Writing a competitive mentored K award grant application
4 main sections of the grant application:
1) The Candidate
2) Statements by Mentors, Co-Mentors, and Collaborators
3) Environment and Institutional Commitment to Candidate
4) Research Plan
Section 1: The Candidate
1.A Candidate%u2019s background
1.B Career goals and objectives: Scientific biography
1.C Career development activities during award period
Length: 4-8 pages: remember, Section 1 (Candidate) and Section 4 (Research Plan) are subject to 25-page limitation.
Section 1: The Candidate: Review Criteria
Quality of the candidate's academic and clinical record.
Potential to develop as an outstanding independent researcher.
Likelihood that the career development plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of the candidate.
Appropriateness of the content and duration of the proposed didactic and research phases of the award.
Consistency of the career development plan with the candidate%u2019s career goals and prior research experience.
Section 1.A Candidate's Background
Suggested length: Approximately 1 page.
Using your NIH biosketch as your guide, provide a personal narrative of your professional career.
Explain why you made key career choices (e.g., to pursue specific kinds of clinical and research training opportunities or research projects).
OK to use 1st person (%u201CI%u201D).
Give examples of the opportunities you%u2019ve had to engage in research (basic or clinical), as evidence of your long-standing commitment to research.
Describe your role in these projects; highlight early evidence of productivity (e.g., pursuing a specific question, analyzing data, presenting or publishing your results).
Describe any formal research training (ATCR, MPH, etc).
Tip: Begin this section with a summary statement regarding your long-term research career goals.
Example: %u201CMy goal in seeking a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award is to advance our understanding of health disparities in chronic kidney disease (CKD) within Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Specifically, I seek to develop the skills necessary to establish a community-based CKD cohort with the ultimate objectives of identifying modifiable, ethnicity-specific risk factors for CKD; improving access to CKD care; and developing effective management strategies to confront the higher rates of end-stage renal disease observed in ethnic minority communities.%u201D
Section 1.B Career Goals and Objectives
Suggested length: 2 - 3 pages
Describe how you developed your current research focus (i.e., the evolution of your ideas that led you to the research proposed in the K award).
In describing the research you%u2019ve conducted, clearly describe the role you played and the skills you acquired.
End this section with an assessment of your strengths and weaknesses with regard to the specific challenges that lie before you (i.e., the research plan outlined in the K award and the R01 project that will follow it).
Indicate specific areas where you have deficiences and explain why gaining additional training and mentored research experience in these areas will be critical to achieving your short-term and long-term career development goals. Give concrete examples.
Section 1.C Career Development Activities During Award Period
Suggested length: 2 - 3 pages.
Given the training areas you%u2019ve indicated in Section 1.B, describe the specific training areas you will pursue to acquire these skills.
Describe in detail how you will gain this training, such as through specific courses, individualized tutorials, or practical experience gained from conducting the research.