Recent publications emphasize a shortfall in the number of investigators and scientists entering the clinical and translational research (CTR) pipeline. In response to the crisis, NCATS KL2 career development programs play an increasingly important role in preparing the next generation of clinical-translational scientists to be capable and resilient in the face of changes in health care, research funding and academic medicine. Our overall goal is to build upon the success of our CCTSI KL2 program and to provide in the next grant cycle a comprehensive Institutional Career Development Core KL2 training program, for 5 KL2 junior investigator scholar slots for 3 years each at 75% effort, that will foster outstanding and efficient clinical-translational research education, promote clinical-translational science competence and excellence, and augment the impact of research performed by KL2 scholars. To achieve our goals, we propose 3 Specific Aims that are congruent with our conceptual model of CTR persistence developed by our CCTSI colleagues:
Aim 1 : Optimize the provision of individualized competency-based training in translational research methodologies, clinical trials, and data informatics, along with ethical, regulatory and Good Clinical Practice principles.
Aim 2 : Prepare KL2 scholars to thrive in the new collaborative research environment by fostering skill development in entrepreneurship, team- based science and mentorship.
Aim 3 : Assure that KL2 scholars develop and submit competitive grant applications to transition to independent investigators.
These specific aims will be achieved through the use of individualized career development plans to facilitate KL2 scholar oversight and guidance by KL2 program leadership in completing milestones and goals. KL2 scholars along with their mentors, as a dyad, will complete the yearlong CO-Mentor program to solidify effective mentoring relationships. Immersion into CTR will involve meaningful CTR research experiences with the scholar's mentors to support the transition to independence. Innovative experiences, in the form of externships with community organizations and businesses/industry will be provided. Career development initiatives will be offered in team science, entrepreneurship, data informatics and translation through dissemination and implementation. All scholars will complete training in the responsible conduct of research and Good Clinical Practice. KL2 program leadership will be engaged in several activities to increase diversity including partnering with the School of Medicine's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the University's Office of Inclusion and Outreach. All KL2 scholars will participate in the KL2 Curriculum, and many of the programs will be available to other junior faculty with NIH K or equivalent awards, enhancing CTR research training and collaboration across the CCTSI and the University. Key outcomes for the KL2 program will be the success rate of KL2 scholars in remaining in CTR positions, securing grants (transition to R and U type awards), number of peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals, development of intellectual property and racial and ethnic diversity.
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