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Clinical Trials and NIAID Research Career Development (K) Opportunities

If you plan to apply for a K award involving Clinical Trial Research, make sure you know which NIAID Research Career Development (K) Award notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) to choose.

This page describes the process for NIAID K applicants. Other NIH institutes and centers may have different rules. Check the NOFO to be sure.

Below we offer two scenarios with you as the principal investigator (PI) on a K award:

  1. You want independent K award support as the lead PI for a clinical trial.
  2. You want to apply for a K award, but aren’t planning to be the lead PI on an independent clinical trial. You may gain clinical trial research experience.

Scenario 1: Lead PI on a K-Funded Independent Clinical Trial

Two NIAID K programs include NOFOs that support independent clinical trials:

This allows NIAID PS K99 and K24 applicants to apply for independent support on their K as the lead PI for a clinical trial.

Scenario 2: Gain Research Experience Through Your Mentor’s Clinical Trial

As another option, you may apply for an NIAID-supported K award and gain clinical trial research experience without proposing an independent clinical trial. Any research experience that you propose must be under the mentor’s guidance; the mentor leads the clinical trial.

To do so, apply to the “Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed” NOFO versions offered for all NIAID K award programs (K01, K08, K22, K23, K24, K25, and Parent K99/R00).

For Both Scenarios, Check the NOFO

Whether you choose to propose independent clinical research or not, be sure to select a NOFO that allows the type of research you propose. All NIH NOFOs list whether they allow clinical trials in the title and Section II. Award Information.

NIH may withdraw applications submitted to the incorrect NOFO version.

More Information

Learn more on the NIAID Research Career Development (K) Awards main page.

Email your questions to

She can also advise you on your eligibility for a particular K program and whether your proposed research aligns with NIAID if you send her your NIH-formatted biosketch and Specific Aims page. Learn more at Create Biosketches and Draft Specific Aims.

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