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KL2 (K12) Research Scholar Awards

Provides up to three years of funding for clinical translational research and career development to train awardees to obtain individual funding. Awardees are expected to participate in monthly mentoring/career development sessions, the CO-Mentor program  (with one of their mentors), and the national CTSA consortium meeting.

These awards are issued approximately every two years. An RFA will be issued when applications can be received. 

Please refer to the How to Cite our CCTSI Grant for all publications, patents, or other tangible outcomes from KL2 projects.CurrCC​​ 

Funding Support 

  • Provides 75% salary support (up to $93,750 maximum), along with associated fringe benefits, for up to three years  (50% or greater for department of surgery). The applicant's department will be required to provide $25,000 per year in matching funds for accepted scholars.
  • $11,000 yearly for research supplies & project support
  • $2,000 yearly in travel support to attend the national Clinical and Translational Research & Education meeting in Washington, DC  


Who is eligible?  

  • MD, DO, PhD, DDS, DVM, DMD, and PharmDs at the time of application.
  • Applicants who are under-represented are strongly encouraged to apply, including underrepresented minorities, people with disabilities, people from  disadvantaged backgrounds 
  • US citizens or permanent residents.
  • Hold a faculty appointment at the Assistant Professor, Sr. Instructor or Instructor level at a CCTSI-affiliated institution at the time of the award.
  • Must be a CCTSI member

Who is ineligible?  

  • Principal investigators on NIH individual mentored career awards (e.g. K01, K08, K22, K23), research projects (R01), FIRST Awards (R29), sub-projects of program projects (P01), center grants (P50), or the equivalent are ineligible.
  • An individual with another K award proposal submitted and under review,  awaiting a score, cannot apply for the KL2 award. The NIH considers the CCTSI KL2 review committee as a study section, therefore an individual cannot apply for a KL2 if the same grant has been submitted to the NIH as a K award. Please visit our "Frequently Asked Questions" page for additional information.  

Application Instructions  

A pre-application letter of intent is required from ALL applicants. 


Please create one PDF document for uploading into the online application. Required sections should be in the order listed below. Use Arial 11 pt font or larger. Single spaced paragraphs. Page margins no less than 0.5 inches on all four sides. 

1. Face Page: KL2 Program Face Page Template  

2. Current NIH Biosketch from APPLICANT/Mentee (Please include: positions & employment, awards & honors, publications including abstracts, and ongoing research support)  

3. Biosketches from each MENTOR (two total). Part A section should specifically address how the mentor will support the applicant to become an independent investigator, and resources or other opportunities afforded by the mentor for the applicant.  

4. Summary of career goals (NOT TO EXCEED 1 page). What training or career development opportunities will the KL2 program afford you during the time of the award? What are your medium-term (5 years) and longer-term career goals? How will your division/department support your research efforts?  

5. Specific Aims Page (NOT TO EXCEED 1 page). Synopsis of the research proposal, with aims/hypotheses that will be explored during the period of the KL2 award. 

Submit Pre-Application Letter of Intent (REQUIRED for all applicants)   

Submit the pre-application online, attach a PDF of your materials.  

  • The pre-application attachment is a single PDF document that is comprised of a Face Page, NIH Biosketches (applicant and 2 mentors), Career goals (1 page) and Specific Aims (1 page).
  • Due July 26, 2019 at midnight.  

Submit Full Application (By INVITATION ONLY, after review of pre-application)  

The full application attachment is a single PDF document that is comprised of:
1. Specific aims page (updated from pre-application if necessary)

2. Letters of support from TWO mentors (one letter signed by both mentors is sufficient)

3. Letter of support from division chief or department chair stating 75% of the applicants' full professional effort will be protected for research (50% for applicants from the department of surgery) AND the division/department will provide $25,000 per year to support research cost. 

4. Scientific Proposal (10 pages total) including:
  •  Prior research experience (≈1 page)
  • Career development plan (≈2 pages) outlining how mentors, relevant coursework, etc. will positively impact the candidate's career. Details regarding expertise of the applicant’s mentors in mentoring, their commitment of time for mentoring the applicant, and feasibility to participate in additional CCTSI sponsored mentor training should be included (see "Mentoring" section).
  • Research plan (≈7 pages) that pays close attention to study design issues, statistical methods and feasibility. The plan should clearly delineate how the work proposed is clinical and/or translational, and how it will specifically impact human health.
    **Preliminary data is NOT required
  • Human subjects section (NOT counted in 10 page limit). In this section, applicants must specifically acknowledge that human subjects  portion(s) of their research plan have been submitted to COMIRB for review, with COMIRB ID#  and submission date   Learn more about the protection of human subjects.
  • References (NOT counted in 10 page limit)
  • Additional letters of support (OPTIONAL, up to three)   

5. Budget (NOT counted in 10 page limit). Please include dollar amounts and brief justification for: 

  •  salary and fringe of applicant (based on job position)
  • supplies, travel, patient care costs, tuition, other expenses related to project
  • This can be limited to one page.  

6. Biosketches from applicant and mentors (updated as necessary from pre-application)

  • Due September 6, 2019 at midnight. 

Applicants are required to identify TWO active mentors, physically located at a CCTSI-affiliated institution. Mentors of KL2 scholars are expected to be very involved in the scholar’s research and career development. More specifically, the scholar and one of their mentors will be expected to participate in the CO-Mentor Program.  


Possible mentoring models for this award are listed below; however, other models may be also acceptable.  

  • Clinical/Methodological Mentors: Many scholars require co-mentors with differing skills and areas of expertise. For example, a translational project may require one epidemiological mentor who is adept in study design while the second mentor has expertise in the processing and analysis of samples obtained from human subjects. This model encourages collaborative efforts between senior clinical and translational investigators and the mentee.
  • Senior/Junior Mentors: In this model, one mentor provides extensive experience in the scholar’s research area of interest while the second, junior mentor, is a mid-level investigator with independent funding and less research experience. In this model, the junior investigator provides for the daily operational mentoring of the scholar, while the senior mentor may advise the mentee on both big picture research goals and career development. This system allows a scholar to gain the expertise and insight of two mentors at different stages in their careers.

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