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Career Development (K) Awards

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K awards provide support for senior postdoctoral fellows or faculty-level candidates. K awards are designed to promote the career development of specific groups of individuals based on their past training and career stage.

The objective of these programs is to bring candidates to the point where they are able to conduct their research independently and are competitive for major grant support. Current NIH policies require that, by the time of the award, applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen U.S. nationals, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Please note that this requirement applies to all the mechanisms below, EXCEPT the K99/R00.

Mentored Career Development Awards
Career Development Awards for Independent Investigators
Career Development Award Resources

Mentored Career Development Awards

K01

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

  • Purpose: Provides 3 to 5 years of support for a mentored research training experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences. NICHD accepts K01 applications for only three research areas: Rehabilitation Research, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Population Research.
  • Eligibility: Those with a research or health professional doctorate
  • Parent K01 Announcement: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-190.html
    (Please note that a new parent PA with new NICHD-specific information will be available shortly.)
  • NICHD and Other NIH Institute/Center-Specific Requirements for the K01 Mechanism: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_K01.html (information begins with National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; scroll down for NICHD information)
K08

Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award

  • Purpose: Provide support and "protected time" for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research.
  • Eligibility: Those with a clinical doctorate
  • Parent K08 Announcement: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-193.html
    (Please note that a new parent PA with new NICHD-specific information will be available shortly.)
  • NICHD and Other NIH Institute/Center-Specific Requirements for the K08 Mechanism: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_K08.html (information begins with National Cancer Institute; scroll down for NICHD information)
K23

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award

K25

Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award

  • Purpose: Provides 3 to 5 years of mentored research training for investigators with quantitative science and engineering backgrounds to integrate their expertise with NIH-relevant research.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have a research or health professional doctorate and a background in engineering or quantitative sciences (e.g., mathematics, statistics, economics, computer science, imaging science, informatics, physics, or chemistry).
  • Parent K25: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-196.html 
    (Please note that a new parent PA with new NICHD-specific information will be available shortly.)
  • NICHD and Other NIH Institute/Center-Specific Requirements for the K25 Mechanism: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_K25.html (information begins with National Cancer Institute; scroll down for NICHD information)
K99/R00

Pathway to Independence Award

  • Purpose: Two-stage award to support the final stages of postdoctoral training and to provide independent funding when the candidate secures a faculty position.
  • Eligibility: Those with a clinical or research doctorate and no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of initial application or resubmission. 
  • This award aims to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented NIH-supported independent investigators.
  • Parent K99/R00 Announcement: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-197.html
    (Please note that a new parent PA with new NICHD-specific information will be available shortly.)
  • NICHD and Other NIH Institute/Center-Specific Requirements for the K99/R00 Mechanism: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_K99_R00.html (information begins with National Cancer Institute; scroll down for NICHD information)


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Career Development Awards for Independent Investigators

K02

Independent Scientist Award

IMPORTANT NOTE: Starting with the June 12, 2014 deadline, NICHD will no longer be participating in the K02 program: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-14-045.html. Please visit http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HD-14-009.html for details.

K24

Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research

  • Purpose: Provide 25-50% "protected time" to devote to patient-oriented research and to act as a research mentor in scientific areas related to the NICHD mission.
  • Eligibility: Mid-career health professional doctorates or equivalent. Associate professors and full professors are eligible. Eligibility is limited to those who have an active R01 or equivalent grant from NICHD at the time of award. Competing renewal applications are not accepted.
    • The K24 research plan may comprise a new research trajectory or an expansion of one or more specific aims of an ongoing grant.
    • For additional details, please see the specific requirements in the link below.
  • Parent K24 Announcement: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-195.html
    (Please note that a new parent PA with new NICHD-specific information will be available shortly.)
  • NICHD and Other NIH Institute/Center-Specific Requirements for the K24 Mechanism: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_K24.html (information begins with National Cancer Institute; scroll down for NICHD information)


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Career Development Award Resources

  • NIH K Kiosk: This site provides a description of various Career Development Awards, along with eligibility considerations and funding policies.

  • K Award Wizard: The K wizard uses a decision-tree format to help users determine which K award(s) is most appropriate.

  • Application Guides and Instructions: This page links to the different NIH application instruction sets. Applicants for Career Development Awards (K-series) should use the Application Guide SF424 (R&R): Adobe Forms Version B Series. Section 7 contains supplemental instructions for K applications.

  • Peer Review of K Applications: Career Development Awards are reviewed by the NICHD Scientific Review Branch. Rosters for review panels in the Scientific Review Branch are available at /about/org/der/srb/Pages/overview.aspx.

  • NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS)—10/1/2011 version: The GPS outlines policies for all grant mechanisms at NIH, including fellowships, career development awards, and institutional training grants. The GPS is the ultimate resource for policy questions. Career Development (K) Award policies are in Chapter 12.

  • Extramural FAQs: Select link at left To find answers to specific questions about fellowships (F), career development awards (K), and institutional training grants (T32/K12).

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Last Updated Date: 03/06/2014
Last Reviewed Date: 03/06/2014

Additional Resources

  • NIH Office of Extramural Research Training Page
    References to policies, funding levels, application and review process, and FOAs for all grants, fellowships, and career development awards
  • NIH Grant Application Forms
    Forms for grant and fellowship applications, non-competing continuation applications, progress reports, statements of appointment and termination, payback agreement, and grant close-out
  • Submitting Applications (Grants.gov)
    Main government Web site for submitting grant applications; provides application forms for the grant mechanism selected
  • NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs)
    The NIH offers extramural LRPs in the following areas: Clinical Research; Pediatric Research; Health Disparities Research; Contraception and Infertility Research; and Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds. NICHD offers extramural LRPs in three of the five qualifying areas: clinical research, pediatric research, and contraception and infertility research.
  • NIH Research Portfolio On-line Reporting Tool (RePORT)
    Searchable database of all funded grants and fellowships, statistics on numbers of applications to specific NIH institutes, success rates, and other information
  • NICHD Funded Projects: RePORT
    RePORT Search Results for NICHD Funded Projects
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology