Reach for the K! Apply to Our Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program

Learn what it takes to win an NIH K award and jumpstart your research career.

The call for applications is now open for the 2021 Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program from Advance-CTR. 

View the RFA

About the Program

The Advance-K Scholar Career Development Program aims to train the next generation of clinical and translational researchers to conduct rigorous and reproducible science and prepare mentored career development award (CDA) applications that will ultimately advance health in Rhode Island and beyond.

Advance-K Scholars will follow a common curriculum of clinical and translational research competencies, grantsmanship, and professional development, along with a customized set of activities to meet individual learning goals. 

Advance-K Scholars will be expected to participate in 2-hour, bi-weekly training sessions on Wednesdays (3 – 5 pm) throughout the duration of the year-long program. Attendance at these sessions is mandatory for participation in the program. Each Scholar will enhance the skills specific to his/her research and career development through an individualized learning plan. 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.

Individualized training will be accomplished through various methods including:

  1. 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.
  2. Individual Meetings with the Advance-K Leadership Team (Drs. Sharon Rounds, Ulrike Mende, and Audra Van Wart) 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.
  3. Project development support consisting of referral to local technical and scientific experts as needed, and/or consultation with the Advance-CTR BERD (Biostatistical Consulting, Epidemiology and Research Design Services) Core and the Advance-CTR BIBCE (Biomedical Informatics, Bioinformatics, and Cyberinfrastructure Enhancement) Core. 
  4. 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.
  5. Opportunity to network with other junior faculty clinical scholarsvia 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Participation in appropriate Advance-CTR, university, and industry-sponsored workshops (e.g., Research Design, RCR, IRB preparation, grant-writing)
  8. 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.

Application Process 

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 all departments at Advance-CTR partner institutions are eligible to apply. Members of under-represented racial and ethnic groups and candidates with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Complete applications are due on September 3, 2021.

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 (

View the RFA