Research Education and Careers in Health (REACH)


CCTS Scholars Program - KL2

Program Director: Dr. Luisa A. DiPietro

The CCTS is now currently accepting KL2 Scholars Program Applications. View samples of previous successful applications. Complete applications must be received by February 20, 2014. Download the RFA and application form for more information and to apply.


Program Structure

This mentored post-doctoral (KL2) training program supports junior faculty as they transition into careers as independent Clinical and Translational investigators by providing an extended period of protected time for didactic material, multidisciplinary mentoring, and interdisciplinary research experience to enable them to make the transition to independent investigators.


The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) invites applications for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) KL2 Scholars Awards to support the research efforts and career development of scientists dedicated to translational research. Awards will support career development for individuals in disciplines and professions such as medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology, pharmacy, and physical and occupational therapy. The CCTS Scholars Program seeks to develop well-structured and well-recognized career development pathways that lead to the exploration of new approaches in patient-oriented, epidemiological, behavioral, health services, and outcomes research. As a CCTS Scholar, individuals will be provided 75 percent release time by their home department—half of the release time, 37.5 percent, will be funded by the CCTS. The home department must commit themselves to this release time in writing, enabling the trainee to use the time to take relevant courses and conduct research under the CCTS Scholars Program for a period of 1 year. A second year may be awarded but is dependent upon progress and NIH funding to the parent grant. Trainees will receive up to $25,000 in their appointment year from the CCTS to support their scholarly activities. We intend to select up to one Scholar in this round and expect to appoint the scholar in March 2014.

Goals of the Scholars Program

The CCTS Scholars Program is intended to accelerate career progression of scientists who have demonstrated a commitment to clinical or translational research. The CCTS Scholars Program allows Scholars a period of time to work with mentors who will provide appropriate guidance in developing individualized curricula and career plans to help them become national leaders in interdisciplinary clinical and translational research. Mentors are expected to provide guidance in all aspects of clinical and translational research including developing a research project, competitively garnering external support, developing and managing a research team, and working with interdisciplinary teams/centers.

UIC is dedicated to increasing the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences. This includes underrepresented racial, ethnic, social, cultural, economic, or educational backgrounds that may have inhibited an individual's ability to pursue a career in health-related research up to this point. UIC acknowledges that diversifying the student and faculty bodies improves the quality of the training and educational environment. Ideal candidates will have completed the majority of their formal research training and require protected time to develop a specific research project that will lead to an external grant proposal by the end of their first year of the program.

The following Scholars have been or are currently being supported in further developing careers in clinical and translational research.

The 2014 CCTS KL2 Scholar Award recipient:
Minjie Wu, MD
Department of Psychiatry
College of Medicine

The 2013 CCTS KL2 Scholar Award recipient:
Rachel Caskey, MD
Department of Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
College of Medicine

The 2012 CCTS KL2 Scholar Award recipients:
Santosh Saraf, MD
Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology and Oncology
College of Medicine

Ankit Desai, MD
Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology
College of Medicine

The 2011 CCTS KL2 Scholar Award recipient:
Aleeca Bell, PhD, RN, CNM
Department of Women, Child, and Family Health Science
College of Nursing

The 2010 CCTS KL2 Scholar Award recipients:
Claudia Lora, MD
Department of Medicine, Section of Nephrology
College of Medicine

Jennifer Layden, MD
Section of Infectious Diseases, Immunology, and International Medicine
College of Medicine

The 2009 CCTS KL2 Scholar Award recipients:
Edith Nutescu, PharmD
Department of Pharmacy Practice
College of Pharmacy

Sharmilee Nyenhuis, MD
Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep, and Allergy
College of Medicine

The 2008 K12 Scholar Award recipient:
Barbara McFarlin, PhD, CNM
Department of Women, Child, and Family Health Science
College of Nursing

The 2007 K12 Scholar Award recipients:
Suma Jacob, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
College of Medicine

Shane Phillips, PT, PhD
Department of Physical Therapy
College of Applied Health Sciences

Mary Kapella, PhD, RN
Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
College of Nursing

Read more about the Program at Program Structure.
Read more about admission requirements and view previous successful application samples at Admission

Other Resources

Click here for the MS CTS Research Training/Mentoring guidelines. 

Click here for an evaluation form that may be useful in initially discussing expectations with your mentor/mentee, as well as when evaluating the quality of the mentor/mentee relationship. 

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