KL2 Program Components

Training

The institutional KL2 Program is designed for individuals who need mentorship and additional training to achieve their research and career goals. Training that could be proposed includes: formal courses (with or without a degree such as the Masters of Science in Clinical Research); workshops; internships; or practica.

All KL2 Scholars are required to take courses that comprise the Translational and Clinical Research Curriculum (TCRC), either for credit (as part of a formal degree granting program) or audit (without academic credit). Applicants should note on the application if they have taken these courses already as part of another training program (e.g., a T32) and if this is the case, applicants may propose alternative training options.

The TCRC courses are designed to provide participants with foundational skills that align with national CTSA core competencies for all clinical/translational researchers, regardless of specific type of research. The three required courses are described below; applicants should use the Career Development Plan section of the application to describe other training activities they propose as a KL2 Scholar.

Required Courses

Epidemiology 896 Clinical Research and Professional Development Seminar
Fridays 12-2 pm / Years 1 and 2

This seminar introduces participants to scholarly exchange of ideas, the value and process of peer review, and examples of applied clinical/translational research concepts across the entire spectrum of disciplines and types of investigations. The course has traditional lectures, panel presentations, outside speakers works-in-progress seminars, small groups, and mock grant reviews to facilitate participants’ research from inception through submission of grants. These sessions are designed to achieve national CTSA core competencies for all clinical/translational researchers.

K Seminar

Meets twice per month either on Fridays or Wednesdays This seminar consists of each scholar presenting his/her work in progress, draft specific aims for a grant, rehearsal for a national talk or discussion of career development topics. NOTE: If you have taken the 2-year cycle of EPID 896 you should still plan to participate in the K Seminar.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR):

Applicants have a variety of options to obtain RCR training and will be required to have basic RCR training prior to appointment to the KL2.

Optional Courses

(depending on research progress and past training)
EPID 805-6 Clinical Research Skills
Fridays 2-4 pm / Year 2

KL2 Scholars are expected to write a grant proposal during their second year (or earlier) in the KL2 Program. To facilitate that process, EPID 805-6 is an intensive course in proposal development, including project management and implementation. Participants in this 2-semster sequence should be ready to write a proposal for either a career development award (NIH K award or foundation), an investigator initiated research grant to NIH (R01, R03, R21, etc.), or a foundation. Substantial mentor involvement in the development of the project proposal is required. All participants are required to remain in the course for the full year which will culminate with a mock review of the proposal prior to submission.

If your research is at a stage in which you will be preparing a proposal to submit for funding by the end of year 1 of the KL2 you should plan to take EPID 805-6 in year 1. Otherwise, plan to take it in year 2 with a goal of proposal submission after the course.

PUBH (Biostatistics) 741-742 Quantitative Methods for Health Care Professionals
Fall Tues/Thurs 12-2 pm, Spring Thurs 12-2 pm and Fri 10-12 pm / Year 1

This 2-semester sequence provides participants with basics of statistical inference, practical experience in analyzing clinical and health care research data sets, ability to appraise critically the design and analysis of studies in the medical and health care literature, and an understanding of the overlap between standard statistical and epidemiology methods. These courses are structured to provide scholars with practical, hands-on opportunities to demonstrate their competencies, including commonly used statistical packages.

Epidemiology 711 Clinical Measurement/Evaluation

Fall Tues/Thurs 2-3:15 pm / Year 1
Lecture/problem-based introduction to fundamental epidemiological concepts of research, with an emphasis on study design, measurement and analysis.

Research

The KL2 Program provides salary support and research funds so applicants can conduct research project(s) that will ultimately lead to submission of an application for their own funding. Applicants have a choice to propose an optional research internship and an independent research project, or begin with the independent research project. Further details on each are noted within the application instructions but these experiences are expected to generate preliminary data that will be used to support the applicant’s future grant submissions.

Notably, as described above, all Scholars are expected to submit a grant proposal during their second year (or earlier) in the KL2 Program. Thus, applicants should work with their mentors to design a project that is feasible and has a high likelihood of resulting in data to support future research.

KL2 Scholars also have access to resources offered by the NC TraCS Institute including relevant resources of Research Triangle Institute and North Carolina A&T. Examples include: assistance for regulatory questions, linkage to collaborators and/or mentors, access to pilot funding, advice on dissemination/implementation of their research results, a full-time research subject recruiter, commercialization/intellectual property assistance and bioinformatics.

Mentoring

The KL2 Program seeks to recruit and train a diverse group of scholars representing science across the spectrum of translational research. Each scholar is expected to identify a Lead Mentor and a mentoring team that is interdisciplinary and can provide content expertise, networking assistance and career planning for the scholar within his/her chosen field. The Lead Mentor has primary responsibility for working with the KL2 Program leadership to make sure the scholar makes progress and to identify and resolve any challenges. The Lead Mentor and other members of the mentoring team must sign a mentoring agreement defining expectations and responsibilities.

Integration with NC TraCS Institute

The KL2 Program is administered by the Education Program of the NC TraCS Institute and funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program of the National Institutes of Health. The Education Program supports numerous programs for researchers across training levels and disciplines. As a result, KL2 Scholars benefit from a wide variety of career development resources including organization of mock proposal reviews, the R-Writing Group, mentoring opportunities and a Responsible Conduct of Research program specifically for K awardees across the UNC campus.

KL2 Scholars also have access to all resources offered by the NC TraCS Institute. Examples include: assistance for regulatory questions, access to pilot funding, advice on dissemination/implementation of their research results, a full-time research subject recruiter, commercialization/intellectual property assistance and bioinformatics.


More Information

KL2 Applications