UMass Center for Clinical & Translational Science Clinical Research Scholar (K12) Program


The NIH has challenged academic medical centers to accelerate the pace at which we integrate research findings into clinical practice. The University of Massachusetts Medical School and its clinical partner UMass Memorial Health Care are committed to this challenge and are aggressively expanding translational and clinical research under the following vision:

To be a national leader in creating the ideal environment to foster interdisciplinary research to enhance the public’s health.

A key and enabling element of this commitment is the establishment of the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS). Building upon our strong reputation as a world-class research institution, producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research, the department will provide the infrastructure necessary to support outstanding clinical and translational investigators and their work. This structure will foster collaboration among researchers and disciplines and fulfill the organizational mission:

To promote the development of a broad agenda in clinical and translational research in order to positively impact the health of communities and populations; and to serve as a national model for others.

Training of investigators who will make a career of innovative, hypothesis-driven clinical and translational research is a top priority. The Clinical Research Scholar Program has been developed to address this need. The training program will combine coursework, seminars, and mentored research. Additional awards will be made in subsequent years.


The NIH defines Clinical Research as:

  • Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Patient-oriented research includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b) therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual.
  • Epidemiological and behavioral studies.
  • Outcomes research and health services research.


The NIH defines Translational Research as

  • The process of applying ideas, insights, and discoveries generated through basic scientific inquiry to the treatment or prevention of human disease.



EXPANDED Eligibility:

Faculty who are still not six years post the completion of their post-doctoral or fellowship training

Post-doctoral fellow applicants are in most cases not eligible to enter the program any earlier than their second year of post-doctoral fellowship.

Exceptional candidates with less than two years of post-doctoral training may receive special permission to apply.  To apply for a waiver, please send Wanda DePasquale ( the following information NO LATER thank 5:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, January 17th: applicant's CV, letter from the applicant's Department or Program Chair justifying the request for a waiver.

  • Research or health professional doctoral degree (MD, DO, PhD, ScD, DVM, PharmD).
  • Commitment to a career as an independent investigator in clinical and translational research.
  • Talent and aptitude for scholarship and critical thinking; prior productive research experience highly desirable.
  • Personal commitment to and departmental support of a minimum of 75% protected time for a minimum of 3 years and maximum of 5 years. However, certain clinical specialties, such as surgery, can have less than 75%, but no less than 50%, protected time if sufficiently justified and approved by NIH.
  • Cannot have previously been the principal investigator on an R01, R21, R34, or Program Project grant, or a Co-PI on a program project grant.
  • 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 provisions of the Clinical Research Scholars program. Appointed scholars may apply for individual mentored K awards; if successful, the Clinical Research Scholars appointment would be terminated and funding would be received from the new individual K award.
  • Candidates should have at least one mentor with translational research experience and a commitment to help develop the candidate's research career; the successful applicant will have a strong mentoring team.
  • Faculty members with a GSBS affiliation are eligible to be a mentor for scholars of the Clinical Research Scholar (K12) Award.
  • Applicants must be US citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents.
  • Faculty must be a member of UMCCTS. You can apply for membership (no cost) by accessing the UMCCTS website and completing the online membership form at:
  • Individuals from underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


  • Year 1: Suggested coursework (if not already completed) includes: training in research study design, epidemiology, informatics for data storage/analyses, critical interpretation of literature and data, statistics, scientific integrity and the responsible conduct of research, human subjects training, regulatory, presentation of research, mentoring, team and leadership skills; individualized coursework relevant to project; tutorials or mini-rotations with potential mentors in addition to coursework.
  • Participants will be urged to give strong consideration to completing the Master’s in Clinical Investigation, if appropriate.
  • Years 2-5: Mentored research project.
  • Submission of intramural and extramural grant applications to develop additional sources of funding.


  • Three to five years of 75% salary support for trainees (see above for special exceptions).
  • Up to 5% effort for the mentor, but salary support for the mentor will not be supported.
  • Course tuition.
  • $25,000 in Year 1 for research supplies (one-time payment).
  • $1,500 per year for travel.


  • Assurance that the full salary is covered during the three to five years' time period.  The 25% effort (50% for surgical specialties) not funded by the UMCCTS could be for patient care, education, or other activities.
  • A minimum of $25,000 for research supplies to be made available in the 1st year of funding.
  • Tenure track appointment for K12 recipient following completion of the program.



Please click here for the current application instructions and timeline.


Questions regarding the K12 program or the scientific aspects of the proposal should be addressed to Dr. John Keaney ( or Dr. Doug Ziedonis (  Questions regarding grant preparation or submission should be addressed to Wanda DePasquale (

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  • Pilot grant programs eligibility
  • Research core services
    at competitive rates
  • Electronic resources access at Amherst libraries
  • Medical School Library access
  • Consultation services
  • Notification of special events and opportunities

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