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Cugell Fellowship Program


Dr. David W. Cugell was the longest-serving faculty member of the Feinberg School of Medicine until his retirement in 2012. He founded the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care in the Department of Medicine in 1965 and served as its Chief until 1982. His research, which focused on lung mechanics, brought important insights into pulmonary physiology and the treatment of lung diseases. Dr. Cugell established pulmonary function testing at Northwestern Hospital. He was a leader in occupational medicine and worked extensively with patients exposed to asbestos and hazardous chemicals.

Under Dr. Cugell's leadership, the Division grew and was consistently recognized for its excellence in research and patient care. Dr. Cugell had great respect for basic and applied research. He successfully mentored numerous physicians, scientists, students, and fellows, several of whom became well-respected faculty members at Northwestern University and other medical schools. Dr. Cugell had to overcome many hurdles in his pursuit to be successful in academic medicine. Throughout his career, he helped young physician-scientists in their pursuit to become biomedical researchers and to increase the pool of investigators studying lung diseases. Dr. Cugell worked with people from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in his clinical studies and research.

In 2018, the David W. Cugell and Christina Enroth-Cugell Fellowship Program was established to provide funding for predoctoral candidates and for MD and PhD scientists pursuing careers in pulmonary research. The selection for the first group of Cugell Fellows was announced in October 2018.

 Meet the Current Fellows


Applicants are eligible to apply for a Cugell Fellowship if, at the time of application, they are:

  • Scientists holding a relevant degree (e.g., BS, MS, MD, PhD, ScD, DVM) embarking on a career in basic, clinical, or translational science related to Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
  • Graduate students enrolled in a graduate program (e.g., DGP, IBiS, BME); students should have completed their first year of graduate school and selected their mentor/laboratory.
  • A citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada or have a permanent residency application on file at the time of application with the U.S. or Canadian Immigration Services. Additionally, applicants with an approved Northwestern Universitysponsored U.S. visa (e.g., J1, F1, H1B) are eligible to apply.
  • A PhD or other non-MD scientist no more than seven years beyond completion of their doctoral degree or an MD scientist no more than seven years beyond clinical training (i.e., residency, internship, or clinical fellowship) at the time of application. Candidates with more than seven years of postdoctoral training require approval for continued training from the Director of the Cugell Fellowship Program.
  • Individuals are not eligible for a Cugell Fellowship if, at the time of application, they are or have been a principal investigator on an NIH K or R series research award or other nationally competitive research award at the comparable level.
  • Cugell Fellows are required to have at least 75 percent of their time available for research.

Candidates from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Applications for Fellowships will not be considered for funding if either the Mentor or the Fellow has a relationship with the tobacco industry, as described in the American Thoracic Society (ATS) guidelines. If a current Cugell Fellow or Mentor enters a relationship with the tobacco industry, the Cugell Fellowship support will be immediately terminated.


Evaluation Criteria

The appraisal of a Cugell Fellowship application is based on consideration of (1) the qualifications and career trajectory of the candidate, (2) an assessment of the Mentor's credentials and the resources for research training, and (3) the scientific merits of the research project proposal. Each of these three aspects is given equal weight in determining the final priority rating.


Terms and Requirements of the David W. Cugell Fellowship

The Mentor will accept responsibility for and supervise the approved research project and agree that the research will be conducted in compliance with applicable federal, state, local, and institutional laws and regulations governing the ethical conduct of research.

The Mentor will ensure that the Fellow has at least 75 percent of their time available for research.

A progress report must be submitted annually. Funds for the subsequent year will not be provided until the Cugell Fellowship Committee receives and approves the progress report. 



Fellowship support will be made on a yearly basis.

  • Stipend:
    • Predoctoral trainees will be awarded a stipend and tuition for a full year. The stipend will be based on that set by the Graduate School at Northwestern University. Tuition for PhD students in their fifth quarter of study or beyond will be at the same rate for advanced graduate students.
    • Postdoctoral trainees will be awarded a stipend based on that set by federally funded NRSA training grants.
  • Awardees may apply for continuing support for up to three years.
  • Allowable costs are restricted to the Fellow's salary plus fringe benefits.
  • Approval for any other costs must be requested in writing by the Mentor and Fellow and approved by the Cugell Fellowship Program.
  • Indirect costs and equipment purchases are not allowed.
  • The Fellow must notify their Mentor, and in turn, the Cugell Fellowship Office, of any significant new competitive awards that are received during the period of the Cugell Fellowship.
  • The Fellow is required to acknowledge the sponsorship of the Cugell Fellowship Program on all publications resulting from this award.


Area of Research

The Fellowship supports research into the basic mechanisms of and cures for lung diseases. Research must be done in the laboratory of a Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care member or a collaborating laboratory. The Fellow or the Fellow's Mentor must have an appointment in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care.



Please submit the following to Sean Campbell (

  • Personal statement (goals and commitment to a career in research, 1 page)
  • Curriculum vitae with a list of publications or NIH Biosketch
  • Brief summary of prior research experience (1-2 paragraphs)
  • Summary of proposed research (limit 1 page)
  • Biosketch of the Mentor



The application deadline is March 30, 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.