KL2 Program

What is the KL2 Program at Mount Sinai?

The Institutes for Translational Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (CONDUITS) offers a KL2 Scholars Award for Clinical and Translational Research Career Development for outstanding junior faculty and Postdoctoral fellows.

Specific objectives of this program are to:

  • Identify and support talented junior faculty and Postdoctoral fellows at Mount Sinai who are committed to academic careers in multidisciplinary patient-centered clinical/translational (C/T) research.
  • Assure that award recipients have at least 75% protected time for their research career development (exceptions may be made for surgeons who can document that their clinical competence may be diminished by restricting clinical activities to 25%).
  • Enable award recipients to design, implement, analyze, and publish rigorous studies in patient-centered C/T research.
  • Provide Scholars with multidisciplinary mentorship and promote the development and implementation of an individually tailored career development plan.
  • Enable scholars to plan, write, submit and acquire funding for an externally sponsored career development award (K award or equivalent) or independent research grant (e.g., R01).

KL2 Leadership

Director:                  Inga Peter, PhD                                  inga.peter@mssm.edu

Co-Director:           Jenny Lin, MD, MPH                            jenny.lin@mssm.edu

Co-Director:           Kecia Carroll, MD, MPH                       kecia.carroll@mssm.edu


Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is meant by “patient-oriented” or “clinical/translational” research?

For this award, we include cutting-edge research along the spectrum from bench to bedside to community implementation.  This definition includes applied research performed in the laboratory, the clinic/hospital, and the community.  It encompasses clinical, health services, and community-based research, as well as that subset of disease-focused basic research that has direct application to the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of disease.

The results of C/T research should 1) facilitate the application of discoveries from basic laboratory and pre-clinical research to studies in humans (e.g. clinical trials), 2) enhance translation of research findings into practice and policy, or 3) facilitate and evaluate the dissemination of best practices into the community.

If you are not sure if your proposed project meets this definition, you should contact a member of the KL2 leadership before preparing your application.

  1. What is meant by “transdisciplinary research and mentorship”?

A transdisciplinary approach brings experts from diverse disciplines, e.g. clinical medicine, epidemiology, statistics, outcomes research, social science, and basic science (among others) to work across disciplines to collectively address a complex problem.  The applicant should bring together experts from complementary disciplines that would be helpful to address the proposed research and to assist with career development.

KL2 Scholars are required to have at least two mentors (a primary and secondary) who represent different, complementary scientific disciplines. The primary and secondary mentors should have expertise from different regions of the translational research spectrum.  For example, one mentor might have expertise in bench to bedside (known as “T1”) research, while the other might have expertise in research involving implementation, testing, or assessment in human subjects, organizations, communities, or populations (known as “T2” or “T3” research).

Mentors should have a track record of successful mentoring in clinical and translational research.

If you are not sure if your project or mentorship plan is ‘transdisciplinary,’ you should contact a member of the KL2 leadership before preparing your application.

    Applicant Eligibility
    1. Who is eligible to apply?

    The eligibility requirements are as follows:

    • S. Citizen or Permanent Resident;
    • Have departmental/institute leadership support and commitment (see RFA for details);
    • Not have received a career development award (K08, K23, VA or equivalent), career transition award (K02, K99/K00) or served as PI on a major NIH, VA, or Foundation award (R01, R29, IIR, U01), or as a project leader of a center/program project grant (P01, P50, P60, U54). Applicants who were unsuccessful in a prior application for a K-Award or equivalent are eligible to apply. 
    • Possess a research or clinical doctorate (eligible doctorate degrees include, but are not limited to the following: MD, PhD, DMD, DC, DO, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, PharmD, DSW, PsyD as well as a doctorate in nursing research or practice.)
    • Have an appointment as junior faculty (e.g., Instructor or Assistant Professor) or as a postdoctoral fellow  at Mount Sinai or an affiliated CTSA institution (RPI) prior to the start date of the KL2 award or, if a postdoctoral fellow, the appointment must be prior to the completion of the NIH funding.
    1. What are the Exclusion Criteria?
    • Applicants cannot hold (or have held) a major career development award such as a federal K23 or K08, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation or VA career award, or other major foundation career award.
    • Applicants who have submitted a K award or equivalent that is pending review are not eligible to apply for this KL2 Award.
    • Recipients of the KL2 award cannot receive any salary support from any government sponsored grant (e.g., NIH grant) including training grants. Applicants currently supported by such grants will need to indicate on their application that they will give up such support should they receive KL2 funding.
    1. Can I have been a PI on an NIH grant?

    Applicants should not have been a Principal Investigator on a major NIH, VA, or Foundation award (e.g., R01, R29, IIR, U01), or a project leader of a major center or program project grant (e.g. P01, P50, P60, U54, among others). Small NIH grants such as R03’s or R21’s would not disqualify an applicant.

    1. If I have applied or am applying for a K08/K23 or equivalent career development award), can I still apply for the Mount Sinai Institutional KL2?

    Applicants who have submitted a K award or equivalent that is pending review are not eligible to apply for this KL2 Award. Faculty who have applied for KL2 or external K award (or equivalent) that were not funded are encouraged to apply.  If you are submitting a proposal based on an external career development award that was not funded, then you need to include in your KL2 application the following extra details:

    • One copy of the most recent Summary Statement containing the score, percentile, and review comments. 
    • An explanation, in the “Career Development” portion of the application, of how the proposal is related to your previous application for a K Award. Indicate your resubmission plans, and briefly explain how this KL2 award proposal will help you successfully obtain an externally funded career award or investigator initiated grant, and include a short summary of your responses to the main review criticisms.   You may use an extra page (if needed) in your “Career Development” section (total of 3 pages max) to answer these additional questions about how this KL2 proposal relates to an active (or prior) externally funded career award application.

    The Mount Sinai KL2 is intended to be an early career award that will be used to facilitate the Scholars’ success in securing an extramural career development or independent research grant. Applicants are required to submit a K-award (or equivalent) or independent research award, as appropriate, before the end of their KL2 Award period.  Once a K Award (or equivalent extramural grant) is funded, support from the Mount Sinai KL2 award will discontinue.

    1. Are Mount Sinai Institutional KL2 Scholars allowed to receive salary support from NIH research grants to make up the difference in amount between the stipend from the KL2 award and 75% of the awardees usual salary?

    No, federal funds may not be used to supplement the difference. 

    1. May I apply for 100% salary support from the KL2?

    No.  The Mount Sinai KL2 will support at most a 75% effort.

    1. May I negotiate to devote less than 75% effort to the KL2?

    In general, 75% of the KL2 Scholars’ full-time professional effort must be devoted to the program.  However, certain surgical specialties may request approval for less than 75%, but no less than 50% protected time for this program, if justified. Justification will require documentation that more than a 25% clinical commitment is required in order to avoid loss of competence or credentialing in specified clinical skills. A decision regarding a request for less than a 75% effort will be made during the process of review of the Letters of Intent. Departments must not assign extra duties or responsibilities that reduce the Scholar’s protected KL2 training time.

    1. I am a PI of industry grants; am I eligible for the KL2?

    Yes. This is allowed as long as the industry grants are not peer-reviewed research grants that exceeded $100,000 in direct costs per year. 

    Application and Review Process
    1. What is the Application Deadline, Review, and Award Notification Timeline?
    • Structured letter of intent (LOI) 4 PM on Apr 29, 2022. Please see the RFA for details
    • Full Applications are due at 4PM on Jun 6, 2022.  Electronic submission is required. Please see the RFA for details regarding the complete application.
    • Notification of awards will be made by Aug 12, 2022
    • Funding will begin on Sep 1, 2022
    1. Does the KL2 provide any salary support for mentors or other collaborators?



    Do the lead mentors need current resources (funded projects, research staff, space, etc) that can support my research?

    Your primary mentor, division chief, institute director, or department chair should commit to cover the costs (if any) of the proposed research project that will exceed the level of research support provided by the KL2 Program.

     Do I need to talk to my proposed mentors to obtain their agreement before listing them on my letter of intent?

    Yes, the mentors that you list should have agreed to this role before you send in the letter, and they should have helped you choose and design your clinical research project.  Part of the goal of the program is to encourage you to make creative decisions about which disciplines to combine.  

     If I am combining 3 or 4 disciplines, should I include more than 2 mentors?

    In general, we recommend keeping to two mentors and mentoring committee team of 2-4. But if you need three mentors, please specify how their skills are complementary and necessary for your project. You can mention other key collaborators if appropriate to your proposal.  

    1. If I leave Mount Sinai, or an affiliated CTSA institution, can I take the KL2 support with me?


    1. If my project goes longer than the designated award period, can I get a no-cost extension on the KL2?

    This is not allowed for the salary support, and, in general, will not be acceptable for the research support.