KL2 Mentored Career Development Award

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KL2 Mentored Career Development Award for Junior Faculty


The Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research is pleased to announce a request for applications for the KL2 Mentored Career Development Award at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Persons from populations underrepresented in the scientific enterprise are strongly encouraged to apply.

The KL2 Mentored Career Development Award combines didactic training, mentoring, exposure to multidisciplinary research, and ongoing evaluation to prepare young investigators for careers in patient oriented research (POR). The award serves as a "bridge" by which young junior faculty can achieve research independence.

KL2 scholars complete a rigorous training program that guarantees exposure to a wide range of clinical and translational research methods in both classroom and experiential settings. The key features of the training program include:

Scholars are required to devote at least 75% effort (or 50% effort for surgeons) towards their research. With a salary cap of $120,000, the award will provide funds to cover up to $90,000 of the individual’s annual salary, and fringe on this amount, as well as funds for research expenses, travel, supplies, research assistant salary, and tuition expenses (up to $20,000 per year). Note that the amount of the award must remain consistent with NIH, Columbia University, and KL2 program policies, and therefore may be subject to change. The remainder of the salary, fringe, and research expenses is provided by the awardee’s home department. Individuals who enroll in the Master of Science in Patient Oriented Research and take at least 30 credits of coursework may be eligible for additional scholarships for a maximum of two years.

The typical duration of the KL2 award is two years, initially awarded as a one‐year grant but renewable annually based on performance and renewal of the Irving Institute's CTSA grant from NIH. Extensions beyond two years are possible but rare.

After two to three years as a KL2 scholar, individuals are still eligible for K awards from the NIH in most cases. Note that each NIH institute has its own policy on this issue and the institute should be consulted for clarification.

The KL2 program places special emphasis on multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research, which must be reflected in the research, training, and team mentorship plans. By “team mentorship,” we mean that each applicant must identify KL2 mentors from at least two different disciplines to supervise his/her research progress during the period of the award. Additional consultants may also be named, as needed and appropriate. A proposed schedule of meeting times between the scholar and his/her mentors must be provided.

See a list of current and past KL2 Mentored Career Development Trainees.


  • The KL2 Mentored Career Development Award is open to junior faculty at Columbia University with professorial titles (clinical- or tenure-track). It is acceptable to have a non‐professorial title at the time of the application, so long as the applicant will be promoted to professorial rank by the time of the award; this must be clearly indicated in the letter of support from the applicant’s department chair.
  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and must hold a research or health‐professional doctoral degree or its equivalent.
  • Applicant must be able to devote a minimum of two years to the KL2 training program.
  • Each applicant’s department chair must provide a supporting letter guaranteeing that (1) if awarded, the scholar will devote a minimum of 75% effort (or as low as 50% for surgeons) to the KL2 research during the period of the award; (2) the individual will be appointed Assistant Professor through June 1, 2024; and (3) the department will provide financial support for the remaining salary, fringe, and research expenses. Note that the amount of the award must remain consistent with NIH policy, and therefore, may be subject to change. The current grant ends June 30, 2026.
  • The applicant must not have been the recipient of any other K award from the NIH in the past or currently. In addition, the applicant may not have served, in the past or currently, as the PI of an R01, R29, or P50 grant award. Recipients of R03 or R21 awards, however, are eligible.
  • Individuals who are members of the following populations that are underrepresented in the research enterprise (https://diversity.nih.gov/about-us/population-underrepresented) are strongly encouraged to apply: (1) Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis, (2) Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and/or (3) Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Applications are currently closed.

Application Instructions

Phase I Application

 To apply for phase I of the KL2 Mentored Career Development Award, please initiate your application by clicking the green apply button above. All supplemental materials listed below must be included in your application:

  • Current NIH biosketch
  • Personal statement (maximum 1 page)
  • Abstract of research proposal (200 words or fewer)
  • Proposed training plan (maximum 5 pages): Describe your plans for additional training, and how these educational activities will further your career as a clinical/translational scientist. If applying to the MS in POR program, include the electives you would choose. If you already hold a patient-oriented research master's degree, describe the additional courses you would take as part of the KL2 award. Please include a proposed schedule and rationale for meetings with KL2 mentors (individually and together).
  • Candidates must submit three letters of recommendation (two from primary mentors and one from the department chair).

Please note: Applicants without a research master's degree must concurrently apply to the Master of Science in Patient Oriented Research Program at the Mailman School of Public Health to be considered for the KL2 program. Full‐time attendance during the 2023 Columbia Summer Research Institute is required. If you believe that you have equivalent training and would like to request a waiver from this requirement, please contact the program staff at ctsa_edu@cumc.columbia.edu to request a waiver. Include your CV and academic transcripts supporting your request. Approved waivers must be attached to your Phase 1 application.


Cite it, Submit it, Share it!

If your research has benefited from one or more Irving Institute resources, please remember to:

Cite our CTSA grant, KL2 TR001874, in any relevant publications, abstracts, chapters, and/or posters.

Submit your publications to PubMed Central (PMC) for compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Share your research updates with us by sending an email to: irving_institute@cumc.columbia.edu


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