • An ethical individual with outstanding human qualities who is able to impart trust, integrity, stability, sensitivity, common sense and tolerance, as well as motivate others in a similar vein;
  • Energetic and positive;
  • Someone with a sense of humor and maturity in order to maintain perspective and a sense of balance; diplomatic;
  • Willing to travel.


The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice is an ongoing, active engagement reflected in our grantees, museums, centers, board and staff.

From sickle cell research to Native communities, from youth in the foster system to artists, from clean air and water to career pipeline leadership programs, each program area’s funding priorities signify this dedication to addressing inequality and its systemic roots. At the core of our work is a dedication to serving and learning from organizations and individuals addressing inequities and working toward a more just, healthy and inclusive society.

This commitment to addressing inequities extends the work Doris Duke supported during her lifetime, which included reproductive health, AIDS research, children and communities, environmental conservation, and artists working outside of the mainstream. It is the common thread that runs through all our funding strategies. To learn more about how these values manifest in our grantmaking, please visit the foundation's individual Goals and Strategies pages for our grant programs.

Further, the foundation recognizes the immense importance and value of having a diverse set of perspectives at the table, and we are proud that the racial and ethnic makeup of DDCF’s staff and board mirror that conviction. Within the foundation, a staff-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Working Group organizes an ongoing series of workshops, lectures and readings for the personal and professional development of all staff members. The activities of the DEI Working Group not only help inform internal policies of the foundation to make it a more equitable and inclusive workplace, but also seed our thinking for ways to improve our pursuit of these principles in our work.   

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, national origin, ethnic origin, citizenship status, disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law in its employment policies. In addition, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.

Apply for Program Director for Medical Research

Already uploaded your resume? Sign in to apply instantly


Upload from your computer

Or import from cloud storage

Your Resume must be a .doc, .pdf, .docx, .rtf, and no bigger than 1Mb

Upload from your computer

Or import from cloud storage

Your Supplementary Documents must be a .doc, .pdf, .docx, .txt, .rtf, and no bigger than 1Mb

4000 characters left

Marketing Communication

We'd love to send you information about Jobs and Services from Science Careers by email.

All emails will contain a link in the footer to enable you to unsubscribe at any time.

When you apply for a job we will send your application to the named recruiter, who may contact you. By applying for a job listed on Science Careers you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. You should never be required to provide bank account details. If you are, please email us.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs