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KL2 Scholar Program

Junior Clinical and Translational Science KL2 Faculty Investigators

This two-year program is designed for junior faculty who show great promise toward becoming successful, independently funded clinical and translational science investigators. KL2 Scholar salary is partially supported by the KL2 grant. We support six KL2 Scholars each year for a two-year term.


The KL2 Scholars Program is open to applicants from broad academic clinical and translational science disciplines. Those from diverse backgrounds including underrepresented minorities, disadvantaged, and disabled individuals, are encouraged to apply.

To be considered, the applicant must:

  • Have a doctorate degree (e.g., M.D., Ph.D., D.O., among others)
  • Be a U.S. citizens or permanent resident as per NIH funding guidelines
  • Have a full faculty position at UT Southwestern, or our CTSA Program Partner Institutions:
    • Children’s Health
    • Parkland Health
    • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
    • Southern Methodist University
    • Texas A&M University
    • Texas Health
    • Texas Tech University
    • UNT Health Science Center Ft. Worth
    • University of Texas at Arlington
    • University of Texas at Dallas
    • UT School of Health Professionals
  • Be committed to actively participate in the Program with 75% protected time for research for two consecutive years. (Note: Individuals in certain surgical specialties may request permission for reduced research time to 50% pending NIH approval.)
  • Have commitment from his/her sponsoring Department Chair or Center Director
  • Have prior clinical and translational research experience
  • Have a proposed research plan and identified mentors
  • Not be, nor have ever been, a principal investigator on an R01, R29, or subproject of a Program Project (P01), Center (P50, P60, U54) or mentored career development (K-series) grants or equivalent. R03 and R21 grants are permitted

KL2 Scholars and Alumni

Christina Herrera, M.D.

Christina Herrera, M.D., set her long-term career goal to becoming an independent investigator and leading expert on noninvasive assessment of the placenta and placental-mediated disorders. Dr. Herrera’s current research focuses on the longitudinal assessment of the placenta in healthy pregnant women and pregnant women with chronic hypertension using MRI and genomic techniques with collaborators in the Departments of Radiology, Pathology, Pediatrics, and the Green Center.

Christina Herrera, M.D.Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Program Highlights

We expect that our KL2 Scholars will complete the program equipped with the skillset and passion to become successful, independent investigators who make contributions across the entire spectrum of clinical and translational research.

  • Two years with significant protected time to focus on research, publications, and grant submissions.
  • Emphasis on mentoring. Scholars will develop a productive relation with a mentoring team that includes the primary research mentor(s), near-peer mentors, career mentors, and Program Directors.
  • Customized Individual Career Development Plan. We will work with each Scholar and his/her mentors to develop a training portfolio uniquely tailored to meet the Scholar’s short and long-term goals.

The Scholar will:

  1. Develop clinical and translational research competencies through completion of required practica and core courses.

  2. Develop an individualized educational development plan created to address each Scholar’s unique educational needs and chosen career path. Required and additional potential course.

  3. Develop critical thinking skills through small group discussions, interactive scientific presentations, and by completing written practica, manuscripts, and grant proposals.

  4. Receive formalized coaching on scientific communication.

  5. Develop leadership skills that are critically important for navigating clinical research process and leading multidisciplinary teams.

  6. Use a stepwise approach to development of NIH K award applications via practical coursework and writing workshops within the CTSA.

  7. Get intensive training and career development for transitioning from K-type to R-type awards after program completion to become independent investigators and drive the clinical research transformation as envisioned by the Office of the Provost and Dean.

Financial Support

UT Southwestern KL2 Scholars will receive 75% of their institutional base salary, up to the NIH KL2 specific salary cap ($160,000).

Additionally, KL2 Scholars will receive a budget for associated coursework, research funds including pilot awards, and access to biostatistics and epidemiological support from the UT Southwestern CTSA Program Cores.

Scholars will be supported for two years; renewal of the second year of support will depend on a year-end review of the Scholar’s progress and adherence to deliverable milestones.

Program Faculty

The Scholars program has a broad base of outstanding faculty. It is co-directed by three senior faculty MPIs who have complementary strengths in the full spectrum of clinical and translational research and have long standing track records for mentoring and career development of junior research scientists.

Helen Yin, Ph.D.

Helen Yin, Ph.D.

KL2 Multi-PI (MPI)
Professor of Physiology
Associate Dean, Office of Faculty Diversity and Development / Women’s Careers

Madhukar Trivedi, M.D.

Madhukar Trivedi, M.D.

KL2 Director and Contact PI (MPI)
Professor of Psychiatry
Director, Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care

Keith Argenbright, M.D.

Keith Argenbright, M.D.

Professor of Population and Data Sciences
Director of the Moncrief Cancer Institute

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, UT Southwestern School of Health Professions
Co-Director of the Master of Science in Clinical Science Program

Heidi Jacobe, M.D., MSCS

Heidi Jacobe, M.D., MSCS

Professor of Dermatology
Director of the CTSA Workforce Development Core
Co-Director of the Master of Science in Clinical Science Program

A KL2 Scholar graduate, Jacobe helps Scholars design their customized curriculum/training plans.

Questions about the KL2 Scholar Program?

For more information, contact the CTSA Program via