National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP)


The National Clinician Scholars Program (NCSP) aims to offer unparalleled training for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and health care. The goal of the program is to cultivate health equity, eliminate health disparities, invent new models of care, and achieve higher quality health care at lower cost by training nurse and physician researchers who work as leaders and collaborators embedded in communities, healthcare systems, government, foundations, and think tanks in the United States and around the world.

The overarching goal of the Duke NCSP is to train inter-professional clinician scholars in data-driven inquiry, policy-impactful rigorous research, sensitive community-based participatory research, and transformation of health care practice. Specifically, the Duke site focuses on population and implementation science across a broad range of disciplines because the institution has identified these as critical both to improving health care quality and access, and to identifying and implementing effective health care policies. As such, Duke’s Population Health Sciences master’s program will serve as the core degree program for our clinician scholars with an interest in pursuing a formal degree. 

Four central pillars undergird the program:

  • diverse and experienced program leadership;
  • a deep bench of experienced and successful mentors;
  • a dedicated and comprehensive didactic research and professional developing training program;
  • a broad range of mentored research and policy training opportunities, including direct engagement with community partners and community organizations.

Situated in central North Carolina, our model facilitates the study of rural and urban disparities, social determinants of health, and health in the Southeast, with proximity to key federal and state policy stakeholders. Our program brings together resources from the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the Durham VA to create a unique training experience that prepares Scholars for leadership in clinical research and health policy locally and nationally. We also offer a unique Scholar educational experience that includes a special seminar series with Duke’s most acclaimed leaders.

Duke brings a number of strengths and unique characteristics to the NCSP as a vibrant university and health system in the Southeast. We serve an expanding population of diverse patients, and we are committed to ensuring that our workforce, leadership, and future is equally diverse. We have a long tradition of identifying and addressing racial disparities in care, and have also invested significant resources in population health. Being in the Southeast, Duke serves a patient population that suffers from higher rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease than other areas of the country; as such, Scholars who commit to improving outcomes for our population will have a larger impact on suffering.

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