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Mentored Career Development Awards (MCDA)



The purpose of the MCDA is to provide promising early career scientists with an individualized mentored research experience with outstanding faculty sponsors. This award is targeted to trainees who have received baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees and desire additional experience and mentoring prior to applying for graduate degree programs, faculty positions, or other positions involving biomedical research. The faculty sponsor must be funded by NIH (R15, R16 or comparable awards with direct cost of no more than $125,000 per year, with at least one year of funding remaining, excluding no cost extensions) and be willing to train and prepare scientists for careers in biomedical research. In turn, the trainee is expected to enhance the productivity of NIH-funded faculty and subsequent competitiveness for continued NIH funding. The training of early career scientists and the enhanced research productivity of their mentors promote workforce development in Kentucky by contributing to the career advancement of both early-stage investigators and experienced research faculty in Kentucky institutions. 




Application Guidelines

To assist in the recruitment of promising trainees, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with decisions made within one week from the time of submission. The duration of each award is one year, but faculty/trainee teams are eligible to apply for support each year of the NIH-funded project, contingent upon trainee progress and availability of funds.

Assemble your application in the order listed below using the NIH PHS 398 forms available here. NIH “Instructions for Grant Applications using PHS 398 should be followed unless other specific instructions are given below. Incomplete proposals will be returned without review.

Required components:

Application Review Criteria

KY INBRE program staff will review requests for Mentored Career Development Awards to determine their overall merit. The administrative review criteria described below will be considered in the review process: 


All proposal components should be saved as a single PDF and submitted via email to the KY INBRE Program Coordinator: Dr. Bruce Mattingly, email.


If any additional clarification is needed, please contact your institutional lead faculty (if applicable), the KY INBRE Program Coordinator: Dr. Bruce Mattingly, email or the KY INBRE Principal Investigator: Dr. Martha Bickford, email

Page updated Sept 20, 2023