Because of the extraordinary demands that COVID-19 places on Chicago health systems and faculty, the LOI deadline is extended to May 15, 2020.​ In addition, applications that address COVID-related priorities of Learning Health Systems are encouraged.  Applicants may propose research which addresses pressing questions that may directly impact healthcare delivery and outcomes. The start for scholars with COVID research projects may be expedited. View this resource for guidance on priorities for rapid-cycle evaluations: AcademyHealth: Health systems respond to COVID19

A Chicago Center for Excellence in Learning Health Systems Research Training (ACCELERAT) is pleased to announce a Request for Applications (RFA) for the K12 training opportunity for faculty at Northwestern and Chicago-based medical schools. K12 is a training grant sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), designed to support the early research career development of junior faculty who will be engaged in advancing patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) within learning health systems. Specifically, the ACCELERAT K12 grant recipients will develop skills to both conduct high quality research and to facilitate rapid implementation of evidence into health systems to improve the quality and outcomes of care.

The two-year ACCELERAT training program includes:

  • Mentored research;
  • Immersion experiences within health system quality improvement;
  • Didactic sessions on research methods specifically tailored to learning health systems including health informatics and PCOR;
  • Workshops to support research, including grant writing and regulatory standards.

ACCELERAT scholars will receive a salary of up to $90,000 and will dedicate 75% effort for two years. They will also receive a budget of $25,000 per year for research and training.

The K12 is led by an Executive Committee chaired by Abel Kho, MD, MS (MPI) and Patricia Franklin, MD (MPI), and including David Cella, PhD; Clyde Yancy, MD; Ron Ackermann, MD, MPH; Laurie Wakschlag, PhD; Karl Bilimoria, MD; Jeffrey Linder, MD; and Matthew Davis, MD.

Information about current research funded by the K12 can be found in our scholar profiles page.

Key Dates & Deadlines:

  • Letter of Intent Due: May 15, 2021
  • Notification of Invitation to Apply: June 12, 2021
  • Full Applications Due (via NUCATS NITRO): July 31, 2021
  • Program Start Date (for successful candidates): October 1, 2020 (or earlier, if addressing COVID-related research)

Application Process

A two-stage application process is planned. Interested individuals should submit a letter of intent (LOI) by May 15, 2020, which will be reviewed by the ACCELERAT Executive Committee. Candidates will be selected to submit a full application based on the alignment of the LOI with the goals of the ACCELERAT career development program. For those uncertain if their research goals align with the ACCELERAT program, office hours with program leaders will be available for discussion prior to submission.

Application Guidelines


Budget Template

Scholar Budget Template (.xlsx)

Sample Biographical Sketch

Sample Bio-sketch (.pdf)

Eligibility Requirements

Individuals are eligible if they are:

  • Faculty and/or Healthcare Professionals with a demonstrated commitment to a career in clinical research including (a) previous research training in clinical research (e.g. PhD with a clinical or research doctoral degree, MD with clinical research master’s degree or research fellowship); (b) high caliber scholarship and scientific productivity; and (c) a history of academic distinction
  • Faculty and/or Healthcare Professionals who are pursuing a clinical research career and who wish to acquire additional mentored research experience in comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research
  • US citizens or have permanent resident status
  • Full time faculty at NU or other Chicago-area Health Systems, including collaborating health care organizations in the Chicago area, such as those in the Chicago Area Patient Centered Outcomes Research Network (CAPriCORN)
  • Women, minorities and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply
  • Individuals are eligible for placement as a scholar if they have been, or currently are the PD/PI of an NIH or AHRQ R36, F31, or F32 grant, or a Federal or non-Federal award that duplicates the provisions or research goals of these grants, and otherwise meet all other eligibility criteria. The scholar will have to terminate the existing award before being appointed to the K12. Individuals are also eligible to be scholar candidates if they have been, or currently are the PD/PI of an NIH or AHRQ R03 or R21 grant, or a Federal or non-Federal award that duplicates the provisions or research goals of an R03 or R21 grant.

Individuals are NOT eligible to be scholar candidates if they:

  • Have simultaneously submitted or have an application pending peer review for any other Federal career development award, or a research project grant (R01). However, individuals may concurrently submit an application for an AHRQ or NIH Small Grant (R03) or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21);
  • Have simultaneously submitted or have an application pending peer review for any non-Federal research grant, contract, or cooperative agreement over $100,000 direct costs per year;
  • Have been or are currently a PD/PI on any other Federal mentored career development awards;
  • Have been or are currently supported on an institutional K12 grant or KL2 (or similar grant);
  • Have been or are currently a PD/PI on a Federal research grant (such as R01, R29, P01) or subproject leaders on Program Project (P01) and Center Grants (P50); and/or
  • Have been or are currently a PD/PI on peer-reviewed non-Federal research grants, contracts or cooperative agreements over $100,000 direct costs per year.

Note that K12 Scholars should be strongly encouraged to apply for independent research grant support (e.g., R01, R21, R03) by the end of their final year of appointment to the K12 grant.

Scholars are NOT allowed to reduce their level of effort below 75% over the course of the award.

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