Application overview

Please read the following prior to filling out an application:

  • Only complete applications will be reviewed. Applications will not be considered as complete until all supporting documents have been submitted.
  • To complete an online application, email Jesseca Leggett at  jleggett@wustl.edu prior to starting the application to receive instructions on how to submit online.
  • Supporting documents may be updated and re-submitted online prior to the application deadline. Please note that the selection committee will only receive the last version uploaded for each document.  Failure to upload all required documents and letters (complete and in the proper format) will result in the application not being reviewed. Missing EVEN ONE (1) item by the deadline will result in the application being rejected. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the status of ALL required documents.
  • If you have previously applied to the Psychiatry K12 program, you must complete a new application for the current cycle.

Program eligibility

  • A doctoral degree, such as a PhD in a clinical discipline, MD, PharmD, or comparable doctoral degree
  • US citizen, non-citizen national or permanent resident
  • Have a faculty appointment at the start of the program
  • Conducting clinical, translational research focused on drug abuse and addiction
  • Devote 75% effort for a minimum of 3 years
  • Support of two mentors, from two different disciplines, who have been approved by the program
  • Cannot have had a previous mentored career development award, and cannot be a current or former PI on NIH research project grants or equivalent non-PHS peer-reviewed research grants over $100,000 in annual direct costs
  • 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.

Application materials

1. Current Biosketch and Other Support


Each applicant is required to submit a current NIH Biosketch and Other Support documents.

NIH Biosketch Template »

Download NIH Other Support Template (.doc) »

2. Individual Development Plan

Applicant must submit a 3-5 page individual development plan (no more than 5 pages; references are not included in page count) that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Career goals
  • Past research experience and past graduate coursework that is relevant
  • Who your mentors are and why you have selected them
  • Coursework you are planning to take and why
  • The number of years you anticipate being on the Psychiatry K12 award
  • Your plans for the next 2-3 years if you do not receive the award
  • How the award will change or affect your career plans
3. Research Plan

The required Research Plan should follow the standard NIH format (PHS 398). Please note the new NIH requirements for this section around Rigor and Reproducibility: https://grants.nih.gov/faqs#/rigor-and-reproducibility.htm

The Research Plan includes:

  • Project Summary/Abstract (1 page limit)
  • Introduction (Resubmission Only; NIH PHS 398 form is NOT required) (1 page limit)
  • Specific Aims & Research Strategy (Significance, Innovation, and Approach) (5 page limit)
  • Protection of Human Subjects, Inclusion of Women and Minorities, Inclusion of Children, Vertebrate Animals (3 page limit)
  • Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table (1 page limit)
  • Bibliography and References Cited/Progress Report Publication List (include PMCID # if applicable) and Consortium/Contractual Arrangements (No page limit)
4. Mentor Documents

Mentoring is a critical part of the Psychiatry K12 Career Development Awards, and who your mentors are is very important. The Psychiatry K12 application requires two mentors. Applicants must identify one mentor as primary and one as secondary. Applicants must establish a relationship with the proposed mentor prior to submission of the Psychiatry K12 Career Development application. Please do not select a mentor without prior approval of the mentor.

The review of your Psychiatry K12 application will include a critique of your selected mentors. Reviewers will examine whether they are appropriate and suitable for your research project and career development. Please be sure that your mentors are the best suited for you and your research, and not simply meeting the minimum qualifications required of a Psychiatry K12 mentor. 

Mentor Selection:

  • If the mentor(s) of an applicant has selected do not already appear in the online application, please be sure they are qualified to be a mentor (see FAQ) and are willing to dedicate the time to you and this program.
  • Please email the Psychiatry K12 Program if you would like to have a mentor approved for the Psychiatry K12 application. For approval, please submit the proposed mentor’s NIH Biosketch, Other Support Form, and Trainee Table documents. The application form and subsequent supporting documents cannot be submitted until a mentor has been approved and selected in the online form. All mentors will ultimately need to be approved by the Program and the NIH, therefore, new mentor approvals must be completed well in advance of the deadline.

Each proposed mentor must provide a letter of support, an updated NIH Biosketch, Other Support, and Trainee Tables by the application deadline. Upon submission of the online application form, an email will be automatically generated to each mentor with guidelines and instructions on how to upload the required letter. It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that the identified mentors have received the emails. Applicants may view a confirmation of the documents that have been uploaded via the online application site.

Mentor letters must:

  • Be uploaded by the mentor, not the applicant
  • Include the mentor’s signature
  • Be submitted on the mentor’s letterhead
5. Department Chair Recommendation Letter

Each applicant’s Department Chair or Division Chief is required to submit a letter of support describing the applicant’s potential and guaranteeing the protected time (75%) required for participation in the Psychiatry K12 Career Development Program. This letter of support must be uploaded by the application deadline. Upon submission of the online application form, an email will be automatically generated to the identified Department Chair or Division Chief with guidelines and instructions regarding how to upload the required letter. It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that the identified reference has received the email. The online application site provides applicants with a checklist on which they may view confirmation of the documents that have been uploaded to their application.

Letters of Recommendation from the Department Chair or Division Chief must:

  • Be uploaded by the Department Chair or the Division Chief, not the applicant
  • Include the Department Chair or the Division Chief’s signature
  • Be submitted on letterhead

The last document uploaded will be the document reviewed. It is important for the Department Chair to understand that their letters must include a signature and be on official letterhead. The link sent to each Department Chair is unique for each applicant, and one link cannot be used to upload documents for multiple applicants.

6. Additional Letters of Recommendation (2)

Each applicant is required to have 2 letters of recommendation submitted by references in addition to the Department or Division Head. These letters should describe the applicant’s potential to succeed as an independent researcher. All letters of recommendation must be uploaded by the application deadline. Upon submission of the online application form, an email will be automatically generated to the identified references with guidelines and instructions regarding how to upload the required letter. It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that the identified reference has received the email. The online application site provides applicants with a checklist on which they may view confirmation of the documents that have been uploaded to their application.

Letters of Recommendation must:

  • Be uploaded by reference, not the applicant
  • Include the reference’s signature
  • Be submitted on an official letterhead

The last document uploaded will be the document reviewed. It is important for references to understand that their letters must include a signature and be on official letterhead. The link sent to each Reference is unique for each applicant, and one link cannot be used to upload documents for multiple applicants.

Required format for supporting documents

  • Black font of either Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype or Georgia
  • Font size of 11 points or larger (a symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters; the font size requirement still applies.)
  • Type density, including characters and spaces, must be no more than 15 characters per inch
  • Single spaced paragraph type
  • Margins should be at least one-half inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right) for all pages, including continuation pages
  • PDF versions are required
  • Appendices are not allowed

Timeline for applications

  • July 1, 2018 = Letter of Intent (outside institutions only)
  • August 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm (CST) = Due date for submission of complete application materials
  • August – October = Internal review of applicants
  • November = New Psychiatry K12 Scholars Announced
  • May = Mandatory Scholar Orientation
  • May 1, 2019 = Scholar start date