“The Research Career Development Program is an invaluable resource that helped me to develop my research and mentoring plans. The feedback was very insightful and was instrumental in attaining my K08 award.”

– Darrin J. Lee, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery, K08 Awardee (2020)

“Dr. Patino [Research Career Development Program] provided me with honest and very specific feedback on my K01 career development plan. It made a huge difference!”

– Annie Nguyen, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, K01 Awardee (2020)

About the Research Career Development Program

The Research Career Development (RCD) Program’s goal is to establish a collaborative community of junior investigators and mentors that will successfully apply and receive research funding that advance their career towards independence.  The program assists fellows and junior faculty who are interested in writing their first K-series (e.g., K01, K08, K23, and K99/R00) or R-level (e.g., R01, R03, R21, and R56) grant  through free consultation service as well as providing resources to share with their mentors to develop competitive career development applications.

The program tracks and evaluates each applicant through regular monitoring of:

  • Readiness assessment for candidates for K-level, and K-to-R, as well as their mentors,
    • Number of consults,
  • Time to submission,
  • Score from first grant submission,
  • Score from resubmission,
  • Time to success, and
  • Funding amount obtained.

Mission Statement

The RCD Program mission is to:

  • Support early stage clinical and translational investigators towards research independence
  • Attain clinical research independence through successful and individualized grant funding support.
  • Provide individualized grant writing support to successfully fund your research.
  • To accelerate research career independence through individualized grant strategy support.

RCD Program Services

Consultations: Consults are available for both the applicant and their mentors to assess readiness level for pursuing a mentored career research grant or a first R grant and develop a strategic plan accordingly.

Mentoring Team:  We advise applicant on best practices to build a strong mentoring team.

Grant Application Development and Review of:

  • Research career development sections of grant applications.
  • Biosketch of letters of recommendation.


Educational resources will be made available to applicants, mentors, and other departmental administrators by contact RCD Program directly. These resources include:

  • K- or R-series writing manuals
  • NIH Grant Review Process
  • Step-by-step approach on preparing and submitting a grant
  • Mentoring Teams
  • Team Science
  • Biosketches
  • Research Career Development Plans

Our Team

Cecilia Patino-Sutton, MD, MeD, PhD
Program Director

Jeanne Dzekov McKean
Program Manager

Research Career Development Program
Soto Street Building
2001 North Soto Street, 205L
Los Angeles, CA 90033-9234