Skip to main content

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 the practice of 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; a number of whom went on to become 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-scientist in their pursuit to become biomedical researchers and to increase the pool of investigators studying lung diseases. Dr. Cugell worked with people from a diverse set of 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 pre-doctoral candidates, as well as for M.D. and Ph.D. scientists pursuing careers in pulmonary research. The selection for the first group of Cugell Fellows was announced in October 2018.


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

1.      Scientists holding a relevant doctoral degree (e.g. BS, MS, MD, PhD, ScD, DVM) who are embarking on a career in basic, clinical, or translational science related to Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

2.      Graduate students should be enrolled in Graduate Program (DGP, IBiS, BME, etc); students should have completed their first year of Graduate School and have selected their mentor/laboratory.

3.      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 University-sponsored US visa (J1-, F1, H1B, etc) are eligible to apply.

4.      A Ph.D. or other non-M.D. scientist no more than seven years beyond completion of their doctoral degree or an M.D. scientist no more than seven years beyond clinical training (i.e., residency, internship, clinical fellowship) at the time of application. Candidates with greater than seven years since the doctoral degree require approval for continued training from the Director of the Cugell Fellowship Program.

5.      Individuals are not eligible for a Cugell Fellowship if, at the time of application, they are or have been principal investigator on an NIH K or R series research award or other nationally competitive research award at the comparable level.

6.      Cugell Fellows are required to have at least 75 percent of their time available for research.

Candidates from under-represented 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 into a relationship with the tobacco industry, the Cugell Fellowship support will be immediately terminated.

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 training in research and, (3) the scientific merits of the research project proposal. Equal weight is given to each of these three aspects in determining the final priority rating.

The Mentor will accept responsibility for and supervision of 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 progress report has been received and approved by the Cugell Fellowship Committee.


Fellowship support with be made in a yearly basis.

§  Pre-doctoral trainees  will be  awarded stipend and tuition for a full year. The stipend will be based on the stipend set by the Graduate School at Northwestern University.  Tuition for PhD students in their fifth quarter of study or beyond will be at the rate for advanced graduate students.

§  Post-doctoral trainees stipend will be based on stipend set by federally-funded  NRSA training grants.

  • Awardees may apply for continuing support for up to 3 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.

The fellowship is to support research into the basic mechanisms of and cures for lung diseases. Research must be done in the laboratory of a member of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care 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 the Sean Campbell at

  1. Personal statement (goals and commitment to a career in research, 1-page)
  2. Curriculum vitae with list of publications
  3. Brief summary of prior research experience (1-2 paragraphs)
  4. Summary of Proposed Research (limit one page)
  5. Biosketch of the mentor.

The application deadline is August 31st each year. Late applications will not be accepted.