Research Proposal

Research proposal development

The KL2 Mentored Career Development Program is built upon a mentored clinical research experience. Prior to starting the program, you will work with your mentors and Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) staff to develop and refine your research proposal.

Your research proposal is due May 15 prior to beginning your program. It should address how your project relates to human disease and how it will advance knowledge in clinical research, using the definition set forth by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Public Health Service Grant (PHS 398) instructions (PDF) (see page III-26).

Assemble your research proposal according to PHS 398 guidelines for an R01 application. Details are discussed at your orientation meeting. Your proposal should include:

  • Project summary
  • Table of contents
  • Detailed protocol budget (for protocol only — do not list salary, mentor or travel expenses)
  • Resources
  • Continuation format page (proposal — 12-page limit. If applicable, highlight changes made from original proposal.)
  • Targeted or planned enrollment report
  • Inclusion of enrollment report
  • All personnel report

Please note that a research proposal addresses significance, approach, innovation, investigator and environment, as well as the adequacy of the research with respect to inclusion of all sexes, genders, minorities and other special populations, as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research.

As participation in a variety of research projects is advantageous, you may also take part in ongoing research projects conducted by your mentors, as long as this contributes to your career development. This may be especially appropriate in the first year of your training as you develop your own research proposal.

Involvement in other research projects must not detract from the formulation or conduct of your own research projects or the successful completion of the didactic curriculum. This proposed experience should be a part of the initial application to the program and must be approved by the CCaTS KL2 Program Committee as part of the acceptance procedure.

Research proposal review process

Your proposal is reviewed by the CCaTS KL2 Program Committee and, if necessary, ad hoc reviewers to ensure expert review.

Proposals may require revision in accordance with CCaTS KL2 Program Committee comments before final approval is granted.

Changes to approved research proposal

If during the course of the research process you and your mentor determine that significant changes need to be made to the approved proposal, specify those changes in a letter addressed to the chair of the CCaTS Postdoctoral Programs Committee and submit to the KL2 education specialist.


The CCaTS Education Contacts page contains a listing of team members who can assist you with questions.