RFA for CTSA KL2 Mentored Career Development Award

The Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT) is pleased to announce a request for applications from faculty seeking to be appointed to the Penn CTSA KL2 Mentored Career Development Award. The award seeks to support early career faculty who are focused on advancing basic and translational discoveries towards improving human health.

Applications Due: November 18, 2022 | Appointments: July 1, 2023

KL2 scholars are awarded a minimum of two years of salary support commensurate with 75% effort (capped at $90,000) plus benefits, in addition to $25,000 for training and research related expenses.

The KL2 program ensures each scholar engages in an individualized, comprehensive, flexible research training and career development experience through:

  1. Selected curricular elements with the option of pursuing a master’s degree or certificate program in translational science
  2. Team mentoring
  3. A Professional Skills Development Program
  4. Infrastructural support in the acquisition of pilot grants and individual K and R awards
  5. An array of seminars, workshops, symposia, and intern-/externships at the academic-industrial interface
  6. Access to many core resources that address infrastructural barriers to clinical and translational science
  • Faculty appointment as of July 1, 2023 in the Medical, Dental, Veterinary, or Nursing Schools; including Assistant Professors within the first 3 years of their faculty appointment, Instructors, & Research Associates
  • A translational research proposal testing basic research findings for clinical effect (i.e. preclinical, first in human, proof of concept, phase 1) and /or focused on the elucidation of mechanistic and therapeutic aspects of disease processes
  • US citizen or permanent resident status
  • Applicants are encouraged to orient their research question through a health equity lens
  • Applicants underrepresented in clinical and translational science are encouraged to apply

Download a PDF of the application requirements.

All documents will be uploaded in the Supporting Documents section of the application.  The headers below align to the name of the document upload.

Required Documents

  • CV
  • Other funding support for applicant
    • Document that details other support available or applications – e.g., have a K08 under review
  • Research Statement
    • Specific Aims (1 page limit)
    • Research Strategy (6-page limit)
      • A sound research project consistent with the candidate's level of research development and objectives of the career development plan must be provided. The research description should demonstrate the quality of the candidate's research thus far, the novelty, significance, creativity and approach, as well as the ability of the candidate to carry out the research.
      • The application must also describe the relationship between the mentor's research and the candidate's proposed research plan.
      • Research Strategy should be organized in three sections: Significance, Innovation, Approach
    • Research Budget (1 page limit)
  • Personal Statement (3-page limit):
    • Candidate Background
      • Describe the candidate's commitment to a health-related research career. Describe all the candidate's professional responsibilities in the grantee institution and elsewhere and describe their relationship to the proposed activities on the career award.
      • Describe prior training and how it relates to the objectives and long-term career plans of the candidate.
      • Describe the candidate's research efforts to this point in his/her research career, including any publications, prior research interests and experience.
      • Provide evidence of the candidate's potential to develop into an independent investigator.
    • Career Goals and Objectives
      • Describe a systematic plan: (1) that shows a logical progression from prior research and training experiences to the research and career development experiences that will occur during the career award period and then to independent investigator status; and (2) that justifies the need for further career development to become an independent investigator.
    • Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period
      • The candidate and the mentor(s) are jointly responsible for the preparation of the career development plan.  A career development timeline is often helpful.
      • The didactic and the research aspects of the plan must be designed to develop the necessary knowledge and research skills in scientific areas relevant to the candidate's career goals.
      • Describe the professional responsibilities/activities including other research projects beyond the minimum required 75% full-time professional effort commitment to the career award.  Explain how these responsibilities/activities will help ensure career progression to achieve independence as an investigator.
  • Primary Mentor's NIH biosketch and other support

Letters of Support will be requested in the Recommenders Section of the application

  • Letters of Support from Mentor(s) and Collaborators (Not to exceed 6 pages in total)
    • Primary Mentor Letter is required.
    • Candidates may request additional mentor or collaborator letters
    • Letter requests will be sent via the application system in the Recommenders section.  Applicants should communicate with their letter writers to let them know they will receive requests with instructions to upload letters from:  ITMAT, University of Pennsylvania, lor_help@collegenet.com
    • Primary Mentor Letter Guidelines
      • The commitment to mentor the candidate
      • The suitability of the trainee's education objectives for stated career goals
      • The feasibility and relevance of stated area of research to be undertaken during the program to include:
      • The resources available to complete the research
      • The availability of collaborative relationships that may be required to undertake the research question
      • Mentor's prior experience mentoring translational research trainees
  • Institutional Commitment - Letter from Departmental Chair (2-page limit)
    • This letter request will be sent via the application system in the Recommenders section.  Applicants should communicate with their letter writer to let them know they will receive an email request with instructions to upload the letter from:  ITMAT, University of Pennsylvania, lor_help@collegenet.com
    • Departmental Chair Letter Guidelines
      • How the applicant’s experience and research align with goals of the CTSA KL2 mentored career development award and how the proposed research is relevant to the department’s/division’s research goals
      • Commitment of the division/department to the scholar’s research direction and career goals
      • Guarantee of 75% protected time for the scholar *if procedural specialty, less than 75% is acceptable*
      • Availability of resources for the mentor and scholar
      • Detail other funding available to the applicant; include # of years of support available (dept support, other grant funding, etc. - please be specific)


  1. Create a CollegeNet account. After logging into CollegeNet, select “Online Application”.
  2. Enter your Personal Information.  Save and continue to Program Information. 
  3. Choose “Perelman School of Medicine Masters Programs”
  4. Search for and select "ITMAT Funding Application"
  5. Select "Summer 2023" term.
  6. You can enter information in stages, at your own pace, and access the application any number of times until submission.
  7. Once the application has been fully submitted, check the status and monitor the receipt of recommendation letters.

ITMAT Education Faculty and Administration are glad to connect with interested applicants throughout the year. 

One-to-one application support is available!  Contact us and we'll be glad to discuss your potential application or questions.  In addition, we've created a list of FAQs available on this page.

  • Can I have other active applications pending for NIH mentored career development awards (e.g. K08, K23)?
    • You may have them under review when you apply for the KL2, but you may not have them under review at the time of appointment (7/1/23); please discuss your plans with us to navigate this timeline
  • Am I required to enroll in a master’s degree program?
    • No, you are not required to enroll in a master’s degree program; we ask that you propose an education program tailored to your needs in your application, which may or may not include a master’s degree program; contact us to discuss options that best suit your interests
  • How many funding slots are available?
    • Five slots are available starting 7/1/23
  • Does the appointment have to start on 7/1/23?
    • Yes, but there may be opportunities for exceptions; contact us to discuss your situation
  • What is the application timeline?
    • Applications are due Nov 18, 2022; Interviews will be held in December 2022; Decisions will be released by January 2023
  • Is 75% effort toward the grant required?
    • Yes. However, surgeons, and interventionalists may request less effort for the specific purpose of maintaining specialty clinical competency skills. These applicants may request a minimum of 50% effort in their application. A strong justification for the reduced level of effort must be included.

Applications received after the deadline or incomplete applications will not be considered.

We believe that a diverse clinical and translational science workforce will enable better science. Diverse teams of scientists bring an important range of experiences and perspectives that propel the collective potential for innovation. Thus, we seek to draw scholars from diverse backgrounds, including diversity of race, ethnicity, work and life experiences, interests, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and those with disabilities.

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