Program Components

The KL2 Mentored Career Development Program has three major parts:

  • A research component
  • A didactic component
  • A mentoring component

Together, these components enable scholars to acquire and refine a set of core competencies.

Core competencies

The KL2 Program core competencies reflect an overarching and integrated set of skills that goes beyond individual course objectives to represent the knowledge and abilities needed to become a productive clinical and translational investigator.

As final confirmation that they have mastered these competencies, KL2 scholars are required to prepare and submit independent K, R01 or equivalent grant applications to peer-reviewed funding agencies. The research conducted as KL2 scholars provides the basis for these grant applications.

The program's core competencies, as defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), are:

  • Behavioral methods
  • Biostatistical methods
  • Competitive grant proposals
  • Health disparities
  • Hypothesis generation
  • Informatics
  • Knowledge within the chosen field of research
  • Laboratory methods
  • Multidisciplinary research team leadership
  • Multidisciplinary research team membership
  • Research ethics
  • Research regulations
  • Results reporting
  • Teaching and mentoring
  • Translating new knowledge to routine care
  • Universal research methods

Research component

Each KL2 scholar participates in a structured, mentored clinical or translational research project. The project may relate to any stage of translation, including early-stage translation (applying discoveries generated during laboratory and preclinical research to the development of trials and studies in humans) and late-stage translation (enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community).

This research component forms the foundation of scholars' future career development by providing preliminary data and a publication record to support extramural grant applications.

As scholars progress through the KL2 Program, they present their research at the KL2 Scholar Touchpoint and Reflection Space (K-STaRS) and to the CCaTS Scientific Review Committee and at a Grand Rounds or similar venue in their research areas. Scholars are also expected to prepare and submit two to three first author (or senior author) journal articles.

For more information on the KL2 Program's research component, review the research requirements.

Mentoring component

The mentoring component is an important and unique aspect of the KL2 Program. Applicants must identify a mentor — a Mayo Clinic faculty member — before applying to the program.

The mentor-mentee relationship forms the basis for growth as an independent clinical and translational investigator. Mentors play vital roles in fostering scholars' career development, such as by helping them identify and pursue relevant educational and training opportunities.

Read more about the KL2 Program's mentoring expectations.

Didactic component

Once admitted to the KL2 Program, scholars meet with their mentoring teams and program leadership to develop individualized action plans and timelines for their career development plans.

Program requirements include the following five credits:

Course Credits
CORE 6000: Responsible Conduct of Research 1
CTSC 5080: What Researchers Need to Know About Eliminating Health Disparities 1
CTSC 5300: Fundamentals of Clinical Epidemiology 1
CTSC 5600: Statistics in Clinical and Translational Research 2
Total 5

Working with their mentors and CCaTS staff, scholars identify additional graduate-level clinical and translational research coursework that will enable them to achieve the core competencies as well as their own didactic goals.

Additional didactic opportunities include a postdoctoral master's degree or certificate in clinical and translational science.

Read more about the Postdoctoral Master's Degree Program and Postdoctoral Certificate Program.

Administrative component

The NIH requires that you cite the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) if you receive funding through CCaTS or used any CCaTS services to support your research. Read more about properly citing CCaTS in publications.

Publications supported by CCaTS must be submitted to PubMed Central and be assigned a PubMed Central Identifier (PMCID). For instructions, visit Mayo Clinic's Public Access to Scientific Publications Policy intranet site (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network) or view this 12-minute step-by-step video.