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The HEAL K12 is a mentored career development award designed to provide protected time for clinicians and researchers to focus on training and conducting clinical pain research.

Overview of the K12 Program

The Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan is the administrative home for the HEAL National K12 Clinical Pain Career Development Award (HEAL K12). Awards provide a minimum of 75% salary support plus fringe benefits, and $50,000/year in research support costs, for up to 3 years.

Successful applicants will have at least (3) mentors: a primary home-institution mentor, a senior pain research mentor of national stature assigned by the K12 program, and a mentor with lived pain experience (also assigned by the K12 program). Training is split between the scholar’s home-institution and remotely or in-person at the University of Michigan. Annual travel to the 3-day NIH PURPOSE Conference on Pain Education and to the two-day Ann Arbor Summer Pain Short Course is expected.


  • The candidate must aspire to be a clinical pain researcher housed within any educational or health services institution in the US that has resources to conduct clinical research.
  • Eligible candidates will hold a doctoral degree (e.g., MD, DO, DDS, PharmD, or PhD) and be in their last year of residency, fellowship training, or postdoctoral training or within several years of having started their first faculty position.
  • Scholars must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the US or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.
  • The department or division Chair of the candidates’ home institution must commit to providing the candidate a minimum of 75% protected time for this training.

Tailored Training Program

  • Remote didactic training and mentoring in pain science
  • Completion of a clinical research project
  • Didactic course work in regulatory sciences, research ethics, biostatistics, and/or specialty electives relating to topics of interest
  • Attendance at career development seminars, pain conferences, and the NIH PURPOSE annual conference
  • Presentation of research through local, national, and international events
  • Cross-disciplinary mentoring designed to assist with career development and the scholar’s research

Application Requirements

  • The HEAL K12 follows a 2-tier application process.
    • Tier-1: 2-Page Letter of Intent
    • Tier-2: Full Application
  • Applications follow the NIH K08/K23 format and require the following:
    • Clinical research plan that clearly leads to future research
    • Candidate background and career development plan
    • Strong mentoring team and letters of support
    • Budget and budget justification
    • Human subjects’ protection plan

View application materials and submit an application→