Dea​n's Clinical Research Fellowship - DCRF​

The DCRF ​is a fully-funded fellowship programme offered to AKU's medical graduates looking to strengthen their clinical research portfolios. This one-year fellowship position focuses on providing valuable exposure to various aspects of clinical research in specific areas of interest, involving both practical research as well as focused teaching sessions and workshops.


DCRF's first cycle ran from 2020-2021; it was regarded as a great success, with 21 graduating fellows having worked on over 150 projects while applying for grants worth more than USD 10 million. Some notable and high impact projects were developed by the first batch of fellows such as the establishment of Pakistan's National COVID Tele-ICU and the CANSINO Covid Vaccine trial. Following their success, the second DCRF cycle (2021-2022) is hosting 26 enrolled fellows.​

​Programme ​Det​ails

Each fellow is matched with an individual from, or a group of, AKU Medical College faculty with strong clinical research backgrounds and various ongoing projects. The fellows actively work on these p​rojects and report directly to the faculty they are matched with, while also helping to liaise between faculty, residents, medical students, and AKU’s other invaluable resources i.e. research office, ERC, library, biostatistics teams, digital health resources, technology innovation support centre, patent office, funding resources, etc. Each fellow is provided with office space within CITRIC which includes access to meeting rooms, access to university and hospital resources, and substantial opportunities to interact with specialists from multiple disciplines; all of which are essential to quality clinical research processes. Faculty are responsible for ensuring that their respecti​ve fellows are mentored effectively, gain reasonable exposure to a spectrum of clinical research, and are able to attain a reasonable number of publications in reputable peer-reviewed journals.


Application Process

Faculty: Apply if you would like to mentor and work with a fellow for one year. Faculty applying as part of a research group will be given preference.

Graduating Students and Fresh Alumni: Kindly await a call for applications circulated to all students. ​Students who are already working with a faculty or group may continue their work once enrolled in DCRF.

Kindly contact Dr Asad Ali​, Associate Dean Research, with any feedback or queries.​

​​One Fellow's Journey W​ith DCRF

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Fellow matched with Faculty

Dr Nabeel Ashfaque, MBBS Class of 2019, applied to the first cycle of the DCRF programme (2020-2021) to build on his passion for the field of Oncology, particularly in the use of modern technology to improve clinical outcomes within oncological care. After his selection, Dr Ashfaque underwent the match cycle where he was fittingly matched with the Chairperson and Service Line Chief of Oncology, Dr Zehra Fadoo​. Together, Dr Ashfaque and Dr Fadoo worked on thirteen different projects in just one year; one project worked towards establishing a national cancer registry in Pakistan, while another project was aimed at the use of WhatsApp as a form of tele-medicine for palliative healthcare. Through out Dr Ashfaque’s research journey, he was support by Dr Fadoo who encouraged him to explore his passions by conducting quality research in his areas of interest.​

​​​​Noreen Afzal | Instructor, Department of Surgery ​

Nizar Khowaja |  Assitant, CITRIC | +92 21 3486 5067​

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CITRIC is located on the ground floor of the Old Private Wing.