The KL2 Mentored Career Development Program has three major parts: a mentored research component, a didactic component and a mentoring component. Together, these components enable you to acquire and refine a set of core competencies.
These competencies reflect an overarching and integrated set of skills, which goes beyond the objectives of individual courses and represents the core knowledge and skills needed for you to become a productive clinical investigator.
As final confirmation that you've mastered these competencies, you're required to prepare and submit a grant application (R01 or equivalent) to a peer-reviewed funding agency. The research you conduct as a KL2 scholar provides the basis for this grant application.
Core competencies as defined by the National Institutes of Health are:
- Knowledge within your chosen field of research
- Hypothesis generation
- Universal research methods
- Laboratory methods
- Behavioral methods
- Biostatistical methods
- Research ethics
- Research regulations
- Multidisciplinary research team member
- Multidisciplinary research team leadership
- Results reporting
- Translating new knowledge to routine care
- Competitive grant proposals
As a KL2 scholar, you will participate in a structured, mentored clinical or translational research project. Your project may relate to any stage of translation, ranging from early-stage (applying discoveries generated during laboratory and preclinical research to the development of trials and studies in humans) to late-stage (enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community) translation.
This research component will form the foundation of your future career development, specifically by providing preliminary data and a publication record to support extramural grant applications.
As you progress through the KL2 Program, you'll present at the KL2 Scholar Forum, Center for Translational Science Activities (CTSA) Postdoctoral Programs Committee and CTSA Grand Rounds. You are also expected to prepare and submit two to three journal articles on which you are the first author.
For more information on the KL2 Program's research component, review the research requirements.
Once admitted to the KL2 Program, you will meet with your mentoring team and program leadership to develop an individualized action plan and timeline for your career development plan, which you submitted during the application process. You'll work with your mentors and CTSA staff to identify the graduate-level clinical and translational research course work that will enable you to achieve your goals and the above-listed core competencies.
The KL2 Program's didactic component also presents you with an opportunity to obtain a postdoctoral master's degree or certificate in clinical and translational science.
This master's degree and certificate, and all other clinical and translational science-related course work, are offered through Mayo Graduate School. If you want to earn the master's degree or certificate, you must apply to Mayo Graduate School and be accepted into the clinical and translational science master's degree or certificate program — simply completing the course work does not automatically lead to the degree or certificate.
Read more about the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program and Postdoctoral Certificate Program.
An important and unique aspect of the KL2 Mentored Career Development Program is its mentoring component. You'll identify your mentor — a Mayo Clinic faculty member — before applying to the program.
The mentor-mentee relationship forms the basis for your growth as an independent clinical and translational investigator. Your mentor will also play a vital role in fostering your career development, such as by helping you identify and pursue relevant educational and training opportunities.
Read more about the KL2 Program's mentoring expectations.