Questions about the Clinical Research Scholars Program?

What is the purpose of the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Scholars program?

The Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Scholars program fosters the development of future leaders in clinical research to generate new knowledge to improve health. We do this by providing individuals with rigorous training leading to an advanced degree, helping them to develop and execute a research project, mentorship in a multidisciplinary and collaborative environment and involvement in career development activities.

What career stage is appropriate for potential KL2 Scholars?

Junior faculty (within their first 5 years) who are interested in developing academic and research expertise and plan to conduct, or are conducting, clinical research. If you are currently in your last fellowship year and have a pending faculty appointment beginning on or prior the start of a KL2 award, you may be eligible.

How long are appointments in the Clinical Research Scholars program?

Clinical Research Scholars is a three-year program with the KL2 award providing the first two years and the Scholars’ nominating department/division providing the third.

How may I find out if I’m eligible to apply?

Please see our eligibility requirements. To be eligible for the KL2 award, each of the listed criteria must be met. We are committed to a program that embraces racial, ethnic, gender and disciplinary diversity, and we encourage applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and clinical disciplines.

Am I eligible if I have already had a K23 award or another award?

Individuals are not eligible if they have been PI on an R01 award, a subproject of a program project (P01) or center project (P50, P60, U54), a mentored career development (K) award, or other equivalent research grant. However, they are eligible if have had support from a NRSA (F or T) or NIH small grant (R03).

Am I eligible if I have a pending K application to NIH?

No, NIH policy does not permit multiple K applications under review simultaneously.

Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for this KL2 program?

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and non-citizen nationals are eligible, but not those on temporary or student visas. Proof of status will be required prior to official appointment.

How do I apply?

Visit ‘How to Apply’ for more information.

What is the timetable for applications and selection?

Applications are evaluated by a multidisciplinary selection committee based on prior training, research, and commitment to a clinical research career, as well as potential to excel. Reviews will take place in mid-to-late January, selected candidates will likely be interviewed in February and candidates will be notified of their status by mid-March. Applicants not selected to interview are removed from consideration and will not be waitlisted.

How many Clinical Research Scholars will be selected?

The number of appointments changes per year and per application cycle.  Please read the RFA on the ‘Program Experience & Eligibility’ page.

What is the success rate?

It varies from year to year but averages 33% for faculty that are eligible have completed all required components of the application.

Can I reapply to the program if I did not get in the first time?

Yes, of course you may reapply to the program. However, reapplying does not guarantee admittance.

If I am offered an award but cannot accept, may I defer my acceptance to a year later?

No, but you are welcome to reapply during the following year.

Will I be at a disadvantage coming from a division where a Scholar already was selected?

No, all applications are evaluated individually on their merit. Given the quality of the applicant pool, awardees will need to exhibit extraordinary capabilities and potential no matter their department/division/school.

Is tuition paid by the grant?

Yes, resources for tuition are available for scholars’ formal degree programs and approved courses that are in alignment with the scholars’ required curriculum, research training, and career development goals. Please be aware that tuition support paid on behalf of faculty is considered taxable income.

Are there exceptions to the 80% professional effort requirement?

Yes, but this is extremely rare. Exceptions to the 80% effort requirement may be made for limited specialties (e.g., surgical specialties requiring greater clinical effort to maintain surgical skills), but any exceptions must be sufficiently justified and approved by both the program and our Grants Management Specialist at NCATS.

Can KL2 Scholars use other federal grants to support the other 20% of their salary?

No, KL2 Scholars may not receive salary support from other US Public Health Service sources (NIH, CDC, FDA, etc). Non-federal grants can be used to support the remaining effort. Grants from private foundations, voluntary organizations (Heart Association, Cancer Society), and professional societies are all acceptable.

Does receiving a KL2 award make one ineligible to apply for a future K08 or K23?

No, appointed KL2 scholars may apply for K08 or K23 support. If successful, they move from one mechanism to the other. However, the total combined K award time can’t exceed 6 years depending upon the guidelines of individual institutes within NIH. The goal is to have KL2 awardees “graduate” as quickly as possible to NIH funding. Typically, this would be an NIH career development award in the K series.

May I apply if I do not have a faculty appointment yet?

No, a faculty appointment in Medicine, Public Health, Nursing or Engineering is required for the KL2 appointment. If you are currently in your last fellowship year but will be appointed to faculty on or before the start of the KL2 award date, you will need to submit a letter from the department/division indicating this pending appointment in your application.

Will KL2 Scholars be given office space?

There is limited office space available for KL2 scholars in the program office, based on need and availability.

If I accept a position at another institution, may I transfer my KL2 award there?

No, the KL2 is an institutional career development award granted to the Johns Hopkins Institute of Clinical and Translational Research. Awards are non-transferrable. Scholars who leave Johns Hopkins will have their award terminated and will not be able to continue to receive funding from the Clinical Research Scholars program.

Are KL2 scholars eligible to apply for the NIH Loan Repayment Program?

Absolutely, many KL2 Scholars have successfully applied for the Loan Repayment Program. More information about this program is available at

If I have additional questions that are not covered here, who can I contact?

You are encouraged to contact Karla McCarthy, Program Manager, at or 410-502-8840.