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Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Funding / Career Development K Award


Career Development K Award

The UR CTSI Career Development Award (KL2) provides two years of support for the early career development of multidisciplinary clinical and translational scientists. The program fosters 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

Career Development Award scholars will be expected to develop and implement a research experience supervised by a primary mentor and mentor 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 three training pathways that capitalize on institutional strengths. 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.

Programmatic Elements

  • Core curriculum
  • Mentored research project
  • Team science training
  • Mentor/protégé support and training

Individualized Elements

  • Training pathways
    • Experimental Therapeutics
    • Digital Health
    • Health Equity-Focused Dissemination and Implementation
  • Degree and certificate programs
  • Elective coursework
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Hands-on team science experiences


Career Development Award scholars must:

  • Define and participate in a clinical or translational research project.
  • Identify a multidisciplinary mentor 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).

Program DirectorDr. Thu Le in a red business coat

Thu H. Le, MD, FAHA

Dr. Le joined as director and principal investigator of the UR CTSI Career Development Award program in July 2023. She is a professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Nephrology. Her clinical practice focuses on the care of patients with hypertension and chronic kidney disease. Dr. Le applies her knowledge and extensive research experience in renal physiology to her clinical practice. She has an active research program in mechanisms of hypertension and genetics of chronic kidney disease.


Applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • 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 a clinically relevant field, such as biostatistics, epidemiology, behavioral science, and nursing.
  • US citizen or permanent resident. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
  • Must be an early-stage investigator committed to advanced training and a career in translational science research aligned with the CTSA Programs goals of advancing therapeutics (drugs, devices, and preventives), clinical interventions, and behavioral modifications to improve health
  • Scholars may have had support on a NRSA grant (F or T) or NIH small grant (R03).
  • Commitment to a two-year program within the stated award period. During this time, at least 75 percent of the KL2 Scholar’s full-time professional effort must be devoted to the program. The remainder of time may be devoted to developing other clinical or academic pursuits that are consistent with the objectives of developing a career as an independent clinical or translational researcher. Certain clinical specialties may have less than 75 percent effort -- but no less than 50 percent effort -- if sufficiently justified (e.g. surgical specialties requiring 50 percent direct patient care time to keep up surgical skills).
  • The financial year for Year 1 of funding begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024; funding for Year 2 begins on July 1, 2024 and ends on June 30, 2025.  KL2 program appointment start and end dates must coincide with these dates to receive NIH funding – and they cannot be extended.


  • At the time of application, scholars must NOT have pending an application for any other PHS mentored career development award (e.g. K07, K08, K22, K23) that duplicates any of the provisions of the KL2. A KL2 scholar candidate who is already in the process of applying for an independent mentored career development grant, a P01 grant, or R01 grant is likely too senior for the KL2 award.  
  • Former or current PDs/PIs on any NIH research project grant [this does not include NIH small grants (R03), exploratory Developmental (R21) or SBIR, STTR (R43, R44 grants)] or equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed grants that are over $100,000 direct costs per year, or project leaders on sub-projects of Program project (P01) or center grants (P50) are NOT eligible to participate as Scholars.


Application and Selection Process

  • The UR CTSI will release a request for applications once each program year.
  • Applicants 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.

Application Timeline

  • Monday, September 28, 2023, 5:00 pm (ET) - Submit Letter of Intent
  • Monday, October 23, 2023, 5:00 pm (ET) - Submit application packet
  • Friday, January 26, 2024 - Notification of recipient(s)
  • July 1, 2024 - Start of the award 

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact the UR CTSI Research Education Team.

Current Scholars/Projects

Aileen Aldalur, Ph.D.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for treatment seeking with Deaf individuals
Funded in 2022

Nathaniel Bayer, M.D.
Caregiver Support Intervention for Families of Children with Medical Complexity
Funded in 2023

Ajay Dhakal, M.B.B.S.
Testing treatments for breast cancer with brain metastases
Funded in 2022

Adam Dziorny, M.D., Ph.D.
An integrated approach to personalized and shareable clinical decision support
Funded in 2022

Frank Garcea, Ph.D.
High Definition Fiber Tracking for Neurosurgical Planning
Funded in 2022

Ashley Jenkins, M.D.
Adapting Individualized Care Plans to Improve Inpatient Vaso-Occlusive Episode Care for Adults with Sickle Cell Disease
Funded in 2023

Emily Knight, M.D., Ph.D.
Neural Mechanisms Underlying Speech-in-noise Processing Difficulty in Autism
Funded in 2023

Doran Mix, M.D.
Natural History of Human Aortic Dissections Mechanics Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Funded 2023

Past Scholars/Projects

Beau Abar, Ph.D.
Project: “Examining Barriers to Treatment for Depression among Older Adults”
Funded 2014 - 2016

David Adler, M.D., M.P.H.
Project: "Post-Vaccination HPV Genotype Distribution Among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected Young Women in South Africa"
Funded  2009 - 2010

David Auerbach, Ph.D.
Project: “Electrical Disturbances in the Brain and Heart in Long QT Syndrome: A Dangerous Synergy”
Funded 2015 - 2017

Robert Block, M.D., M.P.H., FACP
Project: “The Role of Fatty Acids and their Metabolites in the Pathophysiology of Sudden Cardiac Death”
Funded 2007 - 2010

Michelle Burack, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: “Dissociating effects of Parkinson disease therapies on motor and non-motor elements of action control”
Funded 2010 - 2012

Jennifer Carroll, M.D., M.P.H.
Project: "The Effect of a Primary Care Clinician Communication Intervention linked to a Community Based Exercise Program"
Funded in 2008

Ian Cero, Ph.D.
Network health intervention for adolescents hospitalized for suicide attempts
Funded in 2021

Wei Chen, M.D.
Project: “Does Metabolic Acidosis Protect Against Arterial Calcification in Patients with CKD?”
Funded 2015 - 2017

Wendi Cross, Ph.D.
Project: "Building Knowledge and Skills in Prevention Implementers"
Funded in 2007

E. Ray Dorsey, M.D., M.B.A.
Project: “Identify Means to Improve the Productivity of Biomedical Research”
Funded  2007 - 2009

Richard Dunne, M.D.
Research in the field of cancer cachexia, an understudied syndrome of weight loss and muscle wasting that has no effective treatment
Funded in 2019

Roman Eliseev, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: "Validating NF-κB and Runx2 pathways as molecular targets in Osteosarcoma and evaluating the therapeutic potential of an approved proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib/velcade, in Osteosarcoma" 
Funded 2010 - 2012

Nikesha J. Glimore, Ph.D.
Reducing frailty and inflammation in older survivors of colon cancer with ECGC
Funded in 2020

Autumn Gallegos, Ph.D.
Effects of mindfulness on PTSD: A community-based clinical trial among trauma survivors
Funded 2016 - 2018

Mireya Gonzalez-Begné, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Project: "Identification of salivary and salivary gland-cell-surface biomarkers in patients with early-stage primary Sjögren’s syndrome"
Funded 2009 - 2012

Barbara Gracious, M.D.
Project:" Bone Mineral Density in Young Bipolar Women Randomized to Valproate vs. Lithium"
Funded 2007 - 2010; She is currently the Principal Investigator for the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice at Nationwide Children's.

Susan Groth, Ph.D., R.N.C., N.P.
Project: "Clarification of the Gene Environment Interaction of the GNB3 Gene and Establishing a foundation for Genetic –Based Behavioral Intervention Research"
Funded 2008 - 2009

Chad Heatwole, M.D.
Project: “The Development and Use of a Disease-Specific Instrument for Myotonic Dystrophy”
Funded 2007 - 2008

Holly Hindman, M.D.
Project: "Wound Healing Responses and Myofiloblast Activity Following Endothelial Keratoplasty when modified by using Anti TFG-B Therapies"
Funded 2008 - 2009

Leesha Hoilette, M.D., M.S.
Project: "Community Health Centers as Patient-Centered Medical Homes"
Funded  2010 - 2012

Margaret Holland, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Project: "Patterns and predictors of adherence to recommended visit schedules in a nurse home visiting program"
Funded 2012 - 2013; She is currently on the faculty at the Yale School of Nursing.

Suzannah Iadarola, Ph.D.
Project: “Parent-Focused Intervention for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder”
Funded 2014 - 2016

Robert Matthew Kottmann, M.D.
Project: "Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligands and Pulmonary Fibrosis"
Funded 2010 - 2012

Daniel LaChant, D.O.
Cardiac expenditure is a novel digital biomarker in PAH
Funded in 2021

Feng (Vankee) Lin, Ph.D., R.N.
Project: "Role of Vision-based Computerized Cognitive Training in Preventing Cognitive and Functional Decline in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment"
Funded 2013 - 2015

Xiuxin Liu, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Project: "ATP signaling and dental orofacial pain"
Funded 2013 - 2015

Megan Lytle-Flint, Ph.D.
Project: “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health disparities/suicide prevention”
Funded 2014 - 2016

Kevin Mazurek, Ph.D.
Determining how cortical areas communicate information to perform voluntary movements
Funded 2018 - 2020

Matthew D. McGraw, M.D.
Basal cell dysfunction in flavoring-induced lung disease
Funded in 2020

Michael McKee, M.D., M.P.H.
Project: "Health Literacy among Deaf ASL Users and Cardiovascular Health Risk"
Funded in 2010; Dr. McKee is on the faculty at the University of Michigan.

Supriya Mohile, M.D., M.S.
Project: “Vulnerable Elders with Cancer: Patterns of Care and Comprehensive Outcomes”
Funded 2009 - 2011

Luke Peppone, Ph.D.
Project: "Evaluating the efficacy of weekly high-dose calcitriol therapy, and an individually-tailored home-based weight-bearing physical activity program in improving bone metabolism among hormone-receptor positive non-metastatic breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant hormonal therapy"
Funded 2010 - 2012

Anthony Pisani, Ph.D.
Project: "Help-seeking among suicidal adolescents: Testing the role of emotion regulation and connectedness with parents"
Funded 2011 - 2013

Caroline Quill, M.D.
Improving ICU patient outcomes using graph isomorphism analysis
Funded 2016 - 2018

Julie Ryan, Ph.D.
Project: "Curcumin Intervention and Biological Analysis of Radiation Dermatitis"
Funded 2008 - 2009

Fahad Saeed, MBBS
The impact of palliative care on decision-making, disease management outcomes and quality of life in patients with chronic kidney diseases and their family caregivers
Funded 2017 - 2019

Krupa Shah, M.D., M.P.H.
Project: "Preventing Functional Decline in HIV-infected Older Adults with Central Obesity"
Funded 2012 - 2013

Caroline Silva, Ph.D.
Cultural social engagement and suicide ideation among Hispanic outpatients
Funded 2018 - 2020

Lauren Solan, M.D., M.Ed.
Development of a novel pediatric risk assessment tool to predict pediatric health care re-utilization (i.e., hospital readmission and Emergency Department revisit)
Funded 2017 - 2019

Marc Swogger, Ph.D.
Project: "The Impact of Psychopathic Traits on a Cocaine Use Intervention for Offenders"
Funded 2009 - 2010

Wakenda Tyler, M.D., M.P.H.
Project: "Role of Angiopoietin-2 in the pathogenesis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma to bone: Implications for therapeutic intervention"
Funded 2010 - 2012

Kimberly Van Orden, Ph.D.
Project: "The role of social connectedness in the etiology and prevention of late-life suicide"
Funded 2012 - 2013

Melanie Wellington, M.D., Ph.D.
Project: "Phagocyte Receptors in the Host Response to Candida"
Funded 2007 - 2011

Nicole Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.
Computational measurement tools for in-vivo non-invasive determination of small intestine function
Funded in 2021

Jin Xiao, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
C. albicans and S. mutans oral colonization in infants with high risk for severe early childhood caries
Funded in 2017

Jeffrey Yaeger, M.D.
Improved prediction of bacterial infections in febrile infants
Funded in 2019