See the Glossary for more terms.
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Table of Contents
Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.
Find information and advice on our Training and Career portal and Advice on Research Training and Career Awards tutorial.
Go to NIH Research Training and Career Development Programs, and click on the Career Development Kiosk on the right side of the screen. By selecting your role and your career level, you will see awards that might be appropriate for you. If no programs match your search criteria, you will see a message to that effect.
The Kiosk also provides other information you may find helpful, e.g., a list of all the different types of career development (K) awards and active K funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) NIH offers.
For effective application planning, familiarize yourself with FOAs relevant to your area of science and consult with the scientific/research contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of the announcement.
NIAID supports two career transition awards: the NIAID Career Transition Award (K22) and NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), both are designed to facilitate the transition from postdoc to assistant professor through two phases.
A key element of these transition awards is the start-up package offered by the new institution in the second phase (assistant professor phase), thereby enabling support for independence and clearly differentiating transition awards from entry-level Ks (K01, K08, K23, and K25).
Both phases are nonmentored for the K22 while the K99 has an initial mentored phase of up to two years followed by a two-year independent R00 phase.
Both awards require NIAID staff approval to transition to the second phase, which involves securing a tenure-track (or its equivalent) assistant professor position. Applicants who receive a K22 award must do this within one year.
Yes. See the Career Development Grants SOP for more information. Also read the next question.
People writing your reference letters submit them to the eRA Commons. As the applicant, you can check the status of the letters, but you may not read them since they are confidential.
For further details, including information you should give to those writing your reference letters, read the supplemental instructions for K awards in part 7 of the SF 424 Application Guide.
To be eligible for most career development awards, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (except for the K99/R00 program). See Are there citizenship or residency requirements for any of these awards? on Training and Career Awards and Fellowships questions and answers.
No. Foreign institutions may not receive funding for career development awards.
However, you may qualify for an NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32), which allows for training abroad if you can't get comparable training in the U.S. To see if this is an appropriate alternative, read the Fellowships section of our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.
If you have any further questions, please contact our Office of Research Training and Special Programs at AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov.
Yes. For more information, read the Public Access of Publications SOP.
Yes. Read the Responsible Conduct of Research: Training SOP for more information.
An effective mentoring plan should be personalized and tailored to the candidate’s career stage, as well as his or her background, needs, and research interests.
Mentoring plans should track progress by delineating specific milestones and key outcomes towards the applicant achieving his or her stated career goals and the next career stage. A key consideration is to describe those mentoring activities that will serve to implement the Specific Aims of the proposed research project.
Yes. Learn more at NIH's Rigor and Reproducibility page.
Yes. Learn more at Sending Materials Post-Submission in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.
NIAID organizes the initial peer review. Career development award applications are clustered together with training (e.g., T32) applications. All reviewers have expertise in career development issues as well as areas of science relevant to the NIAID mission. NIAID K applications are reviewed three times a year. For review and award cycles, go to NIH’s Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications.
For more information about peer review, go to the following Questions and Answers: Peer Review of Applications and Peer Review at NIAID.
This depends on the application submission date. See the Review and Award Cycles table; however, keep in mind this process may take longer.
No. NIAID will not accept K-series applications proposing to conduct new, independent clinical trials.
No. NIH allows you to have only one career development (K) application pending peer review at any time. That means you may not apply for two or more career development grants simultaneously or apply for a career development award while another career development application awaits review.
In the latter case, you have to wait until the review is complete or withdraw the first application before you can submit your next one.
For details, read the eligibility section of the K funding opportunity announcement you're considering.
For the entry-level mentored Ks (K01, K08, K23, and K25), there is no limit to the amount of time for related postdoctoral experience before submitting an application. However, applicants should use discretion when submitting an entry-level mentored K when they already have significant postdoctoral research experience since the amount of time for previous postdoctoral experience may be a review consideration.
For the transition Ks (K22 and K99/R00), there is a limit:
The NIAID training officer decides on whether the previous postdoctoral experience is related to the current K application. To inquire contact Dr. Shawn Gaillard at GaillardL@niaid.nih.gov.
Most K awards require a nine person month time commitment. Thus, you can devote up to three person months of your time to clinical and other duties and get paid for it but not from federal funds. The K24 requires three to six person months of effort.
See Understanding Award Specifics and NIH's Usage of Person Months questions and answers for more information.
Can I reduce my appointment to part-time?
Yes. Read the Career Development Grants SOP for details on this and other adjustments.
Yes. Your institution may supplement the NIH contribution up to a level consistent with its salary scale; however, it cannot use federal funds.
Yes. These expenses are allowed from the research development support costs.
Yes. A career award may be transferred to another institution depending upon the circumstances. First, you must get approval from NIAID. Contact your program officer and grants management specialist as early as possible for instructions on what documents are required to request a transfer.
No. You can hold any position on another investigator’s R01—even be listed as key personnel in the application—and still apply for a K23.
(Note that you cannot apply for a K23 if you’re PI on an R01.)
Keep in mind that if you were awarded the K award, you wouldn’t be allowed to continue to accept salary support from the R01.
Know that each type of career development (K) award has its own requirements. Read our Quick Facts on Research Training and Career Development Awards and other Training and Career information.
Yes. Read Advice on Mentored Career Development Awards.
Yes. An NIH evaluation of K01s, K08s, and K23s shows that securing a mentored K award can have positive effects on an investigator's publication record and subsequent receipt of NIH grants. For the full scoop, read the 2011 report NIH Individual Mentored Career Development Awards Program.
In the last two years of your support, you are allowed to hold concurrent salary support from a career award and any peer-reviewed grant from NIH or another federal agency. To learn more, go to Career Development Awards and read Do any career awards allow you to receive a salary from a second NIH-funded grant? in the Salaries and Stipends questions and answers.
Yes. You can apply for a mentored career development award—K01, K08, K23, or K25—if you receive an exploratory/developmental research (R21) grant.
Keep in mind, however, that if you receive a mentored K award, you cannot get a salary from the R21 until the last two years of the K award. In addition, you need to devote nine person months to the research proposed in your career award. For help, see NIH's Usage of Person Months questions and answers.
Yes, so long as you do not propose the same research in both applications.
Keep in mind, however, that if you receive a K08 award, you cannot receive salary support from the R03 but would still be required to provide effort. In addition, you need to devote nine person months to the research proposed in your K08 award.
For help, see NIH's Usage of Person Months questions and answers.
For more information on K awards, go to the Career Development Awards section of our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.
Yes. You can name more than one sponsor. Generally, the more senior sponsor should sign as your sponsor.
Yes. For further details, including where to put this information, go to the Career Development Grants SOP.
To assign your application, the Division of Receipt and Referral in NIH's Center for Scientific Review will look at your field of research not your mentor's. That said, you and your mentor should share research interests since your mentor must be an accomplished investigator in your proposed research area.
If your research is related to infectious, immunologic, or allergic diseases, your application would come to NIAID. However, if your focus is on gastroenterology, for example, your application would go to NIDDK.
Another good indication of where your application will be assigned: who provides your mentor's funding. If he or she has grant awards from NIAID, your application will likely be assigned here.
No. NIAID is providing K01 awards only to investigators in the fields of epidemiology, modeling techniques, and outcomes research.
No. We have no limits for either. However, please note that NIAID supports K01 applications only for research in epidemiology, modeling techniques, and outcomes research. For more information, go to Career Development Awards.
For the Research Scientist Development Award (K01), you need to be a clinician or Ph.D. in the fields of epidemiology and outcomes research and must have had independent research experience after earning your degree.
Except the K99/R00, all K awards require either U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status (Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-551). People on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
For details, go to the following:
For additional information, contact our Office of Research Training and Special Programs at AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov.
See Quick Facts on Research Training and Career Development Awards.
No. K08s do not exclude humans subjects research. However, if you are interested in patient-oriented research, you may want to consider the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23).
Yes. Anyone with a clinical doctorate level degree can apply.
Yes. For other eligibility requirements, go to Career Development Awards in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards. Note that other institutes may have different requirements.
Yes, you can apply for and receive a loan repayment award and a career development award concurrently.
See Loan Repayment Programs and Career Development Awards (K) for additional resources.
As long as your work for the K23 is different in scope than the STTR, you can apply for both, according to the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (Parent K23) program announcement.
You may get salary support from an R21 during the final two years of your K23—but since it can take from five to 18 months after the receipt date to get an award (three months less for AIDS applications), consider applying well before then.
Read more about timing your application at Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award and Strategy Timelines in the Strategy for NIH Funding. An R21 has the same timeline as an R01, just a different receipt date.
Those who write your letters may use the originals but should update them. They'll also need to submit them again through the eRA Commons. For more on this aspect, see Who submits my reference letters to the eRA Commons? above.
This is a peer review issue, so we can't comment on what reviewers would determine as acceptable. However, you may want to read the section on Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research in the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) program announcement.
We cover the points your plan must address in our Responsible Conduct of Research: Training SOP.
If you have additional questions, contact our Office of Research Training and Special Programs at AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov.
Yes, NIAID requires that you have a medical license for a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23).
Though PIs have done their part leading up to the no-cost extension and won't receive additional salary from us, they must maintain any effort minimum. If they reduce their effort during the no-cost extension, they must receive prior approval from their grants management specialist. For more on this, read the Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.
No. You must be a postdoctoral scientist at the time you apply. For more information, see our Career Development Awards and Advice for Applicants tutorial pages.
Your authorized organizational representative at your current institute should submit the application since you'll be a postdoc there when you apply.
Enter your current institution as the institution on your cover sheet.
In the application's resources available section, include information on your assistant professorship. Once you receive a fundable score and submit the phase II application, you'll provide the name of the institution where you will be a faculty member.
If you need guidance on writing your application, read Writing a Career Development Award Application in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards. Also, make sure you know about Details of Career Development Application Changes (PDF).
See Career Development Awards and Quick Facts on Research Training and Career Development Awards.
For details, read the NIAID Career Transition Award (K22) funding opportunity announcement.
Yes. Be sure to read and follow Special Instructions for Submitting K22 Applications From Unaffiliated Applicants Using the SF 424 (R&R).
The K22 application process has two steps. For step 1, applicants apply electronically using the K22 Grant Application Package. If an application gets a fundable score, the investigator will receive a letter of conditional commitment for funding and will have one year to search for a suitable faculty position.
After hiring negotiations are complete, the candidate and sponsoring/hiring institution will complete step 2 of the application process, which consists of completing certain items of a PHS 398 application. The overall quality of the package will be carefully assessed. Institutional commitment of resources and protected lab time will be very important factors.
NIAID staff will evaluate the application materials submitted in step 2 of the application process and, if satisfactory, an award will be made. For more information on awards, see Understanding Award Specifics.
For further details on the application process, read about the NIAID Career Transition Award (K22).
Since K22s are awarded under Expanded Authorities and Federal Demonstration Partnership, you can extend the final year once for up to 12 months. For more information, see the No-Cost Extension SOP.
The extension request has to go through your grantee institution's approval process. Any additional extensions require NIAID prior approval.
No, not for a NIAID Career Transition Award (K22).
The Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) Award is an NIH program to help promising postdoctoral scientists achieve research independence earlier in their career. The PI Award provides up to five years of support, divided into two phases:
NIAID encourages applications requesting up to two years for the K99 and two years of support for the independent R00 phase of the award. We also make very few awards.
For more information, see the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00) and read our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards tutorial. Also see our Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00) SOP and NIH's Pathway to Independence Award FAQs.
Funds will come from the intramural lab in which they'll be conducting research.
Yes. You should have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience as of the relevant application due date regardless of whether the application is new or a resubmission. Though the K99 mentored phase requires less than four years of postdoc experience, we may give applicants some leeway if they exceed the limit by a few days. For additional eligibility details, see our Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00) SOP and contact AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov for advice before applying.
Travel is an allowable expense, and yes, you may reallocate funds if travel plans change.
For more information, see Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00).
Try our central page for Career Development Awards (K), Advice on Research Training and Career Awards tutorial, Quick Facts on Research Training and Career Development Awards tool, and the main Training and Career Awards and Fellowships questions and answers page.
Yes. If you were promoted from associate professor to full professor during the the course of your initial award, you are eligible to apply for a renewal K24.
It depends on the cost sharing requirements of the other federal agency. Check with the agency that requires the cost sharing to see if there are any restrictions.
Yes, since the K24 requires that you commit three to six person months of effort. However, since the reduction in effort is greater than 25 percent of the original effort level, you will need prior approval. Find out how to request prior approval at Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.
Yes. You may pay for part of a clinical assistant's salary with funds from an R01 grant. However, work performed for the R01 project must be distinct from work performed for the K01, and the total effort for all support must not exceed 12 calendar months.
This is different from the PI requirements. As a PI on a K01 award, you must devote a minimum of 75 percent effort and receive no more than $75,000 plus fringe benefits each year. If your salary is such that $75,000 doesn’t cover 75 percent effort, your institution may supplement the NIH contribution using non-NIH, non-PHS funding. K01 research expenses for technical personnel cannot exceed $25,000.
Yes, but your effort on the new grant cannot exceed three person months. The K01 requires a minimum of nine person months, meaning you must devote at least 75 percent of your professional time to the K01 project. Also, you will need NIAID approval if you plan to reduce your current effort level.
You cannot receive concurrent salary support from another NIH or other federal agency award until you have only two years remaining on your K award.
No, NIAID does not need any additional information unless you are reducing your level of effort on the Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23). That said, as a courtesy, you should inform the grants management specialist and program officer assigned to your career development award about your new research grant.
Yes. For mentored awards, your progress report must a Mentor's Report with feedback from your sponsor.
Read more at Progress Reports for Career Development Awards in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.
No. Career awards do not require a budget.
You must provide the Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report form only if you participated in research involving human subjects not reported in the progress report of another PHS-supported project.
If you are conducting clinical research, you must report the annual cumulative enrollment of subjects and their distribution by sex/gender and ethnicity/race using the Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report. The Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report is not included in the two-page summary limit.
Send progress reports through the eRA Commons using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).
Learn more at Progress Reports for Career Development Awards in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.
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Last Updated June 06, 2016
Last Reviewed February 29, 2016