Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Scholars Program (KL2)

Program Details

The CTS Scholars Program provides a wonderful opportunity for scholars to jump-start their careers as multidisciplinary clinical and translational investigators with protected time for research and training. Below you will find more information about the program.



To be eligible for the CTS Scholars Program, prospective scholars must:

  • Be US citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents.
  • Have a full-time position at the University of Pittsburgh at the time of his/her appointment to the program.
  • Be able to commit a minimum of 75% effort toward research and career development while in the program.
  • Have a clinical doctorate (e.g., MD), PhD, or equivalent doctoral degree.

Individuals are not eligible if:

  • They have another federal career development award (K series).
  • They are a former or current program director or principal investigator on any NIH research project grants (this does not include NIH small grants [R03], Exploratory Developmental [R21], or Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer [R43, R44] grants) or equivalent non-Public Health Service peer-reviewed grants that are more than $100,000 direct costs per year.
  • They are a former or current project leader on subprojects for program project (P01) or center grants (P50).
  • Customized Career Development Plan (CCDP). The KL2 Program Directors will work with each Scholar and mentoring team to develop an educational program uniquely tailored to meet the Scholar’sneeds and goals. The CCDP allows scholars to master a core didactic set of competency-based skills needed for successful multidisciplinary translational research careers.
  • Mentored Research. The central component of the CTS Scholars Program will be the conduct of one or more research projects under the mentorship of a multidisciplinary team of outstanding scientists (two or more mentors from different disciplines). Scholars will be supported, from the beginning of their tenure on the KL2, to use their research as initial studies and to apply for independent funding. The Program Directors will meet regularly with scholars to facilitate progress in their research, remove any barriers, and assure scholars are making progress.
  • Training Components. The CTS Scholars Program provides a broad and deep range of training opportunities in fundamental clinical and translational methods, design and analysis, advanced CTS methods, grant writing, and interdisciplinary professional skills. Additional training activities include leadership and scientific management skills, time management, effective oral and written communication, team science, stakeholder engagement, and entrepreneurship and commercialization processes.

Duration of Appointment:

  • CTS Scholars are given consecutive, 12-month appointments. Program leaders assess each Scholar’s career progress annually.

The CTS Scholars Program provides the following financial support:

  • Seventy-five percent effort and salary support. The CTS Scholars Program employs a University-based salary cap of $120,000. At the required 75% effort, the program cap will support salary expenses during a 12-month period of $90,000 maximum.
  • An annual amount of $25,000 to support a Scholar’s career development activities, including expenses related to research studies (e.g., personnel, supplies, professional services); tuition and fees; and conference travel. Conference travel is limited to $2,500 annually

Scholars can find information about other Funding Opportunities here.

Each CTS Scholar must have a multidisciplinary mentoring team with a minimum of two primary mentors from different disciplines. The primary mentors must be NIH-funded, independent investigators who are highly accomplished and have a proven commitment to developing mentees’ careers.

The entire team is expected to meet at least monthly to design and plan research projects, discuss progress, develop solutions to specific problems, provide advice on project management, and help guide data collection, analysis, and manuscript preparation.

The ICRE has implemented several mentoring resources, which are available to CTS Scholars and their mentors. We also provide CTS Scholars with half-day training on mentoring, which emphasizes mentor expectations, effective communication, goal setting, career planning, and constructive feedback.

Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) Scholars Program (KL2) Handbook

A comprehensive record of information relevant to the KL2 including information about Mock Reviews and the Annual Meeting of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science.


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