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Scholar and Research Programs

Melissa Kacena, Ph.D., right, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine, works with members of her team to advance NIH and DOD-funded research on a compound that could potentially act as a new, more effective treatment for broken bones, a project whose early phase received critical support from the Indiana CTSI. (Photo by Juan Guzman)The CTSA program supports two types of formal clinical research training awards at CTSA institutions. All CTSA institutions have a KL2 program, which offers formal research training experience to scholars who already have an M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree. Many CTSA institutions also include programs that provide predoctoral trainees with an introduction to clinical and translational research through the TL1 program. Both programs combine formal course work with direct research experience, and many institutions’ programs offer opportunities to pursue additional advanced degrees.

All students, including those at CTSA partner institutions, have access to CTSA research facilities, which may include:

  • Training courses, seminars and workshops
  • Use of specialized equipment and databases
  • Access to clinical research mentor expertise
  • Administrative support for research protocols
  • Funding for pilot research projects.

KL2 Mentored Clinical Research Scholar Awards

KL2 awards support mentored research career development for clinical investigators who have recently completed professional training and who are commencing basic, translational and/or clinical research. The CTSA-funded institution selects KL2 candidates, providing them with a rich career development experience in a multidisciplinary setting. KL2 appointees — referred to as Clinical Research KL2 Scholars — come from a variety of fields (e.g., medicine, dentistry, nursing, the behavioral sciences, biostatistics and epidemiology) and can receive up to five years of career development support.

TL1 Clinical Research Training Awards

TL1 awards support students seeking a practical introduction to clinical and translational research. The CTSA-funded institution selects TL1 candidates, providing full-time research training support for predoctoral candidates and combined health-professional doctorate-master’s candidates as well as postdoctoral fellows seeking additional training in clinical research. The TL1 goal is to increase the number of well-trained clinician-scientists who can lead the design and oversight of future clinical investigations critical to the overall mission of NCATS and NIH.

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