CTSI/Medical School Early Career Research Award

Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) / Medical School Early Career Research Award

Three awards are now available for FY21. Departments can submit materials to ms-odei@umn.edu for pre-approval for this award for new tenure-track faculty members.

Request for Applications

ECRA Onboarding Process & Year 1 Expectations


The Clinical and Translational Science InstituteCTSI/Medical School Early Career Research Award strives to increase the diversity of the University of Minnesota Medical School tenure-track faculty. It provides dedicated funding to support recruiting early career research faculty who are underrepresented in medicine (URM). Funded by the Medical School, this award is open only to Medical School faculty. 

Description of the Award

Annually for five consecutive years, the Medical School will recruit three URM early career, research-oriented faculty for tenure-track positions. Each recruited faculty member will receive salary support for three years. It will be commensurate with protected research effort, background and department using the NIH cap, plus associated fringe benefits of 35 percent. Each faculty member also will receive a total of $500,000 of start-up support. Departments may contribute additional support to the start-up package or additional salary, with associated fringe benefits. The award application and reporting will be administered by the Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs, in collaboration with the CTSI Research Training, Education and Career Development Core (CTSI-Ed).


Medical School Office of Diversity Equity & Inclusion



Faculty applicants with MD/DO, PhD or equivalent terminal degrees will be in the process of recruitment as tenure-track faculty members in the Medical School. Recruitment will be from UMN training programs or within the first three years of an external faculty appointment. (Please note: A search committee and search process is required per UMN policy for tenure-track appointments.) Existing URM on tenure-track appointments are not eligible.

Faculty applicants must be from an NIH-recognized URM group defined as Black or African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders, and those with disabilities, defined as physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The department must guarantee a minimum of at least 75 percent time and effort protected for research for the first three years of faculty appointment. Any clinically relevant topic of research is permitted.


This award opened for applications on January 1, 2019 and will be accepting applications until June 30, 2024. The application is open and rolling (i.e. no deadline). Three faculty members will be selected for this award per academic year (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2024) until a maximum of fifteen over five academic years are awarded. The awards will be on a first-come, first-served basis annually. If an applicant turns down the faculty position at UMN, the funds will be returned to the award funding pool. Please submit applications electronically to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ms-odei@umn.edu)

Response to this request for applications must be initiated by a department head or chair. Applications will be accepted until June 30, 2024. The application is open and rolling, with no deadline. Three faculty members will be selected for this award per academic year until a maximum of 15 people during five academic years are awarded. Awards will be given on a first-come, first-served basis annually. If an applicant turns down the faculty position at the University of Minnesota, the funds will be returned to the award funding pool.

Requirement While Receiving Award

  • Acceptance of a full-time appointment at University of Minnesota as a tenure-track assistant professor

  • Minimum 75 percent time and effort protected for research for at least three years

  • Active and regular participation in the appropriate CTSI-Ed career development program. Activities Include:

    • Formation of a multidisciplinary mentoring team that meets as a group a minimum of three times per year
    • After each mentoring team meeting, written summary reports, including suggestions and recommendations, must be sent to the department chair and selection committee via ODEI*
    • Provide an annual progress report and individual development plan (IDP) to the selection committee
    • Submit an individual NIH K award in year two of funding and resubmit in year three if necessary
    • Participation in other selected activities is highly recommended, but not required, including the Faculty Success Program through the independent National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, the University of Minnesota Health Equity Leadership & Mentoring program and other research mentoring programs/professional development opportunities based upon the IDP

* It is the responsibility of the awardee to schedule the mentor committee meetings.

Continued funding in years two and three is contingent on meeting these requirements and approval of the selection committee based upon the annual progress report and IDP. 


Required Elements of Application

  • Cover Sheet

  • NIH Biosketch

  • Full CV

  • Individual Development Plan**

  • Three external letters of reference that specifically address the potential of the candidate as a successful academic researcher; these may overlap with faculty appointment letters of reference

  • Department chair letter of recommendation with clearly stated commitment to protected time, description of collaborative opportunities at UMN and contribution to faculty diversity

  • Proposed mentors list and justification for mentoring committee members (one page total); attach NIH Biosketch if external to UMN Medical School

    ** May be revised based on the recommendation of the Selection Committee.

Search Process and Criteria

Department heads/chairs may request pre-approval of a candidate under consideration for faculty appointment. Please send candidate’s CV, brief research plan and list of potential mentors to ODEI. Final award will require complete application after the offer letter is signed.

The application will be reviewed by the Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for completeness and eligibility, then forwarded to the selection committee.

Approval to use this mechanism to support the recruitment of a specific potential URM faculty member will be determined by a committee including a minimum of three individuals. The initial group will include: the Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Director of CTSI-Ed, and the Director of the CTSI Pre-K Discovery Scholar Program or the CTSI-Ed TL1 principal investigator. Additional members of the committee will be added as needed. The committee will interview potential recruits for this mechanism prior to approval, preferably in person. A notice of the approval decision will be made within four weeks of the completed application and interview.