Application Process

CCaTS requires that candidates for Mayo Clinic's Benefactor-Funded Research Career Development Awards follow specific processes to apply for awards, create budgets and develop research proposals.

Deadline

The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, at 5 p.m. Central time. Awards will be announced in April 2020. The 2021 deadline will be announced in November 2020.

Submitting an application

Applications are accepted only through the START Application Tool (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network).

Within the START Application Tool, separate requests for applications (RFAs) have been developed for each career development award focus area. Applicants should create only one application, but may submit it to more than one Benefactor-Funded Career Development Award RFA. Multiple different proposals from a single individual are not accepted.

For example, an applicant with research focused on thyroid cancer may identify two different awards for which to apply — one in the cancer focus area and another in the endocrinology focus area. The applicant should create one application in the START tool and submit to the first RFA ("Benefactor-funded CDAs — Cancer") and then import the application into the second RFA ("Benefactor-funded CDAs — Endocrinology").

Application instructions

Log in to the START Application Tool with your Mayo Clinic LAN ID and password (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network). Complete all requested questions.

Assemble the following materials, in the order listed, in a single PDF document:

  1. Cover letter from applicant that includes the name of the specific award(s) for which he or she is applying. If applying for multiple awards, the same application must be used for all submissions — please note all award names in the cover letter.
  2. Proposal summarizing the specific aims, research plan and significance of the research (four-page limit, excluding references). Use National Institutes of Health (NIH) formatting guidelines, such as Arial 11-point font with 0.5-inch margins, single spaced.
  3. Career development plan (two-page limit) addressing:
    • Training in research and a description of current research interests
    • Overall career goals (both short-term and long-term goals), including plans to incorporate a multidisciplinary approach in the applicant's career
    • How this award will help the applicant transition his or her research program to independent funding
  4. Biographical sketch in NIH format. Samples and instructions are available on the intranet page of Mayo Clinic's Strategic Funding Office for Research (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network).
  5. Letter of endorsement from the department or division chair commenting on the current and future career development of the applicant, including research space and other support. The letter should address the applicant's motivation and likelihood of becoming an independent investigator.
  6. Letter from the applicant's primary mentor assessing the applicant's qualifications — in particular, the applicant's motivation and potential for future success. The letter should also indicate the mentor's qualifications, including experience in providing similar mentorship; outline the mentor's plan for meeting with the candidate; and confirm availability of research space and other resources for successful completion of the project.

    If the department or division chair is also the primary mentor, one letter addressing both roles may be submitted.

  7. A listing of the applicant's current and pending support, including:

    • Project numbers for any grants
    • Source of funding
    • Title of project
    • Project period dates
    • The current year's direct dollar amount

    Please include all sources of research support — both internally and externally funded.

Samples and instructions are available on the intranet page of Mayo Clinic's Strategic Funding Office for Research (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network).

Instructions for pulling a report of extramural support can be found on Mayo Clinic's Office of Sponsored Projects Administration webpage for Just-In-Time Information; refer to the sections on "Individual Other Support Reports" (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network).

Application instructions for awards in multiple research topics

The START tool allows applicants to submit the same application for more than one research topic. Applicants should create only one application, but may submit it to more than one Benefactor-Funded Career Development Award RFA. Multiple unique proposals from a single individual will not be accepted.

To apply for Benefactor-Funded Research Career Development Awards in multiple topics using the same application, complete the following steps:

  1. Assemble the required single PDF outlined in steps 1 to 7 above.
  2. Select the first desired RFA in the START Application Tool (must be logged in to the Mayo Clinic network). Complete that RFA, including all questions; upload the application document created in steps 1 to 7 above and submit.
  3. Select the next desired RFA. Under "What would you like to do?" select "Import a proposal." Select your proposal from the drop-down menu.

Budgets

A budget is not required at the time of application. Awardees work with an Office of Sponsored Projects Administration internal specialist to create a funding proposal and budget.

Allowable expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Effort for the principal investigator, study coordinators and research technologists
  • Patient care costs and remuneration
  • Statistical analysis
  • Animal purchases and care expenses
  • Research core laboratory fees
  • Travel to conferences to present findings

Developing your research proposal

Applicants are encouraged to utilize the courses available online from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) to help them put forward a well-developed proposal. Courses are available on a range of topics, including "Developing a Research Question," "Avoiding Statistical Pitfalls," "Designing Effective Pilot Studies" and many others.

All online courses are offered free of charge to Mayo staff and can be found on the CCaTS Workforce Development page.