The ITS supports the Translational Research Scholars Career Development Program (ITS Scholars) and offers the Translational Research Scholars Program (TRSP) for ITS and other UTMB faculty.
The Translational Research Scholars Program (TRSP) prepares scientists to become independent investigators and improve understanding of disease mechanisms, prevention and treatment. Scholars from across the institution, form a peer group, and benefit from interactions within the group as they pursue the common goal of becoming skilled and funded researchers. The program focuses on preparing an initial successful grant application in a structured and mentored environment. It also provides more advanced training for success in funded research, productive grant management, and planning for a successful competitive renewal application. Scholars pursue individual, defined programs of education and skills development under the guidance of mentors of their own choosing. The process may also include earning a M.S. or Ph.D. degree through the Clinical Science Graduate Program. The endpoint of the program is attainment of independent funding from NIH or other funding agency. Collaborating Programs include various UTMB career development programs supported within UTMB departments as well as other NIH grant awards. These include the ITS Translational Research Scholars Career Development Program (NIH-KL2000072), UTMB Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH, NIH-K12HD052023), the Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program (NIH-K12HD052023), the UTMB Women’s Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Career Development Center of Excellence (NIH-K12HD001269), and the UTMB Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (NIH-P30AG024832). See the TRSP brochure, list of directors and participants, and seminar schedule for more information. Click here for: TRSP Scholar application or Associate Scholar application.
The ITS Translational Research Scholars Career Development (ITS Scholars) Program supports several young scholars by providing salary support and protecting at least 75% of effort for research career development.
The ITS Scholars Program will provide up to three years of NIH support for clinical and translational scientists and is comprised of two phases.
- Phase 1 (Years 1-3) is designed to provide scholars with the foundation needed for a productive career in clinical and translational research. A Lead Mentor will be chosen and an individualized career development plan will be developed based on the scholar's past training and experience. The individualized plan will consist of 1) a structured didactic program focused on research methodology; 2) specialized courses and seminars; and 3) mentored grant writing experiences. In Phase 1, scholars will commit 75-100% time to research career development activities.
- Phase 2 (Years 4-5), is the period of transition for ITS scholars to move into independent researcher positions and will no longer be directly supported by KL2 funding. Scholars will remain associated with the ITS Scholars program and will continue to receive mentorship from the Lead Mentor, and research team. The ITS Scholar program will take advantage of its extensive clinical and translational research network to negotiate faculty positions in research supportive environments.
Phase I ITS Scholars:
Jonathan Hommel, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty in the Center for Addiction Research
Elizabeth A. Jaramillo, MD, Assistant Professor, Institute for Translational Sciences
For more information, read the details below.
Phase II ITS Scholars:
Sara Dann, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Microbiology & Immunology
Micah Drummond, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, University of Utah, Department of Physical Therapy, Salt Lake City, UT; NIH Award: “Nutrient regulation of amino acid transporters in aging human skeletal muscle” NIA-K01AG038556, 01SEP2011-31AUG2015, PI: Drummond)
Celeste C. Finnerty, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery; NIH Award “Effects of Catecholamine Exposure on Post-Burn Scarring” R01GM112936 (15Jan2015-31Dec2019, PI: Finnerty)
Meera R. Gupta, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine-Allergy and Immunology
Konrad Pazdrak, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Iryna Pinchuk, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology NIH Award “Regulatory role of CD90+ stromal cells in Th1/Th17 activity in Crohn’s Disease” NIDDK-R01DK103150 (01JUL2014-30JUN2018, PI: Pinchuk)
Tammara L. Watts, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Division of Head & Neck Surgery; NIH Award “Targeting Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Head and Neck Cancer” K08CA184915 (15Apr2015- 31Mar2020, PI: Watts)
The Institute for Translational Sciences’ Translational Research Scholars Career Development (ITS Scholars) Program is an early mentored research career development program and a component of the UTMB Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from NIH. The aim of the Program is to provide a mentored research experience leading to external funding of a research program in clinical and/or translational research relevant to the mission of the ITS, which is the home of the CTSA at UTMB. Two positions are funded by the KL2 component of the CTSA grant, and additional positions may be funded by matching institutional funds provided to the ITS, for up to 3 years or until a scholar secures independent funding. This annual application process is intended to fill vacant positions when they become available.
The Translational Research Scholars Program (TRSP) is an ITS-CTSA program and is a required part of the ITS Scholars Program, It is a series of seminars and workshops for junior faculty members preparing initial grant applications. Additional members of TRSP, numbering about 20, are supported by other sources such as other K12 programs or departmental funds. Many members of TRSP who do not have K12 support are strong candidates for KL2 support and are encouraged to apply.
Each Scholar develops an individual development plan (IDP) with the primary mentor, which outlines plans for educational activities, research projects, funding initiatives, and publications.
Applicants must be members of an existing ITS Multidisciplinary Translational Team (MTTs), as listed below and on the ITS web site: http://www.its.utmb.edu/mtts/mtts.html
* Addictions and impulse control disorders
* Aging muscle and sarcopenia
* Burns injury and response
* Epidemiology of estrogens
* Hepatocellular carcinoma biomarker development
* Gut inflammation
* Obesity and its metabolic complications
* Pediatric respiratory infections – bronchiolitis
* Pediatric respiratory infections – otitis media
* Phenotypes of severe asthma
* Reproductive women’s health
* Development of novel therapies for advanced colorectal cancer
* Novel point-of-care diagnostic tests for neglected parasitic diseases
Financial support of the Scholar is shared between the ITS and the respective department or school.
- The Scholars award provides salary support for at least 75% of a university base salary up to $115,000 per year (plus fringe benefits) for up to three years. During the time of a Scholar’s salary supported tenure, additional support provided will include up to $25,000 for research supplies, and up to $900 for GSBS tuition and fees for planned formal coursework. Up to $2,500 for travel will be provided annually to attend the national clinical and translational research meeting in Washington DC, usually in April.
- The Scholar’s department or school provides 25% of a university base salary up to $115,000 per year (plus fringe benefits), and may support additional base or non-base salary above that amount.
- Candidates must be members of an existing ITS Multidisciplinary Translational Team.
- Candidates for the ITS Scholars program are early stage investigators with a doctoral degree and full-time appointments at UTMB at the level of Assistant Professor. Those completing postdoctoral training with a departmental commitment of a faculty position of Assistant Professor by January 1, 2016 are eligible to apply. The faculty appointment must not be contingent upon receipt of the award. ITS Scholars may have primary faculty appointments from any UTMB departments and schools representing translational science, including all basic biomedical sciences, all specialties of medicine and surgery, nursing, psychology and other behavioral sciences, dentistry, pharmacy, pharmacology, epidemiology, biostatistics, allied health sciences, health services research, biomedical engineering and other health professions. All applicants must provide evidence of strong academic achievement and scholarship, as well as personal attributes such as high motivation and integrity. This award is not intended for individuals making mid-career changes into clinical and translational research.
- Applicants must be US citizens or non-citizen nationals, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-155) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident. Applications will be accepted from persons with pending residence application, but the required residency status must be in place before receipt of the award. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
- Applicants must be able to commit at least 75 percent of their full-time professional effort to this Career Development Program and its related clinical and translational science research activities. 50% effort may be permitted for surgeons.
- Applicants may not simultaneously submit or have pending an application for any other PHS mentored career development award (e.g., K07, K08, K22, K23) that duplicates any of the award components. Applicants must not be, or have been, a Principal Investigator on a R01 award or a Project Leader on a subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, U54) or other equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed research grants that are over $100,000 direct costs per year, or a Principal Investigator of a mentored research career development (K-series) grant. Applicants may have received prior support on an Institutional or Individual NRSA grant (F or T) or NIH small grant (R03, R21, R43, R44).
- An optional letter of intent (LOI) must be received by October 2, 2015. This enables the program to anticipate the number of applicants and provide early advice to potential applicants and their departments. For example, after the LOI is submitted, applicants may need time to discuss the need for adequate protected time with their departments before preparing a final application, which is due on October 21, 2015. An LOI is not required, but it is recommended that applicants discuss their intent to submit an application and seek guidance before submitting an application.
- For this funding year (FY 2016) we anticipate that up to 2 positions will be awarded on or before January 1, 2016. Should another position open before April 1, 2017, this pool of applicants will be considered.
Recruitment and application processes will be coordinated through the ITS Education Office:
Bill T. Ameredes, MS, PhD
Professor, Medicine, and Pharmacology & Toxicology
Marie Carr, MS firstname.lastname@example.org
ITS Education Office
6.118 Research Building 6
APPLICATION TIMELINE: Applications for ITS Scholar positions for 2016 are due on October 21, 2015. Review of applications submitted by the October 21 deadline will be completed by the end of December 2015. We anticipate that at least 1 award will be issued on January 1, 2016 and additional award(s) will be issued dependent on funds availability.
Application materials must be submitted to ITS Education Office, via any of the following methods
E-Mail: to email@example.com with Subject - ITS Scholar Application
Campus mail: ITS Education Office, Route 0342
Questions regarding application submission may be directed to the ITS Education Office via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (409-772-4185).
ITS SCHOLAR PROGRAM APPLICATION TIPS
- Complete the Application Face Page completely.
- Proofread your application thoroughly for accuracy and completeness.
- Apply as early as possible, and encourage persons providing letters of recommendation to submit their letters promptly.
- Face Page. Information required includes applicant’s name, school/department, contact information, mentor contact information, citizenship status, research area of interest and membership in multidisciplinary team. See face page/abstract form page here.
- Abstract. A summary of the proposed career development activities including the applicant’s well-articulated career goals and research interests and plans. This should include a brief description of the project that will be the focus of a competitive grant application, and the type of application planned. See face page/abstract form page here.
- Narrative. Up to 10 pages total; 11 point Arial font. Summarize your career goals, career development plan, reasons for applying to the ITS Scholar Program, and the nature of the planned research during and after the period of KL2 support. More details may be found in NIH parent application information for K23, K08 or other Mentored career development “K” applications; see http://grants.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm Three sections should include:
- Candidate. Describe your commitment to a career in clinical and/or translational research, and how and why a multidisciplinary team-based training program is important for your future research career. This section should address:
- The applicant's background, interest in and commitment to a clinical/translational science career, participation in a multidisciplinary translational team.
- The applicant's potential to develop into a successful independent investigator as evidenced by research training and experience, scholarships, publications and presentations, and previous grant awards. (Separate letters of recommendation submitted with the application should compliment this section.)
- The basis for selection of the mentor and how s/he will contribute to the planned research and career development of the applicant.
- Willingness to commit to at least 75% professional effort towards the objectives of the ITS Scholars Program; a description of additional professional efforts should also be provided. Letters of support should further endorse these time commitments.
- Plans to develop and submit an extramural application for career development or other research support while in the ITS Scholars Program. Time lines toward one or more specific grant applications should be described.
- Identification of MTT Membership. Identify and describe your membership and relationship with one or several ITS MTTs. You should have one primary MTT with which you are a member, within which your KL2 Scholarship Primary Mentor is also a member and active participant. If you had had special responsibilities or roles within that MTT, please provide a brief description of that (those) roles. For example, if you have been an MTT Project Manager, please describe the project with which you have been working, and provide some details regarding its duration, productivity, and success with translational research. If you are involved with other MTTs, please list and provide some details regarding your roles/involvement and productivity with those MTTs. If you are a new member of an MTT, identify the MTT, and then briefly describe (in bullet point fashion, with brief explanatory sentences) the role(s), responsibilities, and project(s) that you and your primary mentor have developed, as part of your translational research training and career plan, which is described in further detail in the “Career Development Plan” section below.
- Individual Development Plan (IDP). Utilizing the ITS KL2 IDP template, available here, describe objectives of your immediate research interests/goals and how and why the ITS Scholars Program is important to and will help achieve these objectives as well as future research career success. This may include planned participation in research team and laboratory meetings, journal clubs, etc.; attendance at research conferences; formal coursework on clinical and translational science topics; participation in additional training experiences in clinical or basic science; or informal educational activities such as short courses or workshops, including training in the responsible conduct of research. IMPORTANT: as noted above, while the narrative description is important, to enhance reviewer understanding of your plan, you are required to include a timeline of plans for:
- The intended actions, activities, and accomplishments you intend to pursue over the coming 2 year period. This should include research project execution, data reduction, publication, national meeting presentations, and development of preliminary data for grant submission.
- The development and submission of an extramural application for continued career development or other research support, within and beyond the KL2 Scholars Program.
- Research Plan. Describe the proposed clinical/translational research project/plan. The Research plan must include separate sections on:
- Specific Aims (one page)
- Research Strategy
- Approach (including Hypotheses, Rationale, Preliminary Studies, Approach, Methods, and Analyses)
- Cited literature (this will not be included in the page limitation)
- Letters of Recommendation:
- A letter of recommendation from the primary research mentor and any additional mentors addressing:
- the applicant’s:
- educational background, research skills, accomplishments and potential for a career in multidisciplinary clinical and/or translational research
- potential as a future independent investigator
- capability in pursuing the research project described in the application
- career development plan towards achieving the applicant’s career goals and objectives
- the mentor’s:
- willingness to serve as the applicant’s mentor in research and career development as described in the proposal
- qualifications of the mentor in the proposed research area
- previous experience as a research mentor, including a description of the nature and extent of mentoring experience with post-doctoral trainees and junior faculty
- Supporting information from the Mentor must include:
- NIH SF424 (R&R) Biosketch
- PHS Form 398 Other Support form
- PHS Data Table 5A – Predoctoral Trainees of Participating Faculty Members
- PHS Data Table 5B – Postdoctoral Trainees of Participating Faculty Members
- PHS 398 forms can be found at NIH PHS 398 Forms.
- PHS Data Tables 5A and 5B for Trainees of Participating Faculty Members can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm#format
- Two additional letters of recommendation addressing, at a minimum, the relationship to the applicant (the position on which they base their knowledge of the applicant), and the applicant’s background and potential for a career as an independent research investigator in clinical and/or translational science. One of these letters must be from the appropriate department chair and guarantee at least 75% protected time for applicant to pursue the educational and research goals of the program.
APPLICATION REVIEW AND SELECTION OF KL2 SCHOLARS
The KL2 Program Directors will review applications for completeness.
Qualified applicants will be selected on the basis of:
- Evidence that the ITS Scholar program will facilitate the applicant’s long-term research and career development goals in clinical and translational science
- Prior research training and demonstrated performance
- The qualifications and experience of the research mentor, and the mentor’s proposed role in providing guidance and advice to candidate during and after the period of KL2 support
- Recommendation letters from the research mentor and two independent references
- The scope and focus of the research and career development/educational plan provided in the application. Specifically, how well will the ITS Scholar program activities help achieve the applicant’s learning objectives as articulated in the application?
- The ITS Scholar Review Committee will evaluate applications for scientific and technical merit. All applications will be scored on the 1-9 scale used by the NIH Center for Scientific Review. The following factors will be considered during the review:
- Quality of the Applicant
- Quality of applicant's academic, research, and publication/presentation record
- Potential to become a successful investigator in multidisciplinary clinical/translational research
- Commitment to a career in translational science
- Potential to benefit from a multidisciplinary mentored research training program, including membership and interactivity/collaboration within a multidisciplinary translational team (MTT)
- Quality of Career Plans
- Consistency of applicant's career goals with prior and current research experience
- Likelihood that career plans contribute substantially to the applicant’s scientific and leadership development and necessary skill acquisition to conduct multidisciplinary clinical/translational investigations
- Quality of Proposed Research
- Scientific and technical merit of the research question, experimental design and methodology
- Relevance of proposed research to the applicant's career objectives
- Appropriateness of the research plan to the stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills as described in the career development plan
- Quality of primary mentor and any secondary mentors, and of the team-based research environment.
KL2 SCHOLAR SELECTION
KL2 Scholars will be selected with consideration of the following factors:
- Quality and appropriateness of the applicant for this program
- Quality and appropriateness of the career development plans
- Identification of membership in an ITS MTT
- Quality of the proposed research
- Effectiveness and track record of the mentor and the research team