Friday, March 6, 1998
5:00 PM Eastern Time
Wendy Baldwin, Ph.D. |
Deputy Director for Extramural Research
New Initiative in Clinical Research Training and Career Development
- The Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) was developed for investigators just after specialty training—a critical juncture for developing investigators. The award is focused on providing both didactic training and mentored research experience to individuals, such as medical doctors, for up to five years. Also eligible are dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors, optometrists and others certified to perform clinical duties. Investigators will commit at least 75 percent of their time to the program. NIH estimates that there will be 80 new K23s each year.
- The Mid-Career Investigator in Patient-Oriented Research Award (K24), was developed for mid-career clinical scientists. Because of the demands placed on their time, the opportunity for these investigators to have dedicated research time and to be mentors to other investigators is scarce. Such opportunities are vital to the future of clinical research and medicine. To address these concerns, the K24 relieves investigators from patient care and administrative responsibilities. Investigators will receive support for up to five years, with the possibility of a one-time renewal. NIH estimates that 50 to 80 awards will be made each year.
- The Institutional Curriculum Award (K30) is designed for institutions with a substantial clinical research portfolio and a critical mass of individuals in clinical research training and career development. It is meant to stimulate the inclusion of high quality, comprehensive courses in the fundamentals of clinical research—for example, biostatistics, epidemiology, study designs, bioethics, legal and regulatory issues—as part of the career development of clinical investigators. The maximum award for a program, which may not exceed five years, will be $200,000 per year. NIH expects to fund about 20 such programs in the first year.
In recent years, medical researchers have seen tremendous progress in their ability to understand the fundamental biological processes that underlie diseases. Clinical investigators serve as the bridge that joins such fundamental research to patients and, ultimately, to improved public health. For some time, there has been widespread concern about the shortage of clinical investigators who can design, conduct, and report such patient-oriented studies. The new career development awards, part of a class known as K awards, were developed after NIH conducted an intensive analysis of existing grant opportunities and unmet needs, and listened to various outside advisors.
These core awards will be used by every NIH Institute. They will serve as important additions to the NIH's strategies to enhance and expand clinical research training and career development. "NIH is committed to addressing this need, and fully expects that the future of medical research can be changed by the programs we are initiating in the near future," said Harold Varmus.
Details will be available in the April 6, 1998, NIH Guide Notice. On that date, more information will also be available from the web site of the Office of Extramural Research at
*The full text of the NIH Director's Panel on Clinical Research report is available via the Internet at (http://www.nih.gov/news/crp/97report/index.htm).