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Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Education / Career Development Program (KL2)

Career Development Program (KL2)

The CTSI Career Development Program (KL2) provides 2 years of support for the early career development of multidisciplinary clinical and translational scientists. The goal of the program is to promote the successful transition of KL2 scholars to an independent career as a clinical and translational investigator, generally by means of an individual K or R award.

The program provides core programmatic elements (a core curriculum, a mentored research project, team science training, mentor/protégé support and training) and individualized program elements (training pathways, degree and certificate programs, elective coursework, extra-curricular activities, and hands-on team science experiences). Trainees will be expected to develop and implement a research experience supervised by a primary mentor and mentorial team.  The research project should be designed as a pilot project to set the stage for an individual K-award application, or in exceptional circumstances, establish a foundation for a subsequent individual R-award application.

The program has devised three training pathways that capitalize on institutional strengths: enabling technologies; regulatory science; and the electronic health record as a resource for research. Prospective scholars may choose, but are not required, to take advantage of one of the three, and are also free to propose their own training pathway as well.

Read about past and current KL2 Mentored Career Development Awardees.

Program Requirements

KL2 scholars must:

  • Define and participate in a clinical or translational research project.
  • Identify a multidisciplinary mentorial team with extensive clinical or translational research experience where one of the members is willing to serve as the primary mentor.
  • Commit to a two year program.
  • Devote at least 75 percent of their full-time professional effort to the program (note: scholars in certain clinical specialties may commit less than 75 percent effort—but no less than 50 percent effort—if sufficiently justified by the need to maintain critical clinical skills).


Applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Must possess a doctoral-level degree in a health discipline that can be applied to clinical or translational research. These degrees include, but are not limited to MD, DO, DMD, DDS, DPH, PharmD, as well as PhDs in clinically relevant fields, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, behavioral science, or nursing. 
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
  • Must be a fellow or junior faculty committed to an academic career in clinical and translational research. Preference will be given to applicants early in their training/career.
  • May not simultaneously submit or have pending an application for any other PHS mentored career development award (e.g., K07, K08, K22 or K23) that duplicates any of the provisions of the KL2 program.
  • May not have received substantial prior research support as Principal Investigator of R01, R21, Center or Mentored Career Development (K) grants, or as project leader on sub-projects of program projects (P01) or center grants (P50), or equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed research grant over $100,000 per year in direct costs. Scholars may have had support on a NRSA grant (F or T) or NIH small research grant (R03).

Application and Selection Process

The CTSI will solicit applications from interested fellows and faculty once each program year. Applicants will electronically submit a seven-page application and other supporting information. After initial review by a selection committee, applicants may be asked to respond in writing to questions regarding their application. The selection committee will then recommend awardees to the KL2 Steering Committee. Applications will be ranked on the basis of the candidate’s training environment, career development plans and project proposal.

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Katie Libby.

Request for Applications

Click here for the 2017 KL2 RFA.

The KL2 application timeline is described below:

  • Tuesday, September 6, 2016: KL2 RFA released
  • Monday, October 10, 2016 by 5 p.m.: Prospective applicants notify CTSI of plans to apply
  • Friday, November 11, 2016 by 5 p.m.: Application due date
  • February, 2017: CTSI notifies applicants of the results of the review process
  • July 1, 2017: Start of the award