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National Institutes of Health: Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)

Harvard University

Job Description


Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information


Participating Organization(s)


National Institutes of Health (NIH )


Components of Participating Organizations


National Cancer Institute (NCI )
National Eye Institute (NEI )
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI )
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI )
National Institute on Aging (NIA )
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA )
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID )
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS )
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB )
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD )
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD )
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR )
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK )
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA )
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS )
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS )
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH )
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS )
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR )
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD )
National Library of Medicine (NLM )
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH )
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP )

Special Note: Not all NIH Institutes and Centers participate in Parent Announcements. Applicants should carefully note which ICs participate in this announcement and view their respective areas of research interest and requirements at the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts website. ICs that do not participate in this announcement will not consider applications for funding. Prior consultation with NIH staff is strongly encouraged.


Funding Opportunity Title

NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)


Activity Code

K99 /R00 Career Transition Award/Research Transition Award


Related Notices


  • November 21, 2017 - This PA has been reissued as PA-18-397 and PA-18-398 for due dates on or after January 25, 2018.
  • May 10, 2017 - New NIH "FORMS-E" Grant Application Forms and Instructions Coming for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2018. See NOT-OD-17-062 .
  • June 21, 2016 - Modification of No-Cost Extension and Carryover of Funds Policies for the NIH Pathway to Independence Award. See Notice NOT-OD-16-092 .
  • June 2, 2016 - Notice to Extend the Expiration Date for PA-16-193. See Notice NOT-OD-16-102 .

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PA-16-193


Companion Funding Opportunity

None


Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.865; 93.853; 93.173; 93.351; 93.866; 93.286; 93.173; 93.279; 93.273; 93.867; 93.879; 93.361; 93.859; 93.837; 93.838; 93.839; 93.398; 93.113; 93.213; 93.172; 93.846; 93.855; 93.856; 93.242; 93.847; 93.121; 93.307


Funding Opportunity Purpose


The purpose of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a research and/or clinical doctorate degree from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The program will provide independent NIH research support during this transition in order to help awardees to launch competitive, independent research careers.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact the relevant NIH staff for IC-specific programmatic and budgetary information: Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts .


Key Dates


Posted Date

April 15, 2016


Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

May 12, 2016


Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable


Application Due Date(s)


Standard dates apply, with the first due date on June 12, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.


AIDS Application Due Date(s)


Standard AIDS dates apply, with the first due date on September 7, 2016, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of AIDS and AIDS-related applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.


Expiration Date

New Date January 25, 2018 (Original Expiration Date: May 8, 2019)


Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable


Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Career Development (K) instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide , except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts ). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV . When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

There are several options to submit your application to the agency through Grants.gov. You can use the ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online. You can download an application package from Grants.gov, complete the forms offline, submit the completed forms to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Or, you can use other institutional system-to-system solutions to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and track your application in eRA Commons. Learn more .

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. In addition to this opportunity, NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of other mentored career development programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence. These other programs may be more suitable for particular candidates. NIH also supports non-mentored career development programs for independent investigators. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) is to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a research and/or clinical doctorate degree complete needed, mentored career develoment and transition in a timely manner to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions (see Eligible Individuals for additional detail). The K99/R00 award is intended to foster the development of a creative, independent research program that will be competitive for subsequent independent funding and that will help advance the mission of the NIH. Applicants must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission or revision application. The K99/R00 award is intended for individuals with significant research experience, but who require at least 12 months of mentored research training and career development (K99 phase) before transitioning to the R00 award phase of the program. Consequently, the strongest applicants will require, and will propose, a well-conceived plan for 1–2 years of substantive mentored research training and career development that will help them become competitive candidates for tenure-track faculty positions and prepare them to launch robust, independent research programs. An individual who cannot provide a compelling rationale for at least one year of additional mentored research training at the time of award is not a strong candidate for this award.

Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. If an applicant achieves independence (any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99, nor the R00 award, will be made.

The K99/R00 award will provide up to 5 years of support in two phases. The initial (K99) phase will provide support for up to 2 years of mentored postdoctoral research training and career development. The second (R00) phase will provide up to 3 years of independent research support, which is contingent on satisfactory progress during the K99 phase and an approved, independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position. The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time. Therefore, although exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances, R00 awards will generally only be made to those K99 PDs/PIs who accept independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions by the end of the K99 award period.

Additional Information for Physician-Scientists

For the purposes of this program, physician-scientists include individuals with an MD, DO, DDS/DMD, DVM/VMD, or nurses with research doctoral degrees who devote the majority of their time to biomedical research. The K99/R00 is intended for those physician-scientists who already have substantial research training and are dedicated to initiating a strong, research-intensive career as physician-scientists. The K99/R00 program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding physician-scientists from mentored, research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions, and to provide independent NIH research support during the transition. Individuals who need a longer period of mentored career development before they are prepared to begin the transition to research independence should consider the K08 or K23 program (see: K Kiosk ).

Special Note: Because of the differences in individual Institute and Center (IC) program requirements for this FOA, prospective applicantsare strongly encouraged toconsult the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts , to make sure that their application is responsive to the requirements of one of the participating NIH ICs.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information


Funding Instrument

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.


Application Types Allowed


New
Resubmission
Revision

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.


Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.


Award Budget

Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.


Award Project Period

The total project period may not exceed 5 years.


Other Award Budget Information


Salary


Mentored Phase (K99)

Salary and research costs may be requested to the level provided by the awarding Institute or Center. Candidates should consult the following table for IC-specific, programmatic and budgetary information (see Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts ).

Intramural: Mentored candidates in the NIH intramural program will be supported by intramural funds provided by the NIH Institute/Center intramural laboratory in which they are conducting their research. Budget details for the mentored phase will be negotiated with the sponsoring intramural laboratory. Salary will be consistent with that offered scientists in similar, intramural NIH positions.

Extramural: Mentored candidates at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization will be supported by NIH extramural funds. The requested salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members with equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

The total salary may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap. See: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/salcap_summary.htm .

Independent Phase (R00)

The total cost for the independent phase (R00) may not exceed $249,000 per year. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research costs, and applicable indirect costs. Indirect costs will be reimbursed at the extramural sponsoring institution’s indirect cost rate. Indirect costs requested by consortium participants are included in the total cost limitation.


Other Program-Related Expenses


Research expenses may include (a) tuition and fees related to career development activities; (b) supplies, equipment and technical personnel; c) travel to research meetings or training; and (d) statistical services including personnel and computer time.

Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.


Indirect Costs

For the extramural K99 phase, Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities & Administrative [F&A] Costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs. For the R00 phase, indirect costs will be reimbursed at the extramural sponsoring institution’s indirect cost rate.


NIH grant policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses
  • For-Profit Organizations (Other than Small Businesses)

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

The sponsoring institution may be private (profit or nonprofit) or public, including the NIH Intramural Programs and other Federal laboratories.

The applicant institution will be the mentored phase (K99) institution. All institution/organization types listed above are eligible for both the mentored (K99) and independent (R00) phase, with the following exceptions: (1) Eligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NIH intramural program, are eligible only for the mentored phase; and (2) Eligibility of organizations, other than institutions of higher education, for the R00 phase depends on the nature of the appointment, and the ability of the PD/PI to conduct independent research and apply for NIH research (R01 or R01-equivalent) grants.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement , are allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account. PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Candidates for the K99/R00 are strongly encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibility from the relevant IC before they begin to prepare their applications. It is incumbent upon the candidate to provide evidence that they meet all of the eligibility criteria outlined below.

Any candidate with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with his/her mentor and organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

Candidates must have a research and/or clinical doctorate (for example, PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DMD, DVM, VMD, ScD, DNS, PharmD or equivalent doctoral degrees).

There is no citizenship requirement for K99 applicants. An applicant may be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States, have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status), or be a non-U.S. citizen.

For applications submitted on behalf of non-U.S. citizens with temporary U.S. visas, visa status during each phase of the K99/R00 award must allow the PD/PI to conduct the proposed research at the applicant institution. For the K99 phase of the award, the applicant institution is responsible for determining and documenting, in the K99 application, that the candidate's visa will allow him or her to remain in the U.S. long enough to complete the K99 phase of the award. For the R00 phase of the award, the U.S institution at which the R00 phase of the award will be conducted is responsible for determining and documenting, in the R00 application, that the PD/PI's visa will allow the PD/PI to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the R00 award.

Applicants with a PhD or equivalent research doctoral degree must have no more than 4 years of total aggregate postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission application, and must be in mentored, postdoctoral positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. If an applicant achieves independence (i.e., any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is issued, neither the K99 award, nor the R00 award, will be considered for funding.

Physician-scientists must have no more 4 years of total aggregate postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission application, and must be in non-tenure-track or equivalent positions (i.e., eligible candidates include residents, clinical fellows, instructors, and clinical assistant professors). Time spent in clinical training during residency or clinical specialty is not counted towards K99/R00 eligibility. Time spent in research training during these periods is counted toward K99/R00 eligibility.

Parental leave or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration (e.g., family care responsibilities, disability or illness, active military duty) is not included in the 4-year eligibility limit. Part-time postdoctoral research, related to personal or family situations or occurring during a research residency or fellowship, will be pro-rated accordingly. In addition, time spent conducting postgraduate clinical training that does not involve research is not considered as part of the 4-year research training eligibility limit. Only time dedicated to research activities would count toward the 4-year limit.

Individuals are NOT eligible if they:

  • Have currently or previously held an independent research faculty or tenure-track faculty position, or its equivalent, in academia, industry or elsewhere; or
  • Have more than 4 years of related postdoctoral research at the time of initial or resubmission application; or
  • Have been an independent PD/PI on NIH research grants (e.g. R01, R03, R21), NIH individual career development awards (e.g., K01, K07, K08, K23, K25), or other peer reviewed NIH or non-NIH research grants over $100,000 direct costs per year, or project leaders on sub-projects of program project (P01) or center (P50) grants.

PhD or equivalent research doctorate degree candidates in positions other than postdoctoral fellow positions: It is recognized that some institutions appoint postdoctoral fellows in positions with other titles although they are still in non-independent, mentored training positions. If a potential applicant is in a position that is not clearly identifiable as a postdoctoral training position, the request for an exception must be accompanied by an official statement of the institution's policy (e.g. published position description in an official institutional document) which documents the position as a mentored, postdoctoral training position.

Physician-Scientists in positions not designated as postdoctoral positions:Following clinical training or fellowship training periods, clinicians often obtain a clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research. A clinical faculty member who does not hold an independent research faculty position is eligible for the K99/R00 award, and should contact a Program Director at the relevant NIH Institute for guidance on the suitability of this award to their research needs and career development goals. Clinicians in such positions are encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibility before they begin to prepare their applications. Such individuals may also wish to consider other career awards (see K Kiosk ) available for junior faculty development.

The following is provided as an aid to distinguish independent from non-independent positions. However, it is not sufficient merely to cite one or more of the following items to document eligibility.

Evidence of non-independence may include:

  • The candidate's research is entirely funded by another investigator's grants.
  • The candidate's research is conducted entirely in another investigator's assigned space.
  • According to institutional policy, the candidate cannot hire postdoctoral fellows or technical staff or be the responsible supervisor of graduate students.
  • According to institutional policy, the candidate is not allowed to submit an application as the PD/PI of an NIH research grant application (e.g., R01).
  • The candidate lacks other rights and privileges of faculty, such as attendance at faculty meetings.
  • For Physician-Scientists Only:  non-tenure-track or equivalent positions, e.g., residents, clinical fellows, instructors, and clinical assistant professors.

Conversely, evidence for independence, and therefore lack of eligibility, includes:

  • The candidate has a full-time faculty position.
  • The candidate received a start-up package for support of his/her independent research.
  • The candidate has research space dedicated to his/her own research.
  • The candidate may attend faculty meetings, be the responsible supervisor for graduate students, and/or hire technical support or postdoctoral fellows.
  • The candidate is eligible to apply for independent research funding as the PD/PI of an NIH research grant.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement .

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct and each is from a different candidate.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time. An individual may not have two or more competing NIH career development applications pending review concurrently. In addition, NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101 ).

Level of Effort

K99 Phase. At the time of award, the candidate must have a “full-time” appointment at the academic institution. Candidates are required to commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort (i.e., a minimum of 9 person-months) to their career development and research training during the mentored phase. Candidates may engage in other duties (e.g., clinical, research) as part of the remaining 25% of their full-time professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with or detract from the proposed career development program. Physician-scientists in surgical specialties may request a minimum of 50% of full-time professional effort

Candidates who have VA appointments may not consider part of the VA effort toward satisfying the full time requirement at the applicant institution. Candidates with VA appointments should contact the staff person in the relevant Institute or Center prior to preparing an application to discuss their eligibility.

Under certain circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the awarding component requesting a reduction in minimum required percent effort, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Details on this policy are provided in NOT-OD-09-036 . 

R00 Phase. Although candidates are required to devote no less than 75% (no less than 50% effort for surgical specialties) of their full-time, 12-month professional effort to research (i.e., full-time for 9 person-months), the required 9 person-months of research effort need not be devoted exclusively to the R00-supported research.

Mentor(s)

Before submitting the application, the candidate must identify a mentor who will supervise the proposed career development and research experience. The mentor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research and be committed both to the career development of the candidate and to the direct supervision of the candidate’s research. The mentor must document the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research. Candidates are encouraged to identify more than one mentor, i.e., a mentoring team (advisory committee), if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the research career development program. In such cases, one individual must be identified as the primary mentor who will coordinate the candidate’s research. Candidates holding a clinical doctorate should include at least one individual with a clinical doctorate on the mentoring team. Candidates also are encouraged to propose a mentoring team that will provide additional guidance typically towards professional aspects of the candidate’s career development. The candidate must work with the mentor(s) in preparing the application. The mentor, or a member of the mentoring team, should have a successful track record of mentoring individuals at the candidate’s career stage. If the primary mentor has limited training experience, a co-mentor with a strong, successful track record as a mentor should also be included.

Institutional Environment

The applicant institution must have a strong, well-established record of research and career development activities and faculty qualified to serve as mentors in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must obtain the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov .

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Career Development (K) instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide , including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications .

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instruction:

The SF424 R&R form must reflect both the K99 and R00 phases in the project period and total funds requested fields.

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.   

Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Project Summary/Abstract

Include a description of your current research and the research you propose to continue in the independent phase.

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

  • Provide itemized budget information for each budget period covered under the K99 phase.
  • Itemized budget information is not required for the R00 phase; a total requested amount for each budget period is acceptable. However, some basic information must be completed in order for NIH to successfully process the budget form. For each budget period of the R00 phase:
  • Select the appropriate Budget Type
  • Provide the Budget Period Start Date and End Date
  • In Section A: Senior/Key Persons provide an entry for the PD/PI, including the appropriate level of effort, $0 for Requested Salary and $0 for Fringe Benefits
  • In Section F: Other Direct Costs add a line item titled ‘R00 Independent Phase’ and provide the total request for that period (up to $249,000).
  • At the time of transition to the R00 phase, the R00 applicant institution will submit a detailed budget for each budget period of the R00 project period that reflects the direct and indirect costs at the R00 applicant institution.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form

The PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form is comprised of the following sections:

  • Candidate
  • Research Plan
  • Other Candidate Information
  • Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators
  • Environment & Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
  • Human Subjects Sections
  • Other Research Plan Sections
  • Appendix

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Candidate Section

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Candidate Information and Goals for Career Development

Candidate’s Background

  • Describe the candidate’s commitment to a career in a biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research field relevant to the mission of one of the participating NIH ICs.
  • Describe the candidate’s potential to develop into a successful, independent investigator.

Career Goals and Objectives

  • Describe the candidate’s current and long-term research and career objectives.
  • Present a scientific history that: (1) shows a logical progression from the candidate’s prior research and training experiences to the training and research experiences proposed for the mentored phase of the award (K99) and subsequently to the independent phase of the award (R00); and (2) justifies the need for further mentored career development to become an independent research investigator.
  • If currently supported by an institutional or individual Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA, describe the candidate’s current research training or fellowship program.
  • Describe how the candidate plans to separate scientifically from his/her mentor and advance to research independence.

Candidate’s Plan for Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period

  • A systematic plan should be presented for obtaining the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical science background, research experience, and career development activities necessary to launch the stated independent research career. Describe current activities and how they relate to the candidate’s career development plans and career goals. Describe proposed activities, e.g., those that will lead to new and/or enhanced research skills and knowledge, as well as related skills such as grant-writing, communication, leadership, and laboratory management. The career development plan must be specifically tailored to meet the needs of the candidate and the goal of achieving independence as a researcher. 
  • Describe how the skills and knowledge obtained during the mentored phase will enhance research productivity and facilitate the development of new approaches and directions for investigation. Describe how the career development plan will promote the candidate’s success and transition to scientific independence. Candidates must justify the need for the award, particularly the mentored (K99) phase, and must provide a convincing case that the proposed period of support (1-2 years as a mentored candidate followed by up to 3 years as an independent scientist) will substantially enhance his/her career and/or will allow the pursuit of a novel or promising approach to a particular research problem. Candidates should make clear why additional mentored research training and career development are critical before transitioning to research independence and pursuit of the proposed independent phase research.
  • The candidate must describe a plan, including a timeline with milestones, for evaluation of his/her progress during the mentored phase and for the transition to the independent phase.
  • The candidate and K99-phase mentor (see below) must describe a specific plan for the transition to the independent phase.

Research Plan Section

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Research Strategy

  • The research plan must span both phases of the K99/R00 award. The candidate should clearly indicate the research planned for each phase. This narrative should describe what the candidate will accomplish during the mentored phase research that will enable him/her to launch an independent research program (i.e., what does the candidate still need to accomplish during the mentored phase in order to compete successfully once independence is achieved).
  • The research plan should state the significance, innovation and approach of the proposed research during the K99 and R00 phases of the award. The research plan should provide a detailed rationale, experimental approach, and expected/alternative outcomes for the proposed studies. Although it is anticipated that candidates will be best able to describe their current and past research, the research plan for the R00 phase of the award should be described in sufficient detail for reviewers to evaluate the merit of this component of the application.
  • Describe the relationship between the mentor’s research and the candidate’s proposed research.  Describe how the candidate will gain independence from his/her mentors and separate his/her scientific research program from that of the mentor(s).

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

All applications must include a plan to fulfill NIH requirements for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). See SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for instructions.

Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators Section

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Plans and Statements of Mentor and Co-mentor(s)

  • The application must include a statement from the primary mentor that provides: 1) information on his/her research qualifications and previous experience as a research supervisor; 2) a plan describing the nature of the supervision and mentoring that will occur during the proposed K99 award period, including how the candidate’s scientific and professional independence will be promoted; 3) a description of the elements of the planned research training and career development, including any formal course-work; 4) a plan for transitioning the candidate from the mentored phase to the independent phase of the award and a description of how the mentor will help the candidate achieve scientific independence from his/her mentor(s); 5) a statement identifying  the components of the proposed research that the K99 applicant can take when he/she transitions to research independence and that can be part of his/her independent (R00) phase award; and 6) when appropriate, a statement  affirming any  resources and reagents that can be taken by the applicant to the independent phase of the award. If the primary mentor has limited training experience, a co-mentor with a strong, successful track record as a mentor should be included.
  • The mentor should have sufficient independent research support to cover the costs of the proposed K99 research project in excess of the allowable costs of this award, and should state that needed costs will be covered. If funds are needed beyond what will be provided by the mentor, the source of additional funds should be identified and documented in a letter signed by the responsible individual.
  • Similar information must be provided by all co-mentors. If more than one mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise, the responsibility of each, and the nature of the involvement with the candidate should be explicitly described. Co-mentors should describe clearly how they will coordinate with the primary mentor and the candidate to provide an integrated mentoring effort.
  • The primary mentor must agree to write and provide annual evaluations of the candidate’s progress for the initial mentored phase as required in the annual progress report.
  • The mentor must agree to assist the candidate in transitioning to an independent research position by guiding the candidate during the job search and negotiation process and by commenting on the R00 phase application.

Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors and Consultants

  • Signed statements must be provided by all collaborators and/or consultants confirming their participation in the project and describing their specific roles. Collaborators and consultants generally do not need to provide their biographical sketches. However, information should be provided clearly documenting the appropriate expertise in the proposed areas of consulting/collaboration. Collaborators/consultants are generally not directly involved in the development of the career of the candidate as an independent investigator. 
  • The mentoring team (advisory committee) members (if applicable): Signed statements must be provided by each member of the proposed mentoring team. These statements should confirm their participation, describe their specific roles, and document the expertise they will contribute. These individuals generally do not need to provide their biographical sketches.

Environmental and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Description of Institutional

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