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NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) include KL2 mentored career development awards for faculty commencing clinical and translational research. A survey of KL2 leaders revealed program practices, curricular elements and compelling data about scholar characteristics and outcomes.
We conducted a literature review, framed the survey construct, and obtained input from across the CTSA consortium. A REDCap survey was emailed in fall 2016 to 61 active programs.
Fifty-five programs (90.2%) responded. Respondents had been funded from 3 to 11 years, including 22 “mature” hubs funded for ≥8 years. Program cohort sizes were 56% “small”, 22% “medium”, and 22% “large.” Hubs offer extensive competency-aligned training opportunities relevant to clinical and translational research, including graduate degrees, mentorship, and grant-writing. Seventy-two percent of hubs report parallel “KL2-equivalent” career development programs. All hubs share their training and facilitate intermingling with other early stage investigators. A total of 1,517 KL2 scholars were funded. KL2 awardees are diverse in their disciplines, research projects, and representation; 54% are female and 12% self-identified as underrepresented in biomedical research. Eighty-seven percent of scholars have 2–3 mentors and are currently supported for 2–3 years. Seventy-eight percent of alumni remain at CTSA institutions in translational science. The most common form of NIH support following scholars’ KL2 award is an individual career development award.
The KL2 is a unique career development award, shaped by competency-aligned training opportunities and interdisciplinary mentorship that inform translational research pathways. Tracking both traditional and novel outcomes of KL2 scholars is essential to capture their career trajectories and impact on health.
This article discusses the process of defining competencies and development
of a best practices training course for investigators and clinical research
coordinators who conduct social and behavioral research.
The first project phase established recommendations for training in Good
Clinical Practice (GCP) and was done in conjunction with representatives
from 62 Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs. Diversity in
behavioral clinical trials and differences in regulation of behavioral
trials compared with clinical trials involving drugs, devices, or biologics
necessitated a separate Social and Behavioral Work Group. This group worked
with CTSA representatives to tailor competencies and fundamental GCP
principles into best practices for social and behavioral research.
Although concepts underlying GCP were deemed similar across all clinical
trials, not all areas were equally applicable and the ways in which GCP
would be enacted differ for behavioral trials. It was determined that
suitable training in best practices for social and behavioral research was
Based on the training need, an e-learning course for best practices is
available to all CTSA sites. Each institution is able to track outcomes for
its employees to help achieve standardized competency-based best practices
for social and behavioral investigators and staff.
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