Seattle Children’s Research Institute Career Development Program

The Seattle Children’s Research Institute Career Development Program provides the time, funding, mentorship and training necessary to foster the early career development of the next generation of Seattle Children’s researchers. 

Recipients of a Seattle Children’s Research Institute Career Development Award will receive up to three years of salary support and project funds. We anticipate two scientists will be selected into the 2024 cohort. This program is open to both current Seattle Children’s investigators and external investigators who would like to join Seattle Children’s. We encourage applications from all health professions and scientists with diverse backgrounds.

Apply Now

Submit Letters of Recommendation/Letters of Support

Key Dates

  • Applications are due Monday, April 22, 2024 by 5 p.m. Pacific time. Applicants will receive a status update regarding their applications in July.
  • Purpose and Summary

    The goal of the Seattle Children’s Career Development Program is to facilitate early career investigators’ transition to research independence. We will invest in scientists with high potential for NIH funding. The expectation at program completion is an NIH funded K-award, R-award, or extramural equivalent.

    The program supports the career development of investigators across the translational spectrum. Basic, preclinical, clinical and public health research are all able to be supported by this award. Examples of basic and preclinical research include therapeutic target identification and/or validation; development of novel therapeutics prior to clinical testing; in vitro or cell-based assays; or research using animal models. Examples of clinical and public health research include patient-oriented research; small- and large-scale clinical investigation and trials; epidemiology and health services; health behavior; and community-based research.

    Research must be consistent with the Seattle Children’s mission to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.

  • Program Overview
    • Protected research time: Scientists must devote at least nine person-months (75% FTE) of full-time professional effort to pursuing their proposed research project and engaging in career development and program activities. This requirement protects scientists’ research time and ensures they have the freedom to develop their projects and their careers.
    • Salary support: This award requires a minimum of 75% of a scientist’s full-time effort with salary support. Salary support of up to $100,000 salary funding is allowed. Fringe funding is calculated additionally, at the rate applicable to the awardee individual’s role. If salary for 75% effort exceed $100,000, institutional support (i.e., cost share from appropriate source(s)) must cover the difference (of salary and associated fringe costs) to support 75% FTE in this program. For certain subspecialties (e.g., surgery, ENT) a minimum of 50% FTE is required.
    • Research and career development funds: Scientists will receive $25,000/year in funds to support their research and travel. The budget must be pre-approved and indirect costs are not allowed.
    • Mentorship: In addition to the scientist’s own mentorship team, awardees will develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with milestones and bi-annual mentor meetings with a program director.
    • Interactive seminars: Scientists will participate in an Early Investigator Seminar Club for two years. Awardees may choose to join the ITHS KL2 Seminar Scholars or the Seattle Children’s Research Institute Clinical Research Scholars Program. These programs provide in-depth training on skills and competencies critical to conducting clinical and/or translational research. Monthly seminars include presenting works-in-progress talks and participating in writing workshops. Determination of which seminar to join will be determined post-award in consultation with the program director.
  • Funding

    The award requires a minimum of 75% FTE effort and funding of that effort. The award provides salary (up to $100,000 per year plus fringe) for up to three years. In return, at least 75% of the awardee’s full-time professional effort must be devoted to pursuing their research project, program and career development activities. If salary exceeds $100,000, institutional support (Seattle Children’s Research Institute Center or UW Division or Department) must cover the difference (of salary and associated fringe costs) required to support 75% FTE in this program and such support should be explained in the letter of support. For certain subspecialties (e.g., surgery, ENT) a minimum of 50% FTE is required (see FAQs).

    In addition to salary support, awardees will receive research and travel funds of up to $25,000/year based on an annual review of the scientist’s budget and approval. Support is contingent upon continual progress and compliance with Seattle Children’s directives.

  • Eligibility

    The program is open to individuals in the early stage of their career at the postdoctoral level or early career faculty level who plan to conduct or are conducting research. Early career is defined as a scientist who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as a principal investigator for an NIH independent research award.

    Investigators must:

    • Be at an early stage of their career.
    • Be post-doctoral fellows, research scientists, acting instructors or acting assistant professors to be eligible. Assistant professors in that title for less than two years at the application due date are eligible.
    • Have a research or health-professional doctoral degree relevant to child health. These degrees include: MD, PhD, DrPH, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND, PsyD, DNP.
    • Be able to commit a minimum of nine calendar months of full-time professional effort for research activities, career development and program activities.

    Applicants are ineligible for the program if:

    • They are simultaneously participating in clinical fellowships leading to clinical certification (see FAQ below).
    • They are principal investigator of any type of NIH award (K-award, R03, R21, R01, U01, or other type of award). Applicants who are co-investigators on NIH or other federal or non-federal sources of funding are eligible.
    • They are an individual mid-career making a change into clinical research.
    • They have received research funds exceeding $200,000 from any single source (internal to Seattle Children’s or external).

    Additional information:

    • This award is open to US citizens, permanent residents and those with a H-1B or other visa making them able to legally work in the United States.
    • This award may support global health research (see FAQ).
    • Exceptions to 75% effort requirement may be made for certain procedure-based specialties (see FAQ).
    • Future grants of awardees must be submitted through Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
  • How to Apply

    Application Overview

    You will need to complete the application packet (DOCX), and submit it via the The application consists of a cover page, NIH-formatted biosketches for both the applicant and primary mentor; career development plan; research plan; budget, budget justification and regulatory requirements; and timeline/milestones. A diversity statement is required.

    In addition, you will need three letters of recommendation: from your mentor/mentorship team, from your Division Head or Department Chair and one of your choice. These should be emailed separately to or submitted via the Submit a Recommendation link above by the recommender. Do not include these with your application.

    The application should be written for a wide audience and not for an expert in your field. 

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    How many funded positions will there be?

    We plan to select two scientists this cycle. We anticipate one award will be given to a basic science/preclinical researcher and one award will be given to a clinical/public health researcher.

    If an applicant has a pending K-award under review at NIH, is he/she eligible to apply for the program?

    Yes. If an applicant receives both this award and the K-award, the K-award will replace the salary support provided by this award. The scientist will retain his/her project funds related to this award.

    If an applicant is already studying under an existing NIH funded K-award, is he/she eligible for the program?


    I was a K12 (or other NIH-funded) trainee during my fellowship. Am I still eligible for this award?

    Yes. Individuals on institutional K-awards (e.g., K12) during fellowship are eligible for this award. If you had an institutional K-award post-fellowship (e.g., ITHS KL2), you are not eligible. If you are the PI of your own K-award, you are not eligible.

    I am also applying for the CRSP program. Can I use the same application materials?

    You can use the same letters of support and biosketch. The CRSP is a 2-year program and this award is a 3-year program; the application scope should reflect this difference.

    I received NIH research funds through a Center or similar type grant (e.g., pilot or new investigator project funds). I am not the PI of the Center grant. Am I eligible to apply?

    That depends. If you are the PI of a supported project/award that has direct costs less than $200,000, you are eligible. If you are PI of a supported project that has direct costs of $200,000 or more, you are not eligible.

    I am currently based at the University of Washington and not part of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. What would be the impact of receiving this award?

    You would hold or plan to transition to a faculty appointment at the University of Washington. However, you would also become an investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and relocate to Seattle Children’s Research Institute. This means all grants would be submitted through and managed by Seattle Children’s Research Institute and not the University of Washington and you would have a primary office at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. You should verify with your UW Chair that s/he supports these terms.

    I am an alumnus or current trainee of the Seattle Children’s Clinical Research Scholars Program (CRSP). Am I eligible to apply?


    If the potential applicant is a principal investigator (PI) or project director of an NIH grant, are they still eligible? What if the applicant is the PI of a smaller grant such as an R03 or R21?

    Recipients of R01 or equivalent, R03 or R21 NIH awards are not eligible to apply.Recipients of F awards (e.g., F31 or F32) are eligible to apply.

    Can this award be combined with a clinical fellowship?

    In general, no. Funds cannot be used to support clinical fellowship training. However, fellows who have completed the part of their fellowship needed for subspecialty certification are eligible to apply. For example, although a medical oncology fellowship may last three to four years, fellows who have completed two years may be eligible to sit for the boards and are therefore eligible. In general, applicants should be board-eligible for their specialty or subspecialty when they enter the program. Please check with us to confirm eligibility.

    Do I need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to apply?

    You need to be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, or currently have an H-1B or other visa that enables you to legally work in the United States to apply.

    Can I conduct research outside the U.S. and Canada or focus on global health?

    Yes. However, the research should clearly align with the priorities of NIH and have potential for future NIH funding.

    Do I have to be part of Seattle Children’s Hospital or the Research Institute to apply?

    No. We encourage external applications. External applicants should plan to join Seattle Children’s Research Institute if they receive an award. External applicants are encouraged to identify at least one primary mentor at Seattle Children’s and to discuss their application with the Director of a Center at Seattle Children’s Research Institute most relevant to their proposed research area (Research Centers and Programs).

    I am currently a post-doctoral fellow or coming from another institution. Do I have to be a UW faculty member to apply?

    No. However, in your application you should clearly describe the plan for transitioning to a faculty position during the course of the award and include a letter of support from the chair of the department you plan to join.

    What criteria will be used to evaluate my application?

    Review criteria are adapted from the NIH review criteria for K08 and K23 awards. Please note that our reviewers come from diverse fields and your application should be written for a scientific reviewer whose specific expertise may be different than your own.

    If the potential applicant has had an F32 from NIH or was on a T90 NIH training grant is he/she eligible?


Contact Us

For questions or clarifications of these criteria, please email us.