KL2 Scholar Eligibility

Full-time junior faculty with a doctorate (MD, DO, PhD, MD/PhD, DO/PhD or equivalent) at the rank of Assistant Professor at Penn State University are eligible to apply to the program. In rare cases (following consultations with KL2 program directors), KL2 applications may be accepted from Associate Professors whose career trajectory has changed to focus on translational research. Research Associates at either the University Park or Hershey campuses who hold a faculty position are also eligible. Faculty appointments cannot be dependent upon receipt of this award. Junior faculty physician candidates should have completed training in a specialty or subspecialty and be board eligible or certified. Non-physician candidates must have a PhD.

Candidates must be committed to a career in clinical and/or translational research. Candidates must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident at the time they submit an application. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Current and former program directors or principal investigators (PDs/PIs) on NIH research project (RO1), program project (P01), center grants (P50), other career development awards (K-awards), or the equivalent are not eligible. Current and former PDs/PIs of an NIH Small Grant (R03), Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21), Dissertation Award (R36), or SBIR/STTR (R41, R42, R43, R44) remain eligible.

Appointed KL2 scholars may apply for an individual K award from the NIH and; if successful they will then transfer to that K award.

See an updated list of programmatic expectations for each KL2 scholar and mentor/co-mentor.

Level of Effort
At the time of award, the candidates must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 75% full-time professional effort (i.e., a minimum of 9 person-months) to their career development and research training during the mentored phase. Candidates may engage in other duties (clinical, research or teaching) as part of the remaining 25% of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as, such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development plan.

Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the full time requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.

Departmental Nomination
Applicants must be nominated by the candidate’s Department Chair (and Division Director if applicable). The Chair must guarantee in writing in the nomination letter that a minimum of 75% of the junior faculty’s professional time will be protected to pursue clinical and/or translational research training if the candidate is accepted into the KL2 (an exception is made for a minimum of 50% effort for trainees from surgery or the surgical subspecialties).  The remaining 25 or 50% of the junior faculty’s professional time may not be funded by other federal (NIH) funds. The nomination (Chair’s letter) is included as part of the application.