Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program

This intensive, year-long program trains junior investigators to submit competitive career development proposals and launch independent research careers.

About the Program

Learn what it takes to win an NIH K award and jumpstart your research career through this intensive, one-year training program. 

The Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program trains and supports highly qualified junior faculty in the preparation of individual, extramural CDA applications (NIH K series or equivalent), and connects them to resources, mentorship, and other career development opportunities. The program encourages applications that emphasize community engagement.

Up to 10 Scholars are selected annually to participate in the program. Junior faculty candidates pursuing a career in clinical research or translational research from Brown, URI, and the affiliated hospital systems are eligible to apply. 

Advance-K Scholars will follow a common curriculum along with a customized set of activities to meet individual learning goals. Advance-K Scholars are required to participate in 2-hour, bi-weekly training sessions throughout the duration of the yearlong program. Scholars are expected to submit an application for individual funding (K01, K08, K23, or CDAs from the VA or foundations) by the end of the 12-month program period.

View the 2024/25 RFA

Training Methods

Individualized training will be accomplished through various methods including:

  • Development of a Mentorship Team. Primary mentors identified by the candidate are required to describe their commitment to the mentoring relationship (as per Selection Criteria below), including a description of mentoring time and regular interactions with the candidate. The program assists in identifying additional mentors to enhance the mentoring support for Scholars. Applicants are encouraged to list up to three additional areas of expertise (or individual faculty members) whose guidance would benefit the proposed project or the applicant’s career development plan.
  • Individual Meetings with the Advance-K Leadership Team to discuss sensitive and other issues related to the research project and training plan, relationship with the mentoring team, and overall progress in Advance-K.
  • Project development support consisting of referral to local technical and scientific experts as needed, and/or consultation with the Advance RI-CTR BERD (Biostatistical Consulting, Epidemiology and Research Design Services) Core and the Advance RI-CTR BIBCE (Biomedical Informatics, Bioinformatics, and Cyberinfrastructure Enhancement) Core. 
  • Participation in appropriate Advance RI-CTR, university, and industry-sponsored workshops (e.g., Research Design, RCR, IRB preparation, grant-writing)
  • Bi-weekly Advance-K sessions focusing on grant preparation, budget development, Responsible Conduct of Research, mentorship, and/or other professional development goals. Each Scholar has at least one opportunity to present their Research and Training plans to the cohort and will also receive written feedback on their presentation.
  • Opportunity to network with other junior faculty clinical scholars, via the bi-weekly sessions, e-mails, and program Slack channel, leading to collaborative ties and sharing of grantsmanship resources. This also includes opportunities to network with current and former K awardees at Brown and URI.
  • Grantsmanship training and adviceincluding editorial feedback and line editing of draft proposal components by the Leadership Team and Steering Committee as the applications are developed, as well as working with applicants and mentors to prepare effective and appropriate biosketches, training plans, and letters of support.
  • Mock Study Section Review of the final draft proposal, including written NIH style critiques and a live mock study section discussion in front of the cohort that includes participation from the Mentor or Co-Mentor.

For questions on the application or Advance-K program, you may contact Audra Van Wart, Associate Dean for Training and Program Development ( or Ulrike Mende, Professor of Medicine (

Program Co-Directors

  • Ulrike Mende, MD, FAHA

    Ulrike Mende, MD, FAHA

    Professor of Medicine, Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • Dr. Audra Van Wart

    Audra Van Wart, PhD

    Co-Lead, Advance RI-CTR Professional Development Core, Director of University Postdoctoral Affairs, Brown University, Associate Dean for Training and Program Development, Division of Biology and Medicine, Assistant Professor of Medical Science, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Senior Faculty Advisors

  • Ghada Bourjeily

    Ghada Bourjeily, MD

    Professor of Medicine, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Director, Women's Research at Lifespan, the Women's Medicine Collaborative
  • Sharon Rounds

    Sharon Rounds, MD

    Program Director, Advance RI-CTR, Associate Dean for Translational Science, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pulmonary/Critical Care Physician, Providence VA Medical Center

Spotlight on the Scholars

Amy Stamates, PhD, has been awarded a 5-year K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
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