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WVCTSI offering Summer K Grant Writing Group (K-Club)

About the Program

What: The West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) is offering the K-Club program to provide guidance and advice to early-stage investigators planning to apply for an October 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Mentored Career Development Award –  a K series grant. The K-Club program is structured as a facilitated group writing process (approximately 3 investigators to 1 faculty facilitator) which features a series of 2 hour “works-in-progress” sessions over a 12–14 week period prior to an upcoming NIH K-cycle submission. Each session focuses on a different part of the grant with emphasis on strategies to improve communication of ideas. Prior to each session, participants send their latest version of the relevant sections to all K-Club members and the faculty facilitator. All participants will arrive to the next session having read the others’ grant sections to provide thoughtful, constructive feedback to their colleagues.

Why: The NIH Mentored Career Development Awards are designed to assist individuals in developing their knowledge, technical competences and other professional skills needed to successfully evolve as an independent investigator. The K grant requires specific elements that differ from traditional investigator-initiated research, and it is these unique sections that are the focus of this program. 

When: The K-Clubs meet every other week on Tuesday or Friday mornings, over a 12-week period followed by a final review of the entire proposal. During the week when the K-Club is not scheduled to meet, participants are expected to meet with their mentor(s) to obtain feedback and continue development of the Approach section.

Who should consider applying: Faculty appointed as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Clinical Specialty Fellows and Postdocs interested in clinical and/or translational research careers.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the K-Club candidates must:

  1. Meet the current NIH Eligibility requirements for the K application of interest.


  1. Be conducting clinical and/or translational research and committed to submitting an application for a K series award at the end of the K-Club.
  2. Have published at least 1 or more first-authored peer-reviewed papers in their area of research interest.
  3. Applicants must be willing to commit to meet with their K-Club group every other week for a period of 12 weeks and participate in a final review of your completed application.

An application is required. Information sessions for those considering applying to participate in K-Clubs will be held well in advance of the submission deadlines and announced via the WVCTSI ENews and Website.

  • Applications for participation in the summer 2018 K Grant Writing Group must be submitted via email to Joan Lakoski, Ph.D., ( by 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

How to Apply:  The following constitutes the application for the WVCTSI K-Club:

  1. A draft of your Specific Aims page.
  2. Your NIH Biosketch.
  3. The name and contact information of your planned primary mentor and a list of any other proposed co-mentors for this application, including their areas of expertise.
  4. A letter of support from your Department Chair. This letter must include:
    1.  a commitment to provide you with protected time for your participation in the WVCTSI K Grant Writing Group;
    2.  a commitment to providing you with the required percent effort of protected time upon receipt of a K award (minimum of 50%-75% effort, depending on clinical specialty); and
    3. a statement that the Chair will provide salary support should your current salary exceed the NIH salary cap. Applications that do not include a letter of support from your Department Chair will not be considered further.

K Grant Writing Groups (K-Clubs) Timelines

Contact for Additional Information: Joan M. Lakoski, PhD, Director of Proposal Development, WVCTSI (email: is available to address questions regarding this program.