Level of Education

KL2 scholars must possess a doctoral-level degree. This includes, but is not limited to: MD, PhD, PharmD, DVM, DrPH, DO, DDS, PsyD, DOT, DPT, DC, DSN, or DNSc as well as biostatisticians, epidemiologists, behavioral scientists, and nurses with doctoral degrees.


Eligible applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551) or other legal verification of admission for permanent residence. Non-citizen nationals are persons born in lands that are not States but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration (e.g., American Samoa). Individuals on visas are not eligible.

Career Level

Individuals applying to the KL2 Program should be at an early stage of their career, even while they are in subspecialty training. The KL2 Program expects applicants to be postdoctoral level trainees or early junior faculty level trainees who plan to conduct, or are conducting, clinical research.

The KL2 award is not intended for individuals making mid-career changes into clinical research.

Faculty Appointment

At the time of application, you do not have to have a faculty appointment. However, if selected as a KL2 scholar, you will need a faculty appointment by the time you begin the program.

Professional Effort

All KL2 scholars must be able to devote 75% professional effort to the program for a minimum of two years (surgeons may request a lower level of effort, but not less than 50%).

Research Project

All applicants must be conducting multidisciplinary, clinical, translational research. Clinical research is defined as patient-oriented research, that is, research conducted with human subjects or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena, for which an investigator or colleague directly interacts with human subjects. Translation is defined by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) as the process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public — from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral changes. More information on the translational spectrum may be found on the NCATS website.

KL2 scholars who are conducting clinical trials may not conduct clinical trials beyond the end of phase IIB. A phase IIB clinical trial is a pilot study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of an intervention in patients with the disease or condition to be treated, diagnosed or prevented. These studies may focus on participant population characteristics, dose response, dose frequency or other characteristics related to safety or efficacy. Phase IIB trials are not considered pivotal trials of efficacy.

Mentor Support

KL2 scholars must have the support of two mentors. These mentors must be approved by the Program and must come from two different disciplines. MU Applicants must have a secondary mentor who is a faculty member at Washington University.

Principal Investigator Status

The applicant may be or have been a principal investigator (PI) of NIH R03 and R21 grants or non-PHS equivalents at the time of application. Applicants cannot have been a PI on an NIH research grant (such as R01, R29, or P01) or a non-NIH equivalent to these grants. The applicant may have had support from a National Research Service Award (F or T) or an NIH small grant (R03).

Federal Salary Support

Applicants may not obtain salary support from other federal grants until the final two years of mentored K support (NOT-OD-08-065). Applicants may not obtain support if previously supported on a K award beyond 5 years.

If a potential scholar is already studying under an existing K12, he/she is still eligible for the KL2 program. However, the cumulative length of time under NIH-sponsored K programs should be no more than 5 years. The minimum amount of time any one Scholar may spend in this Trans-NIH KL2 program is two years, KL2 applicants may not have had more than three years of support under the previous K12 program. Furthermore, the KL2 applicant would need to justify the need for additional mentored research training or training in a team context as it is not advised for one’s career development to transfer from another Institutional K-Award to the KL2 Program.

Pending Grants

The applicant may not have another K award pending.

Institutional Affiliations

The KL2 Career Development Program strongly encourages applicants from outside the School of Medicine, including individuals from WU, SLU, UHSP, and MU.

Clinical Fellowships

KL2 Scholars may not simultaneously participate in clinical fellowships leading to clinical certification.

Career Development Program funds cannot be used to support clinical fellowship training. However, fellows who have completed the part of their fellowship needed for sub specialty certification are eligible to apply. For example, although a Medical Oncology fellowship may last 3-4 years, fellows who have completed 2 years may be eligible to sit for the boards, and are therefore eligible.