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ITHS KL2 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Program

ITHS KL2 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Program Request for Applications

The ITHS KL2 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Program provides the time, funding, mentorship, and training necessary to foster the early career development of clinical and translational researchers. The program is funded by the NIH and welcomes scholars from all health professions.

KL2 Scholars are appointed for up to three years of support. The program encourages all types of clinical research, including patient-oriented research, translational research, small- and large-scale clinical investigation and trials, epidemiologic and natural history studies, health services research, and health behavior research.

Application Period Opens August 30
Key Dates

  • Application Deadline
    October 31, 2019
  • Notification of Awards
    Mid-December, 2019
  • Appointment Start Date
    March 1, 2020

Program Overview
Program Overview

The KL2 program is a career development program for early-career investigators sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The major components of the ITHS KL2 program are:

  • Protected research time: KL2 scholars must devote at least 9 person-months of full-time professional effort to pursuing their proposed KL2 research project and participating in programmatic activities. This requirement protects scholars’ research time and ensures they have the freedom to develop their research projects fully.
  • Salary support: The KL2 award covers a minimum of 75% of a scholar’s full-time salary up to $85,000/year. The award also covers benefits proportionally.
  • Research and career development funding: KL2 scholars will receive $25,000/year in research funds and up to $2,500/year to devote to travel to professional meetings and conferences.
  • Mentorship: KL2 scholars receive additional mentorship from KL2 faculty to complement their career development in translational research.
  • Interactive seminars: The program provides in-depth training on skills and competencies critical to conducting translational research. Over the course of a three-year appointment, scholars can expect to receive training in all of the  CTSA-designed Core Competencies for Translational Research. Seminars also include opportunities for scholars to hone their presentation and writing skills through Works-in-Progress talks and writing workshops.


The KL2 program provides a minimum of 75% of a KL2 Scholar’s salary (up to $85,000 per year) for up to three years. In return, at least 75% of a KL2 Scholar’s full-time professional effort must be devoted to pursuing their KL2 research project, including the programmatic elements of the KL2 Program. Each KL2 Scholar’s home department, school, or institution will be required to provide institutional support for any KL2 Scholar whose salary support for their committed ITHS KL2 effort exceeds $85,000.

In addition to salary support, KL2 Scholars will receive research funds of up to $25,000/year based on an annual budget review and approval. KL2 Scholars will also receive up to $2,500//year to devote to travel to professional meetings and conferences.

Please note:

  • KL2 scholars conducting research that involves human subjects will not be eligible to receive KL2 support until they have completed the NCATS Prior Approval process. This process will be completed in the Just-in-Time period after the award letter is signed and before the appointment begins.
  • KL2 support is contingent upon continual scholar progress and compliance with ITHS directives, as well as continued support from the NCATS grant that funds the KL2 program.


The KL2 program is open to investigators at the postdoctoral or early career faculty level who plan to conduct, or are conducting, translational research.

Eligibility Requirements
To be considered eligible for the KL2 program, applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Permanent residents must have a U.S. Permanent Resident Card (form I-551) or other verification of their legal status as a permanent resident at the time of application. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
  • Be at an early stage of their career. Applicants should not have been in a tenure-track Assistant Professor position for more than two years at the time of application.
  • Have a research or health-professional doctoral degree applicable to clinical research. These degrees include: MD, PhD, DrPH, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND, PsyD.
  • Be able to commit a minimum of nine calendar months of full-time professional effort for career development and research activities associated with the program.

Applicants are ineligible for the KL2 Program if they are:

  • Simultaneously participating in clinical fellowships leading to clinical certification (with some exceptions, see FAQ).
  • Simultaneously submitting or have pending an application for any other PHS mentored career development awards that duplicate any of the provisions of the KL2 program.
  • An individual making a mid-career change into clinical research.
  • A former or current principal investigator on any NIH research project grant or equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed research grants that are over $100,000 direct costs per year, or a project leader on sub-projects of program project (P01) or center grants (P50)Note: this exclusion does not apply to cases of NIH Small Grants (R03) or Exploratory/ Developmental (R21) grants or their equivalents.

Additional Information

  • The KL2 program cannot support research with a focus on global health or research located outside of the United States.
  • ITHS strongly encourages applications from investigators at all ITHS partner and collaborating institutions.
  • Exceptions to the 75% effort requirement may be made for limited specialties (e.g., 50% effort for surgeons and other procedural-based specialties requiring greater clinical effort to maintain clinical skills such as ENT, Orthodontics).

An ITHS membership is required to apply. To become a member, please complete the ITHS Membership Form.

How to Apply
How to Apply

The KL2 Program application consists of standard demographic information, a biosketch from the NIH template, and a detailed and thorough description of your proposed project. In addition, you will need three letters of recommendation.

Key Dates

All materials, including the Letters of Recommendation, must be received by 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2019.

  • Application Deadline
    October 31, 2019
  • Notification of Awards
    Mid-December, 2019
  • Appointment Start Date
    March 1, 2020

Step 1. Obtain Letters of Recommendation
Letters should be submitted online though the LOR form.

You will need three letters of recommendation:

Applicants: Please direct people submitting letters for you to the Letter Submission Form as early as possible. All letters of recommendation are due on October 31, 2018.

You can either:

1. Copy the following link, and deliver it any way you’d like (e.g. Craft your own email).
– OR –
2. Enter a few details into a form, and we’ll send the link to them for you.

Visit the form

Step 2. Complete the following items prior to accessing the online application
Choose your track.

Applicants will submit under one of the following three tracks of translational science that most accurately describes their proposed project.

Therapeutic target identification and/or validationPhase I or Phase II clinical studies/trialsEpidemiological studies such as case-control, cohort, or meta-analytic studies
Development of novel therapeutics prior to clinical testingBiomarker identification & validationHealth disparities research
In vitro or cell-based assaysPharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics of novel therapies in humansCommunity-based & community participatory research
Research using animal modelsPilot & small proof-of-concept studies in humans Implementation science

Choose the translational science track in which your proposed project fits best (those unsure of which phase their research falls under should use the contact form to reach John Amory, KL2 Program Director, for guidance).

Combine items 4-8 into a single PDF file.
  • 4) NIH Biosketch

  • Create a personal statement detailing your interest in the KL2 program and how the program will help further your career as a translational researcher

  • Create a hypothesis-based research proposal that includes a mentorship plan

  • Create a timeline table detailing the progression of your proposed project over three-year KL2 program appointment

Step 3. Complete the online application form
Frequently Asked Questions

How many funded positions will there be each year?

We hope to select three KL2 scholars each year.


Are other federal grants (eg R01 or R21) allowed to support the remaining 25% salary not covered by the KL2 award?

Yes. KL2 scholars are allowed to receive concurrent support from federal sources, as long as the effort dedicated to other grants does not reduce their KL2 effort to below 9 person-months and the support is for a different project with separate goals.


How is this award different from NIH individual Career Development Awards?

Specific information regarding individual CDAs

Individuals who have already obtained an individual Kaward will not be eligible to apply for our KL2 award.

The KL2 award is an Institutional Mentored Research CDA. It is similar in intent, scope, and funding to individual mentored K awards. All NIH Mentored CDAs have the same general level of effort requirements. However, there are several important differences. The application materials and time to notification are much shorter. A personal interview is required.

A core curriculum will be provided that will develop general scholarship in a breadth of clinical research topics. Intensive clinical research mentorship is also a primary focus of the CTSA KL2 award.

Finally, awards will be determined by a committee comprised of UW, Seattle Children’s, Fred Hutch, and other ITHS partner faculty and affiliated investigators.


If a potential scholar is already studying under an existing KL2/K12 award, is he/she eligible for this program?

Early career researchers are normally limited to 6 years of K-support overall. Since the ITHS KL2 program is designed for three years of support, applicants should not have received more than three years of K12 or KL2 support prior to applying. Furthermore, the applicant would need to justify additional mentored research training or training in a team context.


Is there a limit on time since completing post-doctoral training, or at what stage should prospective KL2 scholars be?

We have not established explicit limits on time since training. However, this award is best suited for applicants who are early in their professional careers. This award is not meant to serve as support for applicants already established in their field, nor is it meant to aid in a career change. Individuals who have achieved the rank of associate professor are not eligible.

KL2 scholars must hold a doctoral level degree. We are seeking individuals at an early stage of their career, even while they are in sub-specialty training. We expect that KL2 scholars will be postdoctoral level trainees or junior faculty who plan to conduct, or are conducting, clinical and translational research. Some KL2 scholars may be at the tenure-track/assistant professor level when they enter the program, but we hope most KL2 scholars will be at a much earlier stage. We expect that KL2 scholars will become assistant professor or tenure-track clinical research faculty either during or after they progress through the program.

KL2 scholars who achieve promotion to the rank of Associate Professor will have their appointments terminated at the end of the grant year in which this promotion is achieved.

Please see this link for more information:

NIH Career Development Award – Eligible Individuals


Can this program be combined with a clinical fellowship?


KL2 funds cannot be used to support clinical fellowship training. However, fellows who have completed the part of their fellowship needed for sub specialty certification are eligible to apply. For example, although a Medical Oncology fellowship may last three to four years, fellows who have completed two years may be eligible to sit for the boards, and are therefore eligible. In general, applicants should be board-eligible for their specialty or subspecialty when they enter the KL2 program.


As a KL2 scholar will I be able to conduct research outside of the US and Canada, or focus on Global Health?

The KL2 program cannot support any investigators with a focus on global health and research located outside of the United States. While appointed to the KL2 program, scholars may not participate in any research work or travel outside of the United States and Canada (with the exception of international travel for conference attendance). Conducting research in the United States with foreign samples and data is allowed.




Do I have to be a member of a specific Health Science School to apply?


This program strongly encourages applications from members of all UW Health Science Schools. This includes the Schools of Pharmacy, Nursing, Public Health and Community Medicine, Social Work, Dentistry, and Medicine. In addition, the program strongly encourages applications from individuals at ITHS partner and collaborating institutions.


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Page last modified: Aug 28, 2019 @ 2:14 pm (PST)

Cite ITHSThe Institute is supported by grants UL1 TR002319, KL2 TR002317, and TL1 TR002318 from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA).

Please help us continue to support your research by citing our grant number(s) in publications we supported.