KL2 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can candidates applying for a CTSA KL2 appointment also apply for additional mentored K awards (i.e., K08 or K23)?
A: Appointed KL2 scholars (those awarded KL2 funding) may subsequently apply for K08, K01, or K23 support. If they are successful, they then move from one mechanism to the other. In conversations with NCATS program officials they have made it clear that the goal is to have KL2 awardees “graduate” as quickly as possible to NIH funding. Typically this would be an NIH career development award in the K series. In exceptional instances, a KL2 award might be able to apply directly from a KL2 to an R series award.

Q: Can a candidate who has submitted a K23 application but has not received a score or has been informed that he or she has an unfundable score apply for a KL2 appointment?
A: This MAY be possible IF the NIH K23 application (or equivalent) is either not yet under review or can be withdrawn. It is not possible to have 2 K applications (i.e., KL2 and K23) under simultaneous review.

Q: Can a KL2 scholar accept a small grant award?
A: Yes. KL2 scholars may be named PIs on a competing NIH research grant application (R01, R03, R15, R21, R34, or equivalent application from another federal agency) or a sub-project director on a competing multi-component research or center grant or cooperative agreement application (P01, P50, U01, etc. or an equivalent application from another federal agency). However, the effort requirement of the KL2 award applies. In addition, each KL2 scholar who plans to apply for an NIH K award must assure they remain eligible. Becoming a PI on a R01 would disqualify an applicant from a KL2 or other K award.

Q: If I am a mid-career person and I want to move into a different area, is this the appropriate mechanism for me to do that?
A: The KL2 is designed to be an internally awarded mentored career development award that parallels the NIH K series career development awards. Therefore, it is not appropriate for a mid-career faculty member who has already been PI of an NIH award in a K or R series. You may, however, wish to consider the CTSI-CN pilot awards to determine if that source of funding could assist in changing the direction of your research.

Q: I do not have my faculty appointment yet, how does that play out when applying for the award?
A: A faculty appointment is required. If your faculty application is “in process”, please make sure this is stated in the letter of support from your department chair or division Chief.

Q: Will the certificate or master’s degree program in Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) be available if you are not part of the KL2 program?
A: Yes.

Q: What if you already have a MPH. Will a Master’s in Clinical and Translational Research still be required?
A: No. But as you build your education training program you are required to enroll in thhe Certificate in Clinical and Translational Research, that is provided to address additional competencies and skills in Clinical and Translational Research that you will need.

Q: What is the duration of the Graduate Program in Clinical and Translational Research?
A: 2 years (6 consecutive semesters including summers) for the Master’s degree and 1 ½ years (4 consecutive semesters including one summer) for the Certificate.

Q: What is the curriculum of the Graduate Program in Clinical and Translational Research?
A: The Master’s degree core curriculum consists of 27 credit hours of training in clinical and translational research including hypothesis generation, database design, statistical approaches, responsible conduct of research, etc. It will assure that students have attained the core skills that constitute training in clinical and translational science. Students also choose 9 credit hours of electives based on their research background and interests. A capstone course involves the development of a grant proposal and is equivalent to a thesis. The Certificate program consists of 21 credits, including the core courses of the Master’s degree program.

Q: Do you need biosketches from your mentorship team/advisory committee?
A: NIH Biosketches are only required from the mentors. However, if your advisory committee members play a significant role in the development of your educational and training program or in the conduct of your research, it would be advisable to include Biosketches from them as well.

Q: What the cost of the Master’s program for KL2 awardees?
A: The Master’s program is offered through The George Washington University and tuition costs will be covered by the GW faculty tuition benefit program and the CTSI-CN for KL2 awardees.

Q: Will there be funding provided to potential mentors?
A: No.

Q: Could the lead mentor or co-mentor also be the department or division head?
A: Yes. They should, of course, have a record of funded research and successful mentoring.

Q: Is the KL2 program a two-year award?
A: The KL2 program is a two-year award with the possibility of institutional funding for a third year. Each year of funding is contingent upon satisfactory progress and submission of required progress reports. However, every KL2 applicant will be expected to be working toward submission of a meritorious NIH/AHRQ career development award (i.e., K23, K08) as early as possible in this three-year period. Alternatively, the exceptionally well-prepared KL2 scholar may apply directly for R-type funding without additional career development funding.

Q: If you have a funded CTSA KL2 award, would it be beneficial or detrimental to apply for another K award?
A: You would be advised to continue on the KL2, collecting and publishing results in order to prepare a highly meritorious NIH/AHRQ or like competitive peer reviewed application, typically for a research career development award (i.e.. K23) at the earliest feasible point.

Q: What is the total number of years for K (or similar) awards combined?
A: Typically, not more than 5 years. Therefore, if two years of KL2 funding is received, an NIH K would typically be for another three years. In exceptional instances, a longer period of total funding may be available.

Q: What does the 75% protected time for KL2 consists of?
A: This protected time is for multidisciplinary clinical and translational research with training and mentoring activities.

Q: May I negotiate to devote less than 75% effort to the KL2?
A: In general, 75% of the scholars’ full-time professional effort must be devoted to the program. However, certain surgical specialties may request approval for less than 75% if justified, but no less than 50% protected time for this program. Justification will require documentation that more than a 25% clinical commitment is required in order to avoid loss of competence or credentialing in specified clinical skills. Any applicant who is interested in applying while committing less than 75% effort for the academic aspects of the project should discuss their interests with Dr. Luban prior to applying.

Q: How can I best use the 25% non-supported effort?
A: The scholar’s non-supported effort must be devoted to activities related to the development of a successful clinical and translational research career. Typically, these activities include clinical, administrative, and/or teaching efforts. The divisions/departments must not require extra duties or responsibilities that reduce the scholar’s protected time that would interfere with the purpose of the career development award. We will be auditing this to ensure compliance.

Q: I am a principal investigator of industry grants; am I eligible for the KL2?
A: Yes. This is allowed as long as your paid effort is outside of the 75% KL2-supported effort.

Q: Can I work on several research projects under my 75% protected time?
A: Yes. However, these research projects should all be aligned with your overall research theme, objectives, and specific aims. They would probably be described in your application at least briefly because you need to account for all your time.