Proposals for one-semester Graduate Fellowships in Evolutionary Medicine.

We are looking to support innovative approaches to outstanding questions in evolutionary medicine, broadly interpreted to involve research that uses evolutionary and ecological perspectives to understand and treat disease in humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife.  Examples include, but are not limited to:  evolution of infectious or zoonotic disease; psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease; antimicrobial resistance; evolutionary issues in global health; evolution of aging; autoimmune disease and allergy; origins and ecological drivers of disease emergence; evolution and cancer; comparative medicine; and the genetic basis of disease. Any research method is allowed and may include but not limited to: integrating datasets, developing databases, performing analyses, programming and software development, and field or laboratory work.

Eligible students are those from Duke, any UNC-System university (such as NC State or NC Central), or the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and who have completed one year of their graduate program by the time the TRICEM Fellowship commences.  Students may remain resident at their home institution during the fellowship or travel to another institution.  The graduate student must lead and author aspects of the research supported research.

Graduate Fellowship applications will be evaluated on the extent to which they:

  • address an important and outstanding evolutionary medicine,
  • are “risky” endeavors but with a reasonable chance of success,
  • reflect TRICEM’s scientific mission to advance research that addresses fundamental questions in evolutionary medicine by integrating methods, concepts, and data within and across disciplines,
  • are not be readily supported by other funding mechanisms or opportunities,
  • provide evidence that sufficient data are available to tackle the question,
  • provide evidence that appropriate analytical tools are available or will be developed during the project,
  • generate products that typically fall into (but are not restricted to) four broad categories:
    • Synthetic papers and reviews,
    • Grant-writing,
    • Databases allowing others to build on your foundation,
    • Software or mathematical tools that solve a major analytical problem.

Before you apply

All applicants are encouraged to contact Melissa Manus (, Assistant Director of TRICEM, for feedback on project ideas.  Proposals will be evaluated in terms of both the scientific value of the project and the qualifications of the applicant. Note that TriCEM funds do not cover indirect costs or Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs.

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals are short, not to exceed 3 single-spaced (12-pt type) pages.  Please also include a current CV for the graduate student and letter from PhD advisor stating his or her awareness and support of the project (not included in 3 page limit)

Proposals should be organized as follows

  1. Program Track (please see our key research areas)
  2. Semester fellowship is requested for
  3. Title (80 characters max)
  4. Short Title (25 characters max)
  5. Name and contact information
  6. Project Summary (250 words max)
  7. Public Summary (250 words max) – written for the public and visible on the TRICEM web site
  8. Introduction and Goals – A statement of the outstanding question in evolutionary science being addressed and a concise review of the concept and the literature to place the project in context.
  9. Proposed Activities – This should include a clear statement of specific data (include citations or urls) and analytical tools that will be required for the project
  10. Rationale for TRICEM support – Why can this activity be most effectively conducted through TRICEM? How is the proposed work within the general theme of evolutionary medicine?
  11. Proposed Timetable – include start date, month, and year.
  12. Outcomes – Proposals should include a clear statement about the expected outcomes of the proposed project

Proposal Submission

Proposals will be accepted in digital format only as a single pdf file, including CVs. Graphics should be embedded directly into the proposal document. Email proposals to Melissa Manus (, Assistant Director.