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Translational Research Scholars Program

Translational Research Scholars Program

The Translational Research Scholars Program (formerly known as the Rising Stars Program) is a faculty career-development program that provides promising early stage investigators from the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) region with a high-quality, targeted and structured career development package for one year. The package includes components such as research funding up to $10,000, mentoring, peer-to- peer feedback and expert review services.

Translational Research Scholars Program seeks to:

  • Increase the number of early stage investigators who are successful in submitting and obtaining K or R-series funding from the NIH
  • Promote retention of scholars in translational research

Application Status

The application period is closed.

The cohort will be 10 awardees representing a diversity of translational and clinical research within the WWAMI region.

Key Dates

  • Application Deadline: February 17, 2017
  • Notification by: April 28, 2017
  • Program Start Date: June 1, 2017
  • Program End Date: May 31, 2018


Prospective Scholars

Highly promising early stage investigators from the WWAMI region who are conducting translational research. Applicants must be PI-eligible as designated by their institution.

Determining Eligibility

  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • Early stage investigators from WWAMI region ITHS partner institutions and universities:
      • Benaroya Research Institute, Boise State University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Group Health Research Institute, Idaho State University, Montana State University, Seattle Children’s, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Idaho, University of Montana , Montana State University, University of Washington, University of Wyoming, Washington State University, or other academic institutions in the WWAMI region
    • Applicant must be prepared to submit a K or R application by the end of the one year program
    • Department Chair/Dean (or equivalent position) commitment to provide 10-20% release time for selected scholars
    • A primary mentor at time of application who will provide mentorship and constructive feedback during the program
    • Applicant should have a publication track record
    • Project must have relevance to Clinical and/or Translational Research
    • Applicants must be able to commit a minimum of 4 hours a week to scholar activities
  • Applicants are ineligible if they have obtained R-series funding as a principal investigator.
  • Applicants with a current K award or preparing a K or R resubmission are eligible.
  • The program strongly encourages nominees from the entire WWAMI region. Strong consideration will be giving to applications outside the University of Washington.


Support up to $10,000 in research funds for one year.  Please review the NIH guidelines for allowable costs.

Schools/departments/divisions will be required to provide 10-20% release time for their selected scholars.  Non-UW institutions are responsible for indirect costs.


Meet the Scholars

The Program supports up to 10 scholars per cohort. The Translational Research Scholars represent the diversity of translational and clinical research within the WWAMI region.

2017-2018 Cohort

2017-2018 Cohort

Jie An, PhD
Acting Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
University of Washington

Project Title: Screen and test the surrogate disease biomarkers and drug candidates for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Jie An, PhD

Eeeseung Byun PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
University of Washington School of Nursing

Project Title: Mechanisms of Symptoms in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Sleep Disturbance, Fatigue and Impaired Cognition

Eeeseung Byun, PhD, RN

Brad Dieter, PhD
Foundation Research Fellow
Providence Medical Research Center

Project Title: Serum Amyloid A as a Prognostic, Predictive, and Actionable Biomarker for Diabetic Kidney Disease

Brad Dieter, PhD

Clare Fitzpatrick, PhD
Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering
Boise State University

Project Title: Musculoskeletal adaptation mechanisms in healthy and pathological subjects

Clare Fitzpatrick, PhD

Sandeep Khot, MD,MPH
Associate Professor, Neurology
Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington

Project Title: Maximizing use of continuous positive airway pressure in stroke patients with obstructive sleep apnea during inpatient rehabilitation

Sandeep Khot, MD,MPH

Allison Lambert, MD
Adjunct Clinical Instructor, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
University of Washington

Project Title: The Role of the Antimicrobial Peptide Cathelicidin in Acute Exacerbation of COPD

Allison Lambert, MD

Holly Martinson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology
University of Alaska Anchorage

Project Title: Molecular Causes and Mechanistic Underpinning of Alaska Native breast cancer

Holly Martinson, PhD

Amy Navratil, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming

Project Title: JNK 1/2 in Regulation of Fertility

Amy Navratil, PhD

Kathleen Ramos, MD, MS
Senior Fellow/Acting Instructor, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
University of Washington

Project Title: Predicting survival and planning for lung transplantation in severe cystic fibrosis

Kathleen Ramos, MD, MS

Nathaniel Williams, PhD
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Boise State University

Project Title: Testing an organizational culture intervention to improve routine outcome monitoring implementation in usual care

Nathaniel Williams, PhD
2015-2017 Cohort

2015-17 Cohort

Joseph M. Cerimele, MD, MPH
Acting Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington

Project Title: Primary Care Clinicians’ Experiences Treating Patients with Bipolar Disorder

Brian D. Cherrington, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Zoology and Physiology
University of Wyoming

Project Title: Peptidylarginine Deiminase Inhibitors as Epidrugs for Pituitary Tumors

Allison Cole, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Family Medicine
University of Washington

Project Title: Facilitators and Barriers to Implementation of a Proactive Colorectal Cancer Screening Program across the WWAMI Region

Cynthia L. Curl, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Community and Environmental Health
Boise State University

Project Title: Pilot Study to Measure the Effect of an Organic Diet during Pregnancy

Haiwei Gu, PhD
Acting Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
University of Washington

Project Title: Breast Cancer Metabolite Biomarker Discovery Using Global Profiling Multiple Reaction Monitoring Transitions

Kirk E. Hevener, PharmD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Idaho State University

Project Title: Drug Repurposing Screening Against C. difficile Enoyl-ACP Reductase (FabK)

Sara T. Kover, PhD
Assistant Professor, Speech and Hearing Sciences
University of Washington

Project Title: Establishing Word Learning Tasks for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Stephanie E. McCalla, PhD
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Montana State University

Project Title: Probing the Specificity of Digital Isothermal Amplification for the Detection of Small RNA Heart Attack Biomarkers

Rebecca O’Connor, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor, Family and Child Nursing/Nursing Research Faculty, CCTR
University of Washington/Seattle Children’s

Project Title: A Pilot Feasibility Study of the Community-Engaged Clinical Research Model in East African Immigrant Black Youth with Type 1 Diabetes

Sujata Pradhan, PT, PhD
Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine – Physical Therapy
University of Washington

Project Title: Defining Physical Activity Levels and Their Relation to Physical Function in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Sherene Shalhub, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Surgery-Vascular Surgery
University of Washington

Project Title: Factors Influencing Dissection Related Early Aneurysmal Degeneration

Susan S. Tavernier, PhD, CNS, RN, AOCN(R)
Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
Idaho State University-Meridian

Project Title: Impact of Patient Voice on Outcomes

Core Program
Core Program

  • K or R Submission Required Learning Activities and Assignments
    • Monthly activities and assignments are designed to lead to a submission of a K or R application by the end of the program.
  • Mentorship
    • A central component of the Translational Research Scholars Program is focused mentored research. The primary mentor, identified in the application form must provide a letter of support. They must have research expertise and experience mentoring and are expected to provide ongoing support and guidance to their scholars during the duration of the program. Mentor responsibilities include:
      • Participate in selected program activities
      • Assist in K or R grant development including reviewing selected assignments
    • Monthly Teleconference Check-ins
      • Scholars will have a monthly 90 minute check-in for didactic training, updates, and peer-to-to peer feedback.
      • Scholars will provide a Work-in-Progress (WIP) at scheduled intervals.
    • Grant Development
      • Scholars will provide feedback on aims and significance and innovation to assigned group members.
      • Expert reviewers will provide additional feedback on aims and significance and innovation.
    • Face-to-Face Meeting (Travel will be provided to Scholars outside of Seattle area.)
      • Scholars will participate in at least one face-to-face meeting (Scheduled for Monday June 19th 2017) to enhance interactions, amongst Scholars and provide grant development training.


Scholars are expected to:

  • Commit to a minimum of 4 hours a week to scholar activities.
  • Complete monthly assignments. Selected assignments will be reviewed by their mentor.
  • Submit a K or R grant by June 2018.
  • Attend face-to-face meetings and complete any additional required training.

How to Apply
How to Apply

The 2017 application period has closed.

Application Items to Complete

Letters should be submitted online though the LOR form
  • 1) Department Letter of Support
    • Must include statement of commitment to provide 10%-20% release time for applicant to participate in the program
  • 2) Primary Mentor Letter
    • Must outline role and commitment to the applicant
    • Experience in research and mentoring
Combine items 3-6 into a single PDF file, and complete the application form.

  • How will the Translational Research Scholars Program benefit your career development?
  • How will the program facilitate submission of your grant proposal?
  • What are your longer term (next 5 years) translational and/or clinical research goals?

  • Describe your proposed research project for your K or R-series application
  • Include the following sections in your proposal:
    • Specific Aims
    • Significance
    • Innovation
    • Approach
    • Translational Impact

  • Detail your plans for use of up to $10,000 in research funds

Frequently Asked Questions

Translational Research Scholars Program

Are basic science researchers eligible to apply?

Yes. The translational science spectrum represents each stage of research along the path from the biological basis of health and disease to interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public. It includes basic, pre-clinical, clinical, clinical implementation and public health research. Learn more about translational science.

Are post-doctoral fellows eligible to apply?

No. Applicants must have a faculty appointment at UW or ITHS partner institutions in the WWAMI region.

How long is the program?

The program is one year starting June 1, 2017 and ending May 31, 2018.

How many scholars will be selected?

We hope to select up to 10 scholars.

What is the type and amount of funding provided to each scholar?

ITHS will support up to $10,000 in research funds for one year.
Review the NIH guidelines for allowable costs

In addition, the school/department/division agrees to provide 10-20% release time for their selected scholars. (This must be stated in the letter of support.)

Are investigators working on translational research globally eligible for this award?

Yes. The program does support research outside the United States and investigators with a focus on global health. Investigators conducting research outside the USA are still expected to meet the participation requirements.

What is a resource sharing plan, and am I required to submit one?

NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value and further the advancement of research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that the results be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community.

View Details

Contact Us
Contact Us

Should you have questions about the program, need more information, or would like to speak with one of the Program Directors prior to applying, please feel free to contact us through the form below.

What Scholars Say

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.