Application Process

CCaTS requires that candidates for Mayo Clinic's Benefactor-Funded Research Career Development Awards follow specific processes to apply, create budgets and develop research proposals. Applicants must be logged into the Mayo Clinic network to use the START Application Tool, as well as other resources on the Mayo Clinic intranet.

Application Deadline and Important Dates

  • The application deadline is Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at 5 p.m. Central time.
  • Awards will be announced in April 2021.
  • The 2022 application deadline will be announced in November 2021.

Submitting an Application

Applications are accepted only through the START Application Tool.

Use your Mayo Clinic LAN ID and password to log in. 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 Application 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 Requirements:

New for 2021: Applicants will submit their complete proposals directly in the START Application Tool. Enter Goals, Preliminary Data, Specific Aims, Research Plan and Expected Outcome in the text boxes. In addition, the following documents are required and must be uploaded to your proposal in Word or PDF format.

  1. Cover letter template: Complete the cover letter template (PDF) and attach it to the proposal.
  2. 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.
  3. Biosketch for the applicant (five-page limit) using NIH's current biosketch template and instructions. Biosketches for other faculty team members may be included, but are not required.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Instructions on how to generate the MIRIS Other Support report can be found on Mayo Clinic's Office of Sponsored Projects Administration webpage's Just-In-Time section under the "Other Support" tab.

Refer to the Checklists & Guides section, and navigate to the "Just in Time Guides & Checklists" tab for links to the following:

  • NIH Just-In-Time Instructions
  • NIH Other Support Instructions
  • NIH Other Support Template
  • Reporting Effort on Other Support

Application instructions for awards in multiple research topics

The START Application 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. Select the first desired RFA in the START Application Tool.
  2. Complete the RFA, including all questions.
  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.


A formal Mayo Integrated Research Information System (MIRIS) budget prepared by the Office of Sponsored Projects Administration (OSPA) is not required at the time of application. If the project is selected for funding, the awardee will work with Susan (Sue) J. Rubow to create a MIRIS 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.

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