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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University
Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute

A CTSA partner accelerating discoveries toward human health

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The Multidisciplinary Training Program in Child and Adolescent Health (TL1) is an NCATS-funded training program for clinical fellows and postdoctoral trainees.

This novel program seeks to promote interactions among both mentors and trainees in pediatrics and engineering in order to encourage creative thinking and new approaches in child-health research. The goal of the TL1 program is to address the need for well-trained scientists in pediatrics by attracting talented trainees, equipping them with the tools to succeed and retaining their commitment to be independent investigators.

The program is led by led by William Schnaper, MD, professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Kidney Diseases and William Miller, PhD, professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Read more about TL1-funded research on our trainee profiles page. If you have questions, please contact program administrator Adam White

To learn more about the TL1 program eligibility requirements and award provisions, browse the categories below or contact Adam White. Faculty or fellows with related projects should also connect with Adam White for potential future consideration. 

Visit the Science Immersion Program page to learn more about the program, which is funded in part by the NUCATS TL1 grant.


 Eligibility Requirements

Northwestern University and the TL1 program are committed to identifying and implementing ways to create and support a diverse and inclusive campus community. As the TL1 strives for diversity of scientific discipline, we also strive for a community of fellows and mentors from different backgrounds and perspectives to engage in a mutual exchange of ideas and experiences. Those belonging to groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in research education and training (e.g., certain racial and ethnic minorities and individuals with disabilities) are strongly encouraged to apply to this program.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Applicants must be either 1) a clinical postdoctoral fellow pursuing training in child and adolescent health who desires to complement their clinical insight with research skills learned from mentors with diverse backgrounds, or 2) PhD postdoctoral scholars from engineering and basic, scientific disciplines (possible areas of research include: bioengineering, informatics, population science, health services research, materials science, operations research, imaging, signal processing and analysis, gaming theory, and communication disorders) who desire to apply their discipline to a project in child and adolescent health.
  • Fellows must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a PhD, MD, DDS, or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited institution.
  • U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency.
  • All appointed fellows incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of support. The second year of the award will serve to pay back the obligation.
  • Appointment requires a 40 hours/week commitment to their training/research/associated career development activities.
  • Appointees must not have received more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support (training grants or fellowships) at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level.
  • Candidate mentors must have sufficient independent research support or institutional commitment to cover the costs of the proposed research project in excess of the TL1 support. 
  • Candidates from outside of Northwestern are invited to apply, but must have an identified mentor at the time of application. Please contact Bill Schnaper, MD, with questions or for help identifying a faculty mentor. 

 Award Provisions

Trainees will receive a number of resources. A few of these include:

  • Living stipend in line with current NRSA levels
  • Limited travel and tuition expenses
  • Mentor matching
  • Team Science Training

 Selection Criteria

The selection criteria listed below evaluates applications on a nine-point scale:

  • Overall impact
  • Candidate
  • Career development plan/career goals & objectives/plan to provide mentoring
  • Research plan
  • Mentor(s)/Consultant(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Environment and institutional commitment to the candidate

 Questions and Support

For technical questions about NITRO Competitions, reach out to the NITRO helpdesk.

Direct process-related questions to program administrator Adam White at 312-503-2244.

Questions related to the selection of mentors or co-mentors and potential candidate eligibility and qualifications can be directed to William Schnaper, MD.


All current scholars should contact Adam White with administrative questions.

The following websites and programs share information for TL1 trainees as they navigate the research enterprise, including where to find information, how to access resources and what courses to attend.

Important websites


  • Foundational Elements of Pediatric Translational Research is required for all TL1 trainees
  • Collaborative Approaches in Child and Adolescent Health is required for all TL1 trainees
  • Taking Responsibility for the Responsible Conduct of Research is required for all TL1 trainees if they have not completed during their postdoctoral training period
  • ACTS Conference attendance is required once during a trainee's TL1 appointment
  • Team Science programming is offered in a variety of formats for TL1 trainees

Scholarly Impact

  • All scholars must cite the TL1 on any publications that result from research done while on the grant [LINK]
  • Link your publication to the TL1 award in PubMed
  • Complete and update MyNCBI

 Application Requirements

How to Submit a Proposal

Description of Items to be Submitted:


PHS 398

Proposal (limit 4 pages)

  • Candidate's Background (limit 1 page)
  • Career Goals and Objectives with a focus on child and adolescent health (limit 1 page)
  • Research Project with a focus on child and adolescent health (limit 2 page)

NIH Biosketches

  • Trainee, primary mentor, and co-mentor.
  • Must include eRA Commons Username for each.
  • Please use updated NIH biosketch format, which can be found here.
  • Tutorial from the Galter Library on the new NIH biosketch is available here.
  • Classroom support for the new NIH biosketch from the Galter Library is available here.

Letters of Support

  • Required Letters: Department Chair, Primary Mentor, Co-Mentor (from a different discipline or department; see below)
  • Trainees are expected to work as part of multidisciplinary teams and support from a secondary mentor (from a different discipline or department) is required. Applicants who would like additional ideas on catalyzing collaboration with a mentor in another area of research are invited to reach out to Dr. Schnaper or Dr. Miller during the application process to discuss potential options.
  • For applicants outside of Northwestern University please feel free to contact Dr. Schnaper or Dr. Miller for help identifying a primary mentor and co-mentor.
  • Additional letters as appropriate from Co-Mentors or Consultants
  • Applicants from other institutions or who have recently arrived at Northwestern University are also encouraged to provide one or two letters of support from their current/prior institution.
  • Letters should document the role of the primary and co-mentor in the career development of the trainee and how the work proposed fits into the overall program funded by the mentor.

Candidate Curriculum Vitae

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Participating Institutions: