Career Development Plan & Research Strategy Template

January 11, 2018 | Author: Melanie Holland | Category: N/A
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1 Career Development Plan & Research Strategy Template (not to exceed 12 pages) As the K candidate, your training pl...


Career Development Plan & Research Strategy Template (not to exceed 12 pages) As the “K” candidate, your training plan should demonstrate that you have undertaken a thorough self-assessment, which carefully considered your short- and long-term career goals. Through this self-assessment, you have identified specific areas in need of improvement that, if addressed, will help you transition to a successful R01 (or equivalent) submission and an independent research career. Reviewers must be convinced that the type of intense, supervised training and research experiences provided through the “K” mechanism is essential to your future research career. Candidate’s Background NIH Guidance: Provide any additional information not described in the NIH biosketch, such as research and/or clinical training experience. Strategy: 1. Articulate a series of “growth steps” 2. Say what these steps taught you 3. Trace a pathway to discovery of your research career focus Content: 1. Create a carefully tailored biography: o o o

2. 3.

Where have you have been? What have you accomplished? What have you learned? How did you discover your passion? Culminate with: YOUR CURRENT CAREER GOAL

How does this experience prepare you for the proposed research? Establish a theme (your career goal) that will carry through the whole proposal

Career Goals & Objectives NIH Guidance: Describe your past scientific history, indicating how the award fits into past and future research career development. If there are consistent themes or issues that have guided previous work, they should be made clear. If your work is changing direction, the reasons for the change should be indicated. It is important to justify the award and how it will enable you to develop or expand your research career. You may include a timeline, including plans to apply for subsequent grant support.


Sample Table Career Objectives Immediate Career Objectives

Long-Term Career Objectives

Career Development/Training Activities NIH Guidance: Stress the new enhanced research skills and knowledge you will acquire as a result of the proposed award period. If you have considerable research experience in the same areas as the proposed research, reviewers may determine that the application lacks potential to enhance your research career. For mentored awards, describe structured activities, such as coursework or technique workshops, which are part of the developmental plan. If coursework is included, provide course numbers and descriptive titles. Briefly discuss each of the activities, except research, and what you expect to participate. Include a percentage of time involvement for each activity by year, and explain how the activities related to the proposed research and the career development plan. Strategy: The career development activities you outline in this section should prepare you to undertake activities outlined in the research strategy, represent new or enhanced skills, and show a logical progression from prior research and training experiences 1. 2. 3.

Identify new knowledge and skills required to achieve career goals (and conduct research project) Specify plans to achieve them Dovetail career development plan and research plan (learn a skill before doing it in project)


Content: 1. Show that the career development plan connects with specific research targets, but clearly distinguish career development objectives from research aims 2. Write specific, measurable career development objectives – i.e. knowledge or skills to be gained 3. Describe mentoring carefully: who, what and when 4. Create a combined timeline that illustrates the integral relationship between the career development plan and the research project Sample Table Percent of Time Involvement YR 1 YR2 YR3 YR4


Training Research Clinical 100%





Career Development and Research Timeline: 1. Plot all activities against all years 2. For immersion training, indicate WHEN and for HOW LONG 3. If including coursework, demonstrate how it supports your career goals. List the courses, including a course description; method of teaching; state WHEN you will enroll. 4. Discuss the overall approach toward mentoring. Present a plan for interacting with the mentor team; particularly important if any co-mentors are located at another institution. Include an evaluation component that describes how the team will assess your progress during the K award. Sample Table Mentoring Team Training Goal #1 Training Goal #2 Co-Mentor’s Name

Specific Aim #1

Primary Mentor’s Name X

Specific Aim #2



Specific Aim #3


Training Goal #3 Co-Mentor’s Name



Examples of career development/training activities: -

Didactic coursework (provide specifics: course description, when you will enroll) Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) raining Immersion training Mentor meetings Lectures/scientific meetings Clinical services Workshops (e.g. grant writing, research methods)

Research Strategy Strategy: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Lay out the plan for the whole proposal: refer to the essential elements of each section that follows Discuss importance of the work and why you are the one to do it. Outline the proposed work Final aim should be to write an RO1 (or equivalent) application Other aims should be to gather the data for this endpoint

Content: SIGNIFICANCE 1. Review literature selectively and critically. 2. Show how your proposed work will fill gaps in knowledge in your field. 3. Emphasize impact 4. The less preliminary data you have, the more compelling significance needs to be 5. Keep one eye on your career development goals: try for a conceptual model that addresses both current project and your longer term plan INNOVATION 1. How will project challenge or shift current research or clinical practice? 2. Does the study use new concepts, approaches, or methods? 3. How will it improve on current methods or theoretical concepts or apply them in a new way? 4. Articulate the gaps in the field that you will be addressing, now and in the future 5. How are your career goals unique? 6. Can your research career plan be said to represent a “new wave” of research in your field?


APPROACH RESEARCH DESIGN: 1. Outline design of the study with diagram 2. Explain rationale for selecting this design, including compromises you made 3. Clarify how design addresses your primary questions/hypotheses 4. Discuss implications of design limitations, and offer alternative approaches 5. Show how your career development activities will enhance your research (timing, new skills, mentoring) RESEARCH METHODS: 1. Provide provocative data to support your choice of aims 2. Demonstrate ability to do proposed work (critical thinking skills, technical expertise) 3. Demonstrate feasibility of study 4. Amount of preliminary data is not as critical as in an RO1, but it will still put you ahead of the competition! 5. Coordinate this section with your Career Development Plan 6. Put yourself in the spotlight! Don’t give mentors all the credit. 7. Document previously published methods with citations only 8. Devote space only to methods that are crucial to the study and unpublished 9. Offer alternative approaches to challenging experiments 10. Indicate where career development plan will strengthen your command of specific methods ANALYSIS OF RESULTS: 1. Describe statistical approach and methods 2. Provide alternative approaches to analysis and interpretation 3. Describe special courses/studies that will develop analytic skills 4. Use letters of support to clarify mentors’ role in data analysis


This document was adopted from “Guidelines for Writing and Reviewing a K-Award OR F-Training Grant Proposal” developed by the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)


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