Program Details

Education and Training Team

Raed Dweik, MD, KL2 Program Director 
Beth Spyke, MPA, KL2 Research Education & Training Program Manager

Clifford Harding, MD, TL1 Program Director
Diane Dowd, PhD, TL1 Training Program Administrative Director 

The CTSC K12 is committed to producing excellent independent clinical investigators capable of leading multidisciplinary team-based research. CTSC K12 Scholars come from diverse professional disciplines, and will be trained to conduct team-based, multidisciplinary, patient-oriented clinical research. We expect that these clinical investigators will become leaders in a re-engineered clinical research workforce.

*2023 K12 Awards are contingent upon the CTSC’s NIH grant renewal. The CTSC will be notified of its renewal funding towards the end of May 2023. If funded, K12 Scholars would be able to begin on or around July 1, 2023.


Applicants must have a terminal medical degree (e.g. MD, DDS, Pharm D) or a Ph.D. or Psy.D., etc. Individuals from a variety of disciplines, for example biostatisticians, epidemiologists, behavioral scientists and nurses with doctoral degrees, are encouraged to apply. All applicants must have evidence of strong academic achievement and scholarship, as well as personal attributes such as high motivation and leadership potential. Further, applicants must be US citizens, non-citizen nationals, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence; and able to commit 75% of full-time professional effort to this Career Development Program and its related research activities.

The award is intended for individuals at a relatively early stage of training (e.g. just after the PhD degree, during, or immediately following a clinical fellowship, or within the first year or two of an initial faculty appointment). The award is intended to stimulate development of multidisciplinary research, therefore competitive applications must explain how the applicant's research development will benefit from a multidisciplinary approach.

Per NIH rules, K12 scholars may not simultaneously submit or 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 K12 program. Former or current principal investigators on any NIH research project grant (this does not include NIH Small Grants (R03) or Exploratory/ Developmental (R21) grants or their equivalents) or equivalent non-PHS peer reviewed research 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 K12 scholars.

Qualified Candidates

  • Hold an M.D., Ph.D., D.D.S., Pharm.D., Psy.D. or an equivalent doctoral degree
  • Have demonstrated a keen interest in clinical research
  • Must have a desire and commitment to learn how to work with scientists from different disciplines
  • Must incorporate multiple perspectives into research plan and methods that reflect an alternative to  their own training
  • Need to hold a position in one of the CTSC partner Institutions on or before July 1, 2023
  • Are U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status
  • Applications are encouraged from physicians, nurses, dentists, social and behavioral scientists, engineers, biostatisticians, epidemiologists, bioethicists and other professionals with expertise relevant to clinical research.


Successful applicants will receive salary and benefits commensurate with prior experience and qualifications, research stipend, tuition benefits, and access to a multidisciplinary pool of highly qualified mentors who will guide their research projects and career development.


The K12 is a training program with a focus on multidisciplinary and team-based clinical research.  Scholars will participate in both didactic course work and mentored research experiences. Because of the unique backgrounds of program participants, each Scholar – in conjunction with their mentors and program leadership – will develop individualized plans of study. Scholars may elect to enroll in a Master’s degree program in Clinical Investigation, which is part of the CWRU Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP), or pursue other Master's degrees, or simply enroll in the required courses only as a non-degree student.

Typical Course Schedule

Formal Coursework: All scholars will take required courses specifically designed for the K12 program to enhance professional skills:

  • CRSP 401 Introduction to Clinical Research (basic principles of clinical research, including study planning and ethical considerations, diagnostic testing and measurement characteristics, research study design, biostatistical concepts and procedures, topics in health services research, medical informatics, systematic reviews, quality improvement, implementation research, health economics).
  • CRSP 412 Communication in Clinical Research—Grant Writing (strategies to increase writing productivity, development of compelling grant proposals, the grant review process).
  • CRSP 501 Team Science—Working on Interdisciplinary Research Teams (understanding and using differing disciplinary mental models, conflict management and resolution, trust-building, group decision-making skills, managing power differentials).
  • CRSP 502 Leadership of Clinical Research Teams (developing effective leadership style and skills, assessing team members’ learning styles, optimizing management techniques, emotional and social intelligence competencies, effective communication, self-advocacy, balancing competing interests).
  • CRSP 503 Innovation and Entrepreneurship (translating academic research into commercial use, goals and objectives of businesses, technology development and transfer).
  • CRSP 413 Communication in Clinical Research—Scientific Presentations and Working with the Mass Media (techniques for making high-quality scientific oral and poster presentations, strategies for working effectively with the mass media to disseminate research to the public).
  • CRSP 450 Seminar in Multidisciplinary Clinical Translational Science (introduces participants to the processes and challenges of translational research and science via presentations from investigators across the CTSC partners.

Additional educational activities include:

  • Systems Science Annual Symposium and Engagement Workshop/Ongoing Consultation
  • Informatics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Annual Colloquium and IBM Partnership Activities
  • Translational Observerships and Consultations:
    • Human Subjects Research
    • Spotlight RCR (for responsible conduct of research)

Program Administration

The day-to-day operation of the program, as well as planning and monitoring, is handled by the Program’s Administration.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is composed of Dr. Raed Dweik, Director, and three Associate Directors: Drs. Cliff Harding, Jim Spilsbury and Ruth Farrell. This group will provide direct program management. These faculty and others will constitute a Steering Committee responsible for program governance. Program leadership is drawn from all participating institutions; all program leaders and mentors have faculty appointments at CWRU SOM, SON or SOE.

  • K12 Director: Raed Dweik, MD (CCF, CCLCM of CWRU). He is currently Professor of Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU, Chair of the Respiratory Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He is also a staff scientist in the Department of Inflammation & Immunity in the Lerner Research Institute. He maintains an active practice in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine with special interest in Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) and runs an independent research laboratory with continuous NIH funding since 2002. 
  • K12 Associate Director: Clifford V. Harding, MD, PhD (CWRU SOM/UHCMC) is the Joseph R. Kahn Professor and Chair of Pathology at CWRU and UHCMC. He has a long-standing productive NIH-funded research program on the regulation of immune responses during infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) or HIV. He has been a leader in developing research training for PhD students, MD-PhD students and physician-scientists. He has been the Director of the MSTP at CWRU since 2001.
  • K12 Associate Director: James Spilsbury, MPH, PhD (CWRU SOM) is Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics. He is Assistant Director of the PhD program in Clinical Translational Science; Chair of the K12 Curriculum Committee; and he directs directs the MS and Graduate Certificate programs in Clinical Research. Dr. Spilsbury is an anthropologist focused on the effects of the social and cultural environment on children's health and well-being. His NIH- funded research investigates effects of neighborhood conditions on child maltreatment and home and neighborhood settings' effects on sleep. Dr. Spilsbury is strongly committed to mentoring. He has served as the faculty advisor/mentor for postdoctoral fellows and numerous students in the MS program and he has served on doctoral students’ dissertation committees in Clinical Translational Science, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Anthropology, and Social Work.
  • K12 Associate Director: Ruth M. Farrell, MD, MA (CC, CCLCM of CWRU) is a Professor of OB/GYN and Reproductive Biology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU. She also serves as the Vice Chair of Research for CC’s OB/GYN and Women’s Health Institute (WHI) and Chair of the Research Compliance Committee for the Cleveland Clinic Health System. In addition to being a practicing board-certified OB/GYN, Dr. Farrell has specific expertise in bioethics (including research ethics), health policy, and research methods involving pregnant persons and the inclusion of special and underrepresented populations in research. Her research focuses on health outcomes in women’s health, with an emphasis on the clinical and ethical, social, and legal implications (ELSI) of new biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics in women’s health. She has also been funded by the NIH and major foundations for over 10 years and has served on several study sections as a reviewer for K-award applications. Dr. Farrell brings a significant background in mentorship to the program. In addition, she has had specific training in mentorship and training mentors, most recently as an attendee of the UW-Madison Facilitator Training of Entering Mentoring course in the spring 2022, which had a focus on fostering professional dialogue with underrepresented minorities in research.
  • The K12 Steering Committee: The Steering Committee is comprised of three subcommittees: (1) the Recruitment and Selection Subcommittee, (2) the Mentoring and Career Plans Subcommittee, and (3) the Curriculum Subcommittee. Together, these subcommittees function as a unit to provide guidance to the K12 Program. The Steering Committee will make decisions regarding program policies; curriculum development; program guidelines; scholar selection/admissions; approval of mentors (with evaluation of mentor training); tracking, evaluation and guidance of current scholars; and other issues relevant to maintaining the excellence of the K12 program. Steering Committee members will also be available to provide individual advising to scholars as needed as an adjunct to the guidance provided by existing mentors. The committee will track scholar performance and, if needed, develop a management plan to provide additional support and guidance to scholars when indicated. Dr. Raed Dweik will be Chair of the Steering Committee, which will meet at least quarterly and on a more frequent basis as needed. He will also serve on all sub-committees that will manage specific areas as indicated below and report to the full Steering Committee during the combined meetings, providing the necessarily continuity across these leadership committees.

Program Mentors 

Each Scholar will be guided by two mentors: a Research Mentor and a Career Mentor. The Research Mentor will be responsible for research supervision and research career development. He or she is expected to meet with the CR Scholar on a weekly basis throughout the training program. The Research Mentor must be an active independent clinical investigator and have a successful track record of mentoring clinical investigators. The Career Mentor will be from a different clinical research discipline from the Research Mentor. The Career Mentor will support the Scholar’s academic planning, assist in understanding and managing participation in the overall program, provide a multidisciplinary perspective on the Scholar’s career development plan, and help the scholar develop multidisciplinary research. Both Research and Career Mentors will participate in the local and national evaluation activities.

KL2 Mentor Roster