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KL2 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Scholars Program

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Alumni Spotlight

Shaun M. Eack, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Psychiatry is the recipient of the 2014 Society for Social Work and Research Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award. The Society recognizes that Dr. Eack's accomplishments reflect innovative scholarship, a rigorous approach to social work research, and work that exhibits an emerging influence in the field, as well as a contribution to advance the profession.

The award will be presented at the Awards Presentation on Friday, January 17, 2014, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm, at the 2014 SSWR Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Congratulations Dr. Eack!

The KL2 Clinical Research Scholars Program (KL2-CRSP) is a multidisciplinary career development program that is supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) through the K12 mechanism. The program prepares scientists from a broad range of disciplines, specialties, and subspecialties for independent careers in clinical or translational research. It brings together the collaborative efforts of the University of Pittsburgh schools of the health sciences (the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public Health, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the School of Pharmacy), the many multidisciplinary research centers at the University, and the extensive clinical entities that comprise UPMC.

The KL2-CRSP scholars engage in diverse types of multidisciplinary clinical research, including small clinical trials, patient-oriented research, epidemiologic studies, health services research, and translational research. Every scholar has the opportunity to pursue educational offerings pertaining to research ethics and regulations, best practices in clinical research, work in multidisciplinary teams, and leadership skills. Mentoring is an integral component of the KL2CRSP and is provided by a team of highly experienced, federally funded senior investigators.

"I've learned a LOT! I am sure without the KL2 training my applications would not have been as competitive."

—2006 Scholar Sara R. Piva, PT, PhD
(recently awarded an Administrative Supplement to her NIH/NICHD/NCMRR K01 award)

News and Information

  • The Clinical Research Scholars Program (KL2-CRSP) will be accepting new applications. The award includes funding to support for 75% effort for research as well as $25,000 for research expenses. If you are interested in a career development award, we encourage you to submit a letter of interest with your CV. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. The letter of interest is limited to one page and should include an introduction, specific aims, a brief overview of methods, a list of mentors. Please email letters with CV to by April 6th. Please visit for eligibility requirements.
  • Congratulations to KL2-CRSP Scholar Ellen Beckjord, PhD, who recently participated in Pittsburgh’s Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs Rally (POWER). Dr. Beckjord had the opportunity to pitch her smoking cessation app, QuitNinja, to several potential investors. To read more about the event, click here and here.
  • Congratulations to KL2-CRSP Scholar Brian Feingold, MD, MS who has been awarded the American Heart Association Grant in Aid Award. This two year award provides support for Brian’s MRI study assessing myocardial fibrosis.
  • Congratulations to former KL2-CRSP Scholar, Samay Jain, MD, MS and current KL2-CRSP Scholar, Ellen Burke Beckjord, PhD, MPH for being selected as two of the three winners of the Pitt Innovation Challenge! Click here to read more.
  • Yael Schenker, MD, MS, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Junior Scholar Award in Population-Based Cancer Research.
  • Former KL2-CRSP Scholar Steven Little is the recipient of the ICRE’s 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
  • KL2-CRSP alumni Scholar, Shaun Eack is passionate about cognitive enhancement training, which has helped autistic people improve social skills and reduce rigid patterns of thinking. Read more about his approach in this Post-Gazette article.
  • Ellen Beckjord, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral Medicine in Oncology was recently interviewed by the HuffPostLive on 10/1/2013 about the government shutdown. She was also quoted in a recent HuffPost article. Congratulations Ellen!
  • Congratulations to our alums, Steve Little and Shaun Eack! Steve Little won the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Shaun Eack won the Distinguished Research Award as a Junior Scholar. Read more here.