Request for Applications – Diversity and Re-entry Scholars Program

The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research is now accepting applications for two additional funding opportunities. The Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (PA-18-906) and Supplement to Promote Re-entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers (PA-18-592)represent two funding mechanisms to support investigative careers.
PA-18-906:This administrative supplement is designed to provide support for research experiences for individuals from diverse backgrounds throughout the continuum from high school to the faculty level.In all cases, the proposed research experience must be an integral part of the approved, ongoing research of the parent award, and it must have the potential to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate.
NIH Definition of Diversity:
PA-18-592:This program is designed to offer opportunities to women and men who have interrupted their research careers. Candidates must have a doctoral degree, such as M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent; and must have been accepted in a postdoctoral or faculty position at the time they left active research. All candidates must be planning a career in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social science research. In general, the duration of the career interruption should be at least one year and no more than eight years. Examples of qualifying interruptions would include a complete or partial hiatus from research activities for child rearing; an incapacitating illness or injury of the candidate, spouse, partner, or a member of the immediate family; relocation to accommodate a spouse, partner, or other close family member; pursuit of non-research endeavors that would permit earlier retirement of debt incurred in obtaining a doctoral degree; and military service.
Please note: US citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents are eligible to apply
For additional information, please see:
Application Materials Requested:
  • Letter of intent (1-2 pages) that briefly outlines the applicant’s current research project, current mentorship and plans for career development
  • CV
Application Timeline:
  • Phase 1: Application Due Date: October 5, 2018
  • Phase 2: Two applicants for each funding opportunity will be selected to then partner with members of the Wright CCTR for formal submission to the NIH by November 1, 2018
Application Contact/Questions:
Please submit application materials (letter of intent and CV) and other inquiries to:
Dr. Pamela Dillon, Research Liaison
Phone: 804.827.1519
KL2 Pipeline

KL2 Scholars Program – Accepting Applications through September 20

The KL2 program, established in 2010, has uniquely focused on high quality career development in clinical and translational research, engaging a diverse pool of faculty mentors and mentees across a range of disciplines to approach science through a “disease-agnostic” translational lens. This dynamic and responsive program is unlike any other at VCU and is an integrated and synergistic component of the Wright Center and university-wide workforce development. There is a national need to increase the clinical and translational research workforce and to prepare them to deal with existing health care challenges as well as the challenges yet to come. VCU is fully committed to enhancing the workforce and to build research capacity to meet these needs. A key “need” in this process is to provide the investigators of tomorrow the skill-sets required to translate their research to have a meaningful impact on the health of the people. The KL2 program has been a promoter of such training and is the pinnacle program of a VCU-wide research capacity building workforce development plan from undergraduate to faculty and staff. The need for training in translational science, the demand for such training, and the availability of a rich environment at VCU to provide such training form the rationale for this KL2 program.

Time Line

 Application Portal Open: August 20, 2018

Deadline for Applications: September 20, 2018

Interview of Selected Finalists: October 1-15, 2018

Selection of Scholars:  October 20, 2018

Program Overview

KL2 scholars are recruited from a robust and diverse pool of junior faculty within the translational workforce pipeline at VCU, which includes a number of feeder programs such as T-32 programs and the recently established Rising- and Emerging Scholar Programs. During the 3-year award, KL2 scholars will have 75% protected research time and receive a supplement of $25,000 per year for research support. All scholars will be enrolled in a personalized curriculum that includes:

  • Required and elective course-work
  • Workshops (eg. Community engaged research, Informatics, Team science)
  • Innovative externships (eg. Penn State, NCATS-Eli Lilly, Regulatory Science)
  • Grant writing and review opportunities
  • Hands-on research including managing finances, presentations/publications and team-science designed to lead to research independence
  • Career/project mentorship
  • Mock study section

Minimum qualifications needed to apply for the KL2 Mentored Career Development Award

  • Full-time faculty position (current or offered for external candidates) in one of the schools or colleges at VCU or partnering institution and possession of a terminal degree.
  • Candidates with MD, DO, DDS, PharmD, or PhD at the Assistant Professor Rank.
  • An ongoing program of research with an established mentor-mentee relationship.
  • At the time of their appointments, scholars must NOT have pending an application for any other PHS mentored career development award (e.g. K07, K08, K22, K23) that duplicates any of the provisions of the K component.
  • Former or current PDs/PIs on any NIH research project grant [this does not include NIH small grants (R03), exploratory Developmental (R21) or SBIR, STTR (R43, R44 grants)] or equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed grants that are over $100,000 direct costs per year, or project leaders on sub-projects of program project (P01) or center grants (P50) are NOT eligible to participate as scholars.
  • Appointed scholars are encouraged to apply for individual mentored K awards (e.g. K07, K08, K22, K23) and independent awards (R01, R03, R21); if successful, the KL2 appointment would be terminated and funding received from the new individual K or R award.
  • In keeping with the type of mentoring and career development being provided by the CTSA, a KL2 scholar candidate who is already in the process of applying for an independent mentored career development grant, a P01 grant, or R01 grant is likely too senior for the KL2 award.

To Apply

Interested faculty should complete the application at VCU’s online Applicant Review, Tracking, and Evaluation System (ARTES).

Application Instructions may be downloaded through the PDF attached below.

Application Information Session

Interested applicants may attend an on-line information session via the Zoom Conference app scheduled for Thursday, August 23, 2018 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT.  Interested participants may join the meeting at the following link:  Please note that participation is limited to the first 100 enrollments.

Selection Process

Scholars will be selected by a panel of Wright Center faculty and will be based upon the potential impact of the candidate’s competitiveness and career development goals and objectives.


Please direct questions about the application process to:

Dr. Pamela Dillon,  Research Liaison

Phone:  804.827.1519


180810 ARTES Instruction Document rev1




KL2 Alumna, Dr Esra Sahingur, honored by WISDM

Congratulations to Dr. S. Esra Sahingur as the 2018 Women in Science, Dentistry, and Medicine Professional Achievement Award winner in Dentistry. This award recognizes excellence in leadership, advocacy and mentoring. Dr. Sahingur is a noted research in periodontics and systemic relationships to oral disease.  She is also a Wright Center KL2 Scholar alumna.

The Wright Center’s KL2 program, established in 2010, is uniquely focused on high quality career development in clinical and translational research, engaging a diverse pool of faculty mentors and mentees across a range of disciplines to approach science through a “disease-agnostic” translational lens.  This dynamic and responsive program is unlike any other at VCU and is an integrated and synergistic component of the Wright Center and university-wide workforce development. The broad ranging educational programs of the Wright Center and the KL2 will continue to expand research capacity in Virginia, nationally, and across the network of CTSA hubs capitalizing on strengths in Community Engaged Research, Team Science, and Informatics. 

For more information about the Wright Center and its training programs for faculty, including the KL2 and Emerging Scholars programs, please contact Dr. Pam Dillon, Research Liason.  

Research Mentor Training Workshop

By: Krista Hutchins

July 12, 2017

Clinical and Translational Research Mentoring Workshop 

The Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research invites you to become a more effective mentor.

August 8th from 8 am-4 pm – The Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research will host a research mentor training workshop facilitated by master facilitators from the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) in the Robert Ball Conference Room of the BioTech One building.  The NRMN is an initiative supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to diversify the biomedical workforce through mentoring.

This workshop is based on the published curriculum of Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers that was developed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). Through a process-based approach, participants will explore an intellectual framework for research mentoring, have opportunities for reflection on mentoring skills, participate in a forum to solve mentoring dilemmas, and share strategies for success. Core competencies such as maintaining effective communication, aligning expectations, and promoting research self-efficacy will be addressed.

Last year, more than 35 faculty attended the first translational research mentoring workshop sponsored by the Wright Center in partnership with ICTR. Facilitated by Dr. Kelly Diggs-Andrews, NRMN master facilitator and Stephanie House, Co-Director of the Master Facilitator Initiative at ICTR, the workshop was geared for developing mentoring relationship skills of early career, mid-level, and senior clinical and basic biomedical faculty. Attending faculty members represented a diverse assemblage of clinical and basic research departments at VCU.

This year’s mentoring workshop will be facilitated by both Dr. Diggs-Andrews and Dr. Angela Byars-Winston, Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Wisconsin and co-investigator of the NIH grant that funded the National Research Mentoring Network.

RSVP is required for this event at:

For registration questions, please contact T’Keyah Johnson at 804-628-5414 or

For content questions, please contact Dr. Teraya Donaldson at

Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Angela Byars-Winston

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Counseling psychologist and Associate Professor in the UW Department of Medicine, And Director of Research and Evaluation in the UW Center for Women’s Health Research.

Dr. Byars-Winston investigates cultural influences on academic and career development, especially for racial and ethnic minorities and women in the sciences, engineering, and medicine with the aim of broadening their participation in these fields. Dr. Byars-Winston was Principal Investigator on an NIH R01 grant to measure and test critical factors in research training interventions for mentors of ethnically diverse mentees in biological science. She is currently co-leading (multi-PI with Dr. Christine Pfund) a renewal of that R01 grant to investigate and intervene on research mentors’ cultural diversity awareness. She is co-investigator on the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) grant from the NIH in the Mentor Training Core in which she leads the Culturally Aware Mentorship (CAM) team that is launching innovative training interventions nationwide to build capacity of research mentors to effectively navigate cultural diversity matters in their research mentoring relationships. Dr. Byars-Winston was selected as a 2011 Champion of Change by the White House through President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative for her research efforts to diversify science fields, received the University of Wisconsin’s 2014 Outstanding Woman of Color Award, and is an elected Fellow in the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Byars-Winston is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Board of Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) and the STEM Equity Pipeline National Advisory Board. She is a graduate of San Diego State University (bachelor’s and master’s degrees) and Arizona State University (doctoral degree).

Dr. Kelly Diggs-Andrews

Diggs-Andrews Consulting, LLC

Kelly Diggs-Andrews, PhD is the founder and CEO of Diggs-Andrews Consulting, LLC, a consulting and media company who goals is to broaden accessibility to science careers through science outreach, diversity training, and professional development. Dr. Diggs-Andrews is a trained neuroscientist and cell biologist who earned her PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis. She was also the recipient of the NIH-Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Chancellor’s Diversity Graduate Fellowship, and a National Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Supplement. In her previous role, she served as the Education and Mentoring Fellow with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and spearheaded an NSF-funded program to develop ASM’s mentoring capacity, to advance investigator-educator collaborations and interdisciplinary research, and to broaden participation of underrepresented individuals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. She is also a Master Facilitator with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and has organized and co-facilitated Research Mentor Training workshops for graduate trainees, postdoctoral fellows, and junior and senior faculty.

NRMN Email:



Last Chance to Complete the Research Engagement and Mentoring Survey

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The VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research (Wright CCTR), is seeking your input regarding your professional needs as an early career faculty member conducting any health-related research. We are interested in feedback from clinical researchers (e.g. nurses, physicians, Allied Health faculty, pharmacists, dentists), biomedical scientists, social workers, psychologists, etc., who conduct health-related research and are within the first 5 years of their careers. We want to learn about your perceptions of professional development at Virginia Commonwealth University and your satisfaction with the resources that are offered, as well as your views on mentoring. The Wright CCTR will use this information to determine how best to continue serving early career faculty members.

checklist-154274_1280The survey is designed to take less than 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will remain strictly confidential and will be reported only in the aggregate. As a token of our appreciation for your participation, you will be eligible to enter a raffle for one of ten $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificates.

The Wright CCTR will use the RedCap system to ad
minister the survey. The survey will close on August 31, 2016. To begin, please click on the survey link below (or copy and paste into your browser):