HEAL Initiative: National K12 Clinical Pain Career Development Program (K12 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this FOA is to invite applications to the NIH HEAL Initiative’s Clinical Pain Career Development Program (HCPDP). The HCPDP supports the NIH HEAL Initiative’s long-term goals of providing effective non-opioid options for the treatment of pain by addressing the increased need for clinical pain researchers.

The HCPDP will support early-career pain management researchers by developing a structured mentorship and career development program. The goal of this program is to ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained clinician-scientists is available to expand and enhance the clinical pain management workforce. In support of this goal, this FOA will provide the mentoring, oversight, support and training required to advance the careers of early-stage clinical pain researchers.

The HCPDP established under this FOA will support early career clinical pain scientists’ development as a means to enhance the clinical pain research workforce. The awarded HCPDP national program will provide the selected scholars with the experience, research support, and protected time for research and funding necessary to initiate a sustainable research program. In addition, the awarded HCPDP national program will create a K12 Advisory Committee (AC) whereby scholars will have the opportunity to interact with both experienced pain researchers and pain patients. The FOA will develop a national network of mentors and scholars.

A companion RFA, Coordinating Center for National Pain Scientists (CCNPS) (R24) (RFA-NS-22-046), has been released. The CCNPS will be a central facilitator for integrating training and mentoring across a network of mentors and early-stage investigators funded by NIH (e.g., NIH trainees, NIH fellows, and Career Development Awardees). The main purpose of the CCNPS is to enhance the training experience of new pain researchers across the continuum of basic, translational, and clinical research and create a vast network of NIH-funded pain researchers to promote multidisciplinary collaborations in pain research. The CCNPS will create and run a coordination center to connect NIH-funded pain researchers with each other with the goal of enhancing the innovation, relevance, and practical application of pain management research, as well as increase communication among pain management researchers across all disciplines. The K12 scholars and K12 AC will be expected to participate in the CCNPS annual meeting and networking events.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days before application due date

  • Application Due Date: March 24, 2022

RFA-NS-22-045 Expiration Date March 25, 2022

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The sponsoring institution must assure support for the proposed program. Appropriate institutional commitment to the program includes the provision of adequate staff, facilities, and educational resources that can contribute to the planned program.

The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research program in the area(s) proposed under this FOA and must have the requisite faculty, staff, potential trainees and facilities on site to conduct the proposed institutional program. In many cases, it is anticipated that the proposed program will complement other ongoing career development programs occurring at the applicant institution and that a substantial number of program faculty will have active research projects in which participating scholars may gain relevant experiences consistent with their research interests and goals.

The PD/PI(s) of the HCPDP should possess the scientific expertise, demonstrated leadership capabilities, stature in the pain management community and administrative capabilities required to implement, coordinate and supervise a national, multidisciplinary research career development program for clinicians. The PD/PI(s), together with the K12 AC and, if applicable, co-directors, will be responsible for the selection and appointment of scholars to the HCPDP, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. The PD/PI(s) will be expected to monitor and assess the program and submit all documents and reports as required. The PD/PI(s) have responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the program and are responsible for appointing members of the K12 AC and using their recommendations to determine the appropriate allotment of funds. Any appointed co-directors should also have the qualifications necessary to guide an institutional training program designed for clinical pain management.

If proposing an MPI leadership plan, each MPI should have a defined role in the program, in addition to sharing overall oversight responsibilities.

Funding Type





Curriculum Development
Medical - Clinical Science

External Deadline

March 24, 2022