Scholar and Research Programs

The CTSA Program supports two types of formal clinical research training awards at CTSA Program hubs. Both programs combine formal course work with direct research experience, and many institutions’ programs offer opportunities to pursue additional advanced degrees.

All CTSA Program hubs 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 Program hubs also include programs that provide predoctoral trainees with an introduction to clinical and translational research through the TL1 program.

All students, including those at CTSA Program partner institutions, have access to CTSA Program 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 Program hub 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 Program hub 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.