KL2 FAQs

Why should I choose this K Award?

Participating in the KL2 program has been a game changer in my research career and provided me with a solid foundation to become a successful independent health disparities researcher.  The KL2 program allowed me to expand my research knowledge through a MS in Clinical Translational Science. Prior to the KL2 program, my research was limited to retrospective reviews and survey research. The protected time allowed me to conduct my first prospective observational pilot study. Since completion of the program, I have received continuous grant funding. I have served as the Principal Investigator on 3 federally funded grants, including the 1st NIH funded randomized clinical trial (RCT) addressing asymptomatic hypertension in the emergency department.  The KL2 was instrumental in taking my research career to that next level and my grant funding and publication success are testaments to this amazing program.

Heather M. Prendergast, MD, MS, MPH, FACEP  |  Professor of Emergency Medicine, Co-Asst. Dean of Clinical Affairs, Assoc. Head of Academic Affairs

Who is eligible for this program?

Only Junior Faculty (below the rank of Associate Professor) are eligible for the CATS KL2 program. Postdoctoral fellows are NOT eligible.

All applicants must hold a full time paid position at UIC to be eligible for the program.

I am a Research Assistant Professor or Clinical Assistant Professor, am I eligible to apply?

Non-tenure track faculty are eligible for the CATS program. Keep in mind that the level of institutional support and commitment is considered in the review, though. Because institutional commitments to non-tenure track faculty are highly variable, the letter of support from the Department Head is extremely important in evaluating applications from non-tenure track faculty.

I am currently in a non-faculty position, but I expect to be appointed as a faculty member prior to the expected start date of the program.  Can I apply for the CATS program?

If you want to be considered for this upcoming round, you should obtain a letter from your department head, cosigned by your dean that indicates their firm commitment to providing you with a faculty position that will start prior to the CATS appointment date.

I am currently funded by an individual K award, am I eligible?

If you are currently funded by an institutional K-award, you would not be eligible for the CATS KL2 award until after your current award has ended. Applicants who have already completed a K award and apply to the CATS program should be sure to clearly explain why they need additional K level training.

I currently have a K award application pending at NIH.  Can I apply?

Individuals with a pending K application are not eligible to be appointed to the CATS program and are not eligible to apply.

What is the expected start date?

The expected appointment date for the current round of applicants is June 1, 2021.

Will I receive a critique or comments following the review of my application?

All applicants will receive a summary of the scores that they received along with brief comments from the reviewers.

What type of research does the CCTS support with the NIH grant and the KL2 Program?

CATS scholars must engage in clinical and/or translational research. While the proposed research does not need to involve human subjects, non-human research must fall into the category of preclinical research and must be clearly relevant to human disease. For more guidance, you can review the NIH’s NCATS information about categories of translational research.

The CCTS CATS program supports research categorized as Preclinical, Clinical, Clinical Implementation or Public Health.

Do I have to have the green card (or other necessary documents in place) before I apply for this opportunity or by the time the grant starts?

NIH requires that all CATS scholars must be US citizens or lawful permanent residents at time of award. Since it is difficult to predict timing of any immigration decision, all applicants meet this requirement at the time of application.

Am I eligible even if I have applied for the KL2 program before and did not get it?

Definitely. There are many people who have applied more than one time.

Is IRB Approval required? When?

IRB approval is required at the time the application is due and must be approved by the appointment start date.

Do I need to be an MD or have a clinical degree?

Not at all. CATS scholars come from many different backgrounds including dual degree, clinical degree only, and PhD only educational backgrounds.  The most important aspect is not your degree, but whether your research is considered clinical/translational, the institutional commitment to your development, and whether you will benefit from the program at this point in your career.