The KL2 is a Mentored Career Development Award.  The award is designed to support junior faculty in the translational sciences supported by NJ ACTS.  The program will provide training in clinical and translational research and career development. Awardees pursue mentored research projects and didactic and experiential training in clinical and translational science. Questions? Please email Ms. Tracey Sharp, Program Administrator.

NJ ACTS KL2 Scholars (2019-2021)

Chosen from a pool of 12 applicants, our four first cohort scholars are: 

KL2 cohort Qiana Brown PhD MPH LCSW

Qiana Brown, PhD, MPH, LCSW

Qiana Brown, PhD, MPH, LCSW, Assistant Professor
Rutgers University School of Social Work and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences School of Public Health
[click for bio]

Mentor: Stephen Crystal, PhD, Board of Governors Professor
Rutgers University School of Social Work

Project: Cannabis use during preconception, pregnancy and lactation

KL2 cohort Chintan Dave MD

Chintan Dave, PharmD, PhD

Chintan Dave, PharmD, PhD, Assistant Professor
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Ernest Mario College of Pharmacy
[click for bio]

Mentor: Soko Setoguchi, MD, DrPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences School of Public Health

Project: Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia associated with drugs used by older adults for diabetes

KL2 cohort Elissa Kozlov PhD

Elissa Kozlov, PhD

Elissa Kozlov, PhD, Core Faculty
Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research;
Instructor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences School of Public Health
[click for bio]

Mentor: XinQi Dong, MD, MPH, Director and Professor
Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research

Project: Health mindfulness to alleviate stress for caregivers of cognitively impaired older adults

KL2 cohort Ankit Shah MD

Ankit Shah, MD

Ankit Shah, MD, Assistant Professor
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
[click for bio]

Mentor: Fredric Wondisford, MD, Professor and Chair
Department of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Project: Glycerol contribution to hepatic gluconeogenesis in obesity

NJ ACTS KL2 Scholars (2021-2023)

Chosen from a pool of 10 applicants, our four second cohort scholars are:

Jonathan Grasman

Jonathan Grasman, PhD

Jonathan Grasman, PhD, Assistant Professor
New Jersey Institute of Technology
[click for bio]

Mentor: Treena Arinzeh, PhD, Professor 
Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Project: Engineering aligned neuromuscular junctions to enhance repair after volumetric muscle loss


Sara Heinert, PhD, MPH

Sara Heinert, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
[click for bio]

Mentor: Shawna Hudson, PhD, Professor
Family Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Project: Development and Implementation of a youth-led education digital badge to improve blood pressure for hypertensive adults who present to the emergency department

Tsung-Po Lai

Tsung-po Lai, PhD

Tsung-po Lai, PhD, Assistant Professor
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

[click for bio]

Mentor: Daniel Notterman, MD, Professor
Molecular Biology, Princeton University
Co-Mentor: Abraham Aviv, MD, Professor
Center of Human Development and Aging, New Jersey Medical School

Project: Telomere length and COVID-19 outcomes in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients


Gregory Peck, DO, MPH

Gregory Peck, DO, MPH, Assistant Professor
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
[click for bio]

Mentor: Brian Strom, MD, MPH, Chancellor and University Professor
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences

Project: New Jersey historical population cohort study: The rate of mortality before and after the 2014 Medicaid expansion in those with diagnosed symptomatic gallstone disease

Become a KL2 Scholar


Funded by the National Institutes of Health under its CTSA program, the KL2 is an Institutional Career Development Award, aimed at training the next generation of scientists in research relevant to human diseases and preparing them for independent research careers. The NJ ACTS KL2 is designed to identify junior faculty who are committed to academic careers and research in clinical and/or translational sciences.

Our program provides career development through research engagement, protected time, financial support, training and mentoring for young faculty committed to pursuing translational and clinical research. The overarching goal is engagement in intensive research experiences to promote a hybrid phenotype that optimally prepares individuals for independent careers in translational research.

Dummy accordion item hidden via css
Program leadership

KL2 Lead and Co-leads

Sally Radovick, M.D.
Principal Investigator
Professor and Henry Rutgers Term Chair
Department of Pediatrics
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School  

Daniel Notterman, M.D.
Training Core – Co-Director
Department of Molecular Biology
Princeton University 

Stephen Vatner, M.D.
Training Core – Co-Director
Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 

Fredric Wondisford, M.D.
Training Core – Co-Director
Professor and Henry Rutgers Term Chair
Department of Medicine
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Award provisions

The KL2 has the same benefits and requirements as individual K-awards from the NIH. It provides up to two years of support which includes: up to 80-90 percent protected time; funds to defray research costs: tuition support and professional travel.

Requirements and opportunities
  • The KL2 program provides Scholars with an opportunity to pursue a Masters or Certificate in Clinical and Translational Sciences
  • Participation in the program requires a commitment of 1-3 years beyond the two years of support from the KL2, as well as a commitment to provide follow-up information annually
  • The Society of Scholars provides a community of junior faculty, fellows and postdocs with Career Development Awards and opportunities for peer mentoring and development of mentoring skills
  • Each Scholar will have a primary research mentor and a mentoring committee to support their development
  • Scholars are expected to present their work at the NJ ACTS annual retreat
  • KL2 Funding Opportunities
Scholar training
  • Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for each Scholar will guide training and acquisition of knowledge and skills. The IDPs will include a research question, hypothesis, study design and approach, and a narrative statement of longer-term career aspirations. Scholars will also participate in a Core Curriculum, based on core competencies, as well as an elective curriculum comprised of courses appropriate to their research and level of training. Training plans include required and elective didactic programs, seminars/workshops, and other career development programs. The Core and Elective curriculum will require 5-10% of the Scholar’s time during the 2-year training period.
  • Scholars can avail themselves of the resources of the NJ ACTS Core Facilities, which the program will introduce them to. As a capstone of the mentored training, Scholars will prepare applications for independent funding or for additional mentored career development. 
Society of Scholars

KL2 Scholars constitute a Society of Scholars. The Society includes not only KL2-supported Scholars, but junior faculty, fellows or postdocs with active or recently completed Career Development Awards. In addition to providing a community, there are opportunities for peer mentoring and development of mentoring skills.

If you are an early stage faculty member with a K-award or equivalent and are interested in being a member of the Society of Scholars, send a cover letter and biosketch to Tracey Sharp at

Academy of Mentors

Each Scholar is expected to have a primary research mentor who is a member of the Academy of Mentors, chosen for scientific achievement and track records in training/mentoring and funding. Mentors are expected to play an active role during the course of the award in fostering the applicant’s career development as a physician scientist. Mentors are expected to act as advocates for the applicant at the departmental, institutional and professional levels and provide scientific guidance for the proposed project.

Mentoring in the organizational structure of the NJ ACTS KL2 program will allow for more effective communication between basic and clinical scientists by building a community for the mentors through the Academy of Mentors, who share not only a focus on training the next generation of translational scientists but on translational research.

Primary Mentors in the Academy of Mentors are selected on the basis of the following criteria: a) alignment with the training mission; b) demonstrated excellence in investigation with an active research program in translational or clinical research; c) passion for contributing to the development of the next generation of clinical/translational scientist; d) past record of successful translational research; and e) research focus relevant to the study of scientific aspects of human diseases. Advisors are chosen based on either their clinical expertise and experience in training physicians and scientists or based on the methodological or technical expertise.

Join the Academy of Mentors

For faculty interested in joining the Academy of Mentors, please contact:

Tracey Sharp, Program Administrator, KL2 Career Development Program


Scholar evaluation
  • Scholar evaluation and feedback is an important component of the Program and is intended to provide positive and actionable feedback to the Scholar. Specific components include:
  • The Mentorship Committee will monitor research and career progress quarterly.
  • The Scholar will submit a brief written progress report of their accomplishments biannually.
  • The Chair of the Scholar’s Mentorship Committee will prepare a biannual written evaluation for submission to the Executive Committee (EC).
  • Concluding presentation. Eighteen to twenty months after starting the research training, scholars will discuss their research achievements in a formal oral presentation to the Mentorship Committee and EC. This presentation will enable the Committee to judge the success of the Scholar’s progress and will provide the Scholar with an opportunity to prepare for a formal presentation of work at the Scholar’s forum at the NJ ACTS Annual Research Day.
  • A formal review of the Scholar will be performed and reviewed by the EC. Matriculation to the second year of the program will be contingent on
    • Completion of the first year of the core curriculum.
    • Successful initial and interim presentations.
    • Satisfactory written evaluation by the Chair of the Scholar’s Mentorship Committee.
    • Progress in, or concrete plans for preparation, of an application for additional mentored career development.

Executive Committee includes the KL2 PI and training directors

Research Training

The KL2 Program supports Scholars in developing and conducting an outstanding translational research project through strong and sustained mentoring and development of research skills through its core curriculum and electives.

Electives offered at Rutgers University include the opportunity for scholars to earn Masters Degrees or Certificates in Programs relevant to Biomedical Sciences/Clinical and Translational Research

2022 RFA - 3rd Cohort KL2 Scholars / Sign up for our Interest List

The KL2 Program will issue a solicitation for its next cohort in late summer 2022. Appointments would begin July 1, 2023.

To receive a notification when the 2022 RFA is released, please sign up for our interest list.

Resources for Scholars

Proposal Support Repository

The Proposal Support Repository has been developed by ORED’s Research Development team for the benefit of faculty and research development professionals in the Rutgers community who are developing funding proposals.

More information can be found here.


ORED’s monthly “Research Connections” → Sign up

NIH Extramural Nexus ‘Open Mike’ → Sign up

NIH NCATS → Sign up

NJ ACTS Newsletter Archive

View NJ ACTS News and Events

NJ ACTS YouTube Channel

View NJ ACTS Videos

Learning opportunities: Join the CTSA Consortium un-meetings

On March 2, 2020, as an NCATS/CTSA travel award recipient, Qiana Brown attended the Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC)/CTSA “un-meeting” on lifespan and life course research hosted by the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute.

According to Dr. Brown: This un-meeting was nothing short of amazing. “I learned more in one day at the un-meeting (mainly due to its structure) compared to some of the typical 3- to 5-day scientific meetings I have attended. The un-meeting structure was both science-focused and action-oriented, which facilitates translational research.” The best part of the meeting was the breakout sessions held after scientific talks. In these sessions, stakeholders committed to translational science generated ideas and discussed tangible and feasible solutions to improving population health as well as research infrastructure. Often, at traditional scientific conferences, practical approaches to translating research to practice are seldom discussed and implications for practice, policy and community are presented at the end of talks seemingly as an afterthought if there is time. The un-meeting gave adequate time for science and solution-focused discussion aimed at translation, which was refreshing and appreciated. Future un-meetings should be afforded to KL2 scholars and TL1 trainees as a standard and expected part of their training, regardless of travel award status. Attending un-meetings such as the one hosted by the NUCATS Institute would greatly benefit translational scientists and those training in the field.

On September 30, 2020, Dr. Shah participated in the Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC)/CTSA Virtual “un-meeting” on ‘Clinical Research in the COVID-era and Beyond’, which included an eclectic group of investigators from around the country.

According to Dr. Shah: I attended the Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration’s Un-Meeting titled “Clinical Research in the COVID-era and Beyond”. Representatives from 37 different CTSA hubs joined this virtual session discussing challenges and opportunities in clinical and translational research during the COVID era. Breakout sessions discussed optimal methods to recruit and retain study participants and how to best conduct decentralized clinical trials. Investigators also shared methods on how to collect biospecimens from subjects remotely and how to best mobilize and redeploy research coordinators during COVID surges. These are the same challenges Rutgers physicians and researchers had during the spring 2020 surge. There was a general sentiment that learning from everyone’s experience could better prepare us for any future disruptions to research.

For more information on un-meetings, contact Ankit Shah, Qiana Brown or the Consortium website. You can participate in un-meetings or propose one of your own.

Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC) KL2 Visiting Scholar Program

KL2 awardees from Clinical and Translational Science Centers (CTSA) present virtual lectures as part of CTSA Visiting Scholar Program.

Qiana Brown, PhD, MPH, LCSW was invited to present at Johns Hopkins University as part of their CATAList seminar series on November 3, 2020. Dr. Brown presented her work on “Prenatal Cannabis Use: Who, When, Where, Why”.

Following her ‘visit’, Dr. Brown stated:  “I think this will lead to fruitful collaborations and networking opportunities.  I would encourage future KL2 Scholars to participate in the visiting professor program”

Ankit Shah, MD, was invited to present CTSA Grand Rounds at Duke University on April 9, 2021. Dr. Shah presented his work on “Glycerol as a Direct and Indirect Contributor to Glucose Production in Humans”.

Following his ‘visit’, Dr. Shah stated:  “Through the CTSA Visiting Scholars Program, I presented my KL2 research at Duke University where I met with thought leaders in my field, showcased my science to them, and discussed where next to take my project.  Such an exchange is vital for a junior investigator striving towards research independence by allowing me to gain national recognition and obtain valuable scientific feedback”.


For General Inquiries about the KL2 Program, please contact:

Tracey Sharp
KL2 Program Administrator




Cite it, Submit it, Share it!

Citation guidelines for trainees

If you are a trainee, please cite our CTSA training grant in any relevant publications, abstracts, chapters, and/or posters. As per the award notice, each publication, press release, or other document about research supported by an NIH award must include an acknowledgment of NIH award support and a disclaimer such as the following:

“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center For Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number KL2TR003018. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

Please submit your publications to PubMed Central in compliance with the NIH Public Access policy.

You can share your research updates with us by sending an email to

Workforce Development Pages and Links

Hover for information, click to visit

TL1 Predoctoral/Postdoctoral Awards

Hover for information, click to visit page

KL2 Mentored Career Development Awards

is the page you are currently viewing