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FAQs

Eligibility
Application
Program
Mentoring
Salary and Other Support
Additional Questions

Eligibility

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for this K12 program?
No. The program is only for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
Is the program for MDs and clinicians only? May PhDs apply?
Anyone with a doctoral degree (e.g., MD, PhD, DPH, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND, or PsyD) is eligible.
Do I have to have a clinical degree to apply?
You do not have to have a clinical degree; however, your career goals and interests must be in patient-centered outcomes research.
What level of training do I need (fellow, postdoctoral trainee, or faculty)?
We are interested in faculty in their first four years as an assistant professor.
Am I eligible if I currently have another K application or R01 submitted or pending peer review at AHRQ or NIH?
No. AHRQ policy does not permit you to have another K award or research project grant (R01) under review simultaneously.
If I am a co-investigator but have never been a principal investigator on an R01, am I still eligible for the program?
Yes. However, upon appointment to the PCOR Scholars Program, scholars must relinquish salary support from all other federal research grants for the duration of their K12 appointment. Current or past support from specific types of research or career development grants may disqualify you from the PCOR Scholars Program. Please see this page for full details.
May I apply to the program if I do not have an appointment within the University?
At the time of application, you do not have to have an appointment within the University. However, you will need an appointment when you enroll as a PCOR scholar. At the time of application, you will need to submit a letter from the department chair indicating that you will have an appointment if you are selected as a scholar.

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Application

Does each applicant have to be approved by AHRQ as well as by the University of Pittsburgh?
PCOR scholars are selected by the program directors, based on their application materials. After scholars are selected for the program, AHRQ will be informed of their appointment.
Is the program at the University of Pittsburgh likely to be more competitive or less competitive than an individual K23 career development award?
You should talk with your mentor and someone from the Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee to determine which mechanism is better suited for you, based on your level of training and experience.
What elements should be included in my application to make it a strong letter of interest?
There are a number of elements that are considered essential to a strong letter of interest:
  • Well thought out research aims and methods.
  • A clear commitment to a career in PCOR.
  • The selection of appropriate mentors for your project

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Program

What is the duration of support?
Scholars can be supported for two or three years, provided they maintain satisfactory progress.
What coursework is required for PCOR scholars?
Each scholar is expected to enroll and participate in:
  • CLRES 2071 and 2072, a two-semester, 5-credit grant writing course in the ICRE, along with any necessary pre-requisites.
  • CLRES 2431: Translating Research for Policy and Practice
  • MEDEDU 2140: Medical Writing and Presentations Skills to
  • Additional ICRE courses in CER and PCOR methods, and any other didactic training relevant to the scholars’ research goals and methodology background.
Do I need to spend 75% of my time on PCOR research?
Yes. To maximize the training you receive, you must have 75% protected time to devote to the PCOR Scholars Program activities.
May I apply for a K award while I am in the program?
We encourage all scholars to apply for their own K awards while in the program.

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Mentoring

How many mentors do I need?
Scholars are encouraged to have as many mentors as is appropriate, given their area of research.
Do I select my mentors? If so, how do I select them?
Scholars are encouraged to work with their division chief, department chair, or program directors to select mentors that are appropriate, based on their area of research.
Will mentors be paid?
Up to $5,000, including fringe benefit costs, is available to support one mentor per scholar.
May anyone serve as a mentor?
Mentors must have an ongoing funded CER project and a record of mentoring. Your mentors must be approved by the program directors.
What is team mentoring?
Team mentoring means more than having multiple mentors working with the mentee; it means having mentors working together as a team to contribute to the mentee's career development. The concept was developed through the NIH Roadmap initiative, which found that "the scale and complexity of today's biomedical research problems increasingly demand that scientists move beyond the confines of their own discipline and explore new organizational models for team science." Today's research requires bringing together the perspectives of multiple disciplines to examine a research question right from the beginning. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to develop and conduct research projects that are new and innovative and that would not be possible using mentors from a single discipline or mentors from multiple disciplines working individually with a mentee. It is the synergy created when investigators from multiple disciplines come together that will result in the development of new scientific approaches. The team mentoring model provides benefits for the mentees, since they learn multidisciplinary methods of discovery, and it also provides benefits for the mentors, since it gives them the opportunity to bring fresh perspectives to the research question that they are examining.

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Salary and Other Support

What is supported?
The program offers the following:
  • 75% salary support, as well as associated fringe benefits, for up two or three years. The total salary must be based on a 12-month appointment and the level of effort related to PCOR Scholars Program activities. In all cases, the salary requested must be consistent with the level of effort. PCOR scholars’ salary costs are limited to $90,000 per year, plus fringe benefits.
  • Up to $25,000 per year will be available to support pilot research projects and travel (once) to Washington, D.C. for a national meeting of PCOR K12 scholars.
If I am a faculty member, who pays the other 25% of my salary, or is my salary now 75% of my original salary?
The other 25% of your salary may be covered by any combination of institutional funds or other non-federal sponsored research projects, provided the activities are all relevant to your career development. It cannot be paid through other federal grants.

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Additional Questions

Whom should I contact if I have additional questions?
Please contact Lindsay Bell.

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