THE NIH-NINDS CNCDP-K12                                    AWARD APPLICATION OUTLINE

Call for Letters of Intent

Eligibility for the CNCDP-K12 Award:

This career development award is intended for pediatric neurologists (or NDD) who seek a three-year period of intensive, clinically relevant basic and/or patient-oriented research after completion of clinical training with the intent of competing successfully for an individual NIH K award (K08 or K23). Candidates should be no more than 3 years from completion of clinical training at the time of application. Recognizing that circumstances may arise that cause candidates to need to apply outside of that 3 year window. As our goal is for competitive candidates to have a pathway forward to apply, our approach is to mirror NIH ESI policy.  Interested candidates who are further out from completion of training than 3 years are encouraged to contact the program via

Letter of Intent due: June 1, 2021, 11:59pm EST

The Letter of Intent should have no more than 2 pages:

  • Page 1: Statement of Intent (title of proposal, date of completion of clinical training, name of institution and mentor(s) for the CNCDP project, brief career development plan).
  • Page 2: preliminary specific aims for proposed project.
  • Page 3: (for resubmissions only) a description of how the application has been modified in response to previous critiques. Note that resubmissions will not be considered for full applications unless they have been appropriately modified.

NIH format biosketches from the candidate and mentor are also required. As well as proof of US citizenship or lawful permanent resident status (copy of Passport/Green Card).

All documents (2 page letter of intent and biosketches) should be merged into a single PDF and submitted as one document.  Following review of the LOIs by the National Advisory Executive Committee, successful candidates will be invited by June 15, 2021 to submit a full Application.

For CNCDP-K12 office inquiries and submissions of Letters of Intent, please contact


Full Application due (by Invitation ONLY): August 13, 2021, 11:59pm EST

Preparing for the ONLINE Application for CNCDP-K12 Support.

The application for support from the CNCDP-K12 program consists of uploading the following sections as pdf files in the application submission form that is accessible by clicking on the “Apply Online” button above.

Specific Aims (1 page maximum). The specific aims should be structured in the NIH format with 2-3 specific aims, describing the overall goals and the importance of your research project.

Research Plan (6 pages maximum) The research plan, prepared by the applicant, should include a discussion of the background, significance, innovation, approach and methodology of the proposed work. Preliminary data is not required. However, it can be helpful for demonstrating feasibility. (It is best for the applicant to write using the first person to distinguish their work from work by the mentor or others in the lab described in the third person)

Diversity Statement (0.5 page maximum) The CNCDP is moving our commitment to diversity in science to the forefront of our program and processes. In your response, please also include a statement that highlights your contributions and commitment to diversity in research and/or the scientific workforce.

Career Development Plan (3 pages maximum)The applicant and mentor are jointly responsible for the career development plan. This statement should address how support from the K12 award will further the applicant’s career development in pediatric neurology research and how it will lead to a successful transition to a K08 or K23 award. A timeline is often very helpful. Specifically, include the following:

  • A brief summary of your career path and experience. This summary should include a self-appraisal of your training needs and how your mentor and mentorship committee will successfully fulfill your needs (often called a gap-based plan)
  • A systematic plan: (1) that shows a logical progression from your prior clinical, research and training experiences to the experiences that will occur during the K12 award period; (2) that justifies the need for further career development; and (3) that utilizes the relevant research and educational experiences of your institution.
  • A description the professional responsibilities/activities (including other research projects)

Literature Cited (no page limit)

Mentor Statement (3 page maximum) The primary mentor must provide a statement regarding his/her availability and plan for mentorship of the K-12 Scholar, prior mentorship experience (including success of former trainees, especially K awardees and/or physician-scientists), relevant research and educational resources available within the mentor’s lab and institution, as well as his/her current research funding and commitment to provide any needed research support to the Scholar beyond what is provided by the K-12 award. The statement should provide a clear description of how often the mentor will meet with the Scholar, and how the mentor envisions mentoring/training the Scholar to achieve the goal of applying for and attaining an individual K award within 3 years. The primary mentor statement must not exceed 2 pages. If there are additional co-mentor(s)/secondary mentor(s), a separate co-mentor(s) statement can also be included (maximum 1 page). All mentor statements should be combined and uploaded to the mentor field (3 page maximum total for all mentor statements).

Statement of Institutional Support (no page limit) This statement, to be written by the Department Chair or equivalent, must confirm the current faculty appointment (or the imminent faculty appointment of a graduating resident/fellow) and must attest that the successfully funded applicant will be able to contribute 75% of full-time professional effort to the K12 award research and career development. This statement must include a specific description of non-research responsibilities to assure that protected time will not be encroached upon by clinical/administrative effort.  Clinical effort calculation should be explicit in terms of the following:

  • 1/2 day per week is equal to10% effort,
  • 1 week of full-time clinical service is a minimum of 2% effort,
  • on call responsibilities cannot occur during protected time for research.
  • vacation time must be pro-rated and cannot come exclusively from protected research time.

Additionally, the institution will be expected to guarantee a minimum of 50% protected time for research subsequent to the end of the 3 years of K12 funding, sufficient for the Scholar to submit an initial application for a K08 or K23 award and, if needed, to revise and resubmit. This support, attested to in the statement of institutional support, can be expected to be a minimum of 18 months if revision is necessary, so the institution must state in the application that the Scholar will be guaranteed 50% protected time for at least 18 months following conclusion of the K12 funding period. (Note, the institution is released from this guarantee if the CNCDP program terminates the funding of a scholar prior to the end of the full 3-year term, or if the scholar fails to pursue research funding subsequent to the 3-year term. Any release from this guarantee must be via communication between the CNCDP and the Department Chair. Finally, the statement of institutional support must have a clear statement about the anticipated cost of the research, the source(s) of any funding that will be required beyond the $30,000 provided as part of the K12 award, and a commitment to provide the resources needed for successful conduct of the proposed research.

  • Biographical Sketch of Applicant – Click link below to download Biosketch Form
  • Biographical Sketch of Mentor(s) – Click link below to download Biosketch Form

Biographical Sketch for Mentors and Scholars

People at Work








The scholar(s) that have been awarded will receive a secure notification by email before or on November 30th, 2021 for the start date July 1, 2022.


  • Deadline for submission: August 13, 2021.
  • The NINDS Award # is 5K12NS098482.
  • Important information about the biosketches:
    • Mentors may use the new NIH format for their biosketch, while applicants can use the simplified “OLD” biosketch format. We recommend the simple format for the applicants who may have fewer scientific contributions, but mentors do not have to change from the format they are currently using.
  • Uploading the application materials:
    • Mentor Statement: There can be a primary, secondary and co-mentors. Please specify your mentor(s). There is a 3 page limit for the Mentor Statement upload.
      • The Primary mentor should have a track record of R01’s or equivalent NIH Grants and the time and willingness to provide continuous mentorship as needed. The primary mentor should mention if there will be other mentors and letters from them are welcome, but additional mentors are not required and there is no limit to the number of mentors.
      • If an applicant has 2 or more mentors (co-mentors), please submit two separate mentor statements. All Mentor Statements should be combined into a single PDF file and uploaded into the mentor field of the website. The page limitation for the combined statements of all mentors is 3 pages.
    • The Chairman’s statement should state that 75% of time will be available for research. The grant will pay a maximum of the $90,000 per year for three years. The $38,000 that is allowed for supplies, travel and other expenses does not need to  be allocated in the grant. Our office will contact the grants office of successful applicants after the funding decision has been made to allocate the funds via a subcontract.
    • Biosketches from mentors should be combined and uploaded as a single file in the Biographical sketch of Mentor(s) section.
  • There is no field to upload a budget as it is not requested at the time of submission. At the time of appointment, the scholar applicant(s) will be notified by the CNCDP-K12 Administration Office.
  • There should not be any other documents enclosed with this application. The applicants are not required to add letters of support from other collaborators or institutional members.
  • As a returning applicant, please identify the ways in which the application has been changed/strengthened since the prior submission. This can be uploaded in the  research plan field on the Application Page. It is best not to submit the original application from previous cycles.
  • For problems with submitting your applications on the website, please email: