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Career Development Awards (K Series)

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Note: NIH now provides three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for most types of K awards:

  • Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed.
  • Independent Clinical Trial Required.
  • Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required.

View the comparison of FOA types by clinical trial allowability (NIH, January 2019).

K01 Award: Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

The NIDCD uses the K01 program to support new and junior basic research investigators in supervised career development experiences that lead to research independence. It also supports investigators who need protected time in supervised career development experiences to train in a new field.

  • Application must demonstrate its contribution to the NIDCD and its fit with the NIDCD's missionscientific program areas, and 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide clear evidence that adequate resources are available at the institution for the successful completion of the proposed research project.
  • Applications should include statements from the institution and the mentor(s) addressing the following:
    • Detailed information about who will provide the necessary resources.
    • Funding source and amount of additional funding (as needed).
    • Support staff available and committed to the project.
    • Availability of biostatistical support for the duration of the study, including the planning period.
    • A contingency plan (for the institution and mentor) for completion of the study in the event the awardee leaves the institution earlier than the end date of the award.

Salary Support: Up to $75,000 plus fringe benefits per year.

Research Support: Up to $30,000 per year.

K01 Award: NIDCD Mentored Career Development Award for Postdoctorate Au.D./Ph.D. Audiologists (K01)

The purpose of the NIDCD Mentored Career Development Award for Postdoctorate Au.D./Ph.D. Audiologists (K01) is to support comprehensive and rigorous postdoctoral research training experiences in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences for promising Au.D./Ph.D. audiologists who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators in scientific health-related research fields relevant to the NIDCD's mission. The program provides salary and research support for up to 3 years of “protected time” for intensive research career development under the guidance of experienced and established mentor(s), or sponsor(s), in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical sciences. Applications must include an integrated program of research and training designed to enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive independent researcher. The expectation is that, through this sustained period of research career development and postdoctoral training, awardees will have a pathway to launch independent research careers and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding.

Salary Support: Up to $75,000 per year.

Research Support: Up to $30,000 per year.

K08 Award: Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award

The NIDCD uses the K08 program to support individuals with a clinical/health-professional doctorate interested in supervised career development experiences in basic clinical research (not in patient-oriented research) that lead to research independence in biomedical, behavioral, or translational fields.

  • Application must demonstrate its contribution to the NIDCD and its fit with the NIDCD's missionscientific program areas, and 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide clear evidence that adequate resources are available at the institution for the successful completion of the proposed research project.
  • Applications should include statements from the institution and the mentor(s) addressing the following:
    • Detailed information about who will provide the necessary resources.
    • Funding source and amount of additional funding (as needed).
    • Support staff available and committed to the project.
    • Availability of biostatistical support for the duration of the study, including the planning period.
    • A contingency plan (for the institution and mentor) for completion of the study in the event the awardee leaves the institution earlier than the end date of the award.

Salary Support: Up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits. Non-surgeon scientists must devote a minimum of 75% full time professional effort to research and career development activities associated with the K award. Surgeon-scientists must devote a minimum of 50% full time professional effort to research and career development activities associated with the K award.

Research Support: Up to $50,000 per year.

K18 Award: NIDCD Research Career Enhancement Award for Established Investigators

The purpose of the K18 program is to enable established, proven investigators to augment or redirect their research programs through the acquisition of new research skills to answer questions relevant to the hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language sciences. The K18 award provides between six months and two years of advanced mentored research career development and requires a commitment of of 25 percent to 50 percent of professional effort.

Eligibility and Requirements. Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research and career development activities are invited to work with their mentor and sponsoring institution 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. Eligible Project Directors/Principal Investigators include doctoral level investigators holding the rank of associate professor or professor, or the equivalent in nonacademic settings, with documented records of scientific accomplishments and research grant funding.

Salary Support: The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. The NIDCD anticipates funding three to five awards, corresponding to a projected total of $600,000 per year. The NIDCD will contribute up to the legislatively mandated salary cap in effect at the time of award per year toward the salary of the career award recipient

Research Support: The NIDCD will contribute $40,000 per year toward the research development costs of the award recipient, which must be justified and consistent with the stage of development of the candidate and the proportion of time to be spent in research or career development activities. Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc., is not allowed. Indirect costs (also known as facilities & administrative [F&A] costs) are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.

K23 Award: Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award

The NIDCD uses the K23 program to support individuals with a clinical/health-professional doctorate in supervised career development experiences in research conducted with human subjects that lead to research independence in biomedical, behavioral, or translational fields.

  • Application must demonstrate its contribution to the NIDCD and its fit with the NIDCD's missionscientific program areas, and 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide clear evidence that adequate resources are available at the institution for the successful completion of the proposed research project.
  • Applications should include statements from the institution and the mentor(s) addressing the following:
    • Detailed information about who will provide the necessary resources.
    • Funding source and amount of additional funding (as needed).
    • Support staff available and committed to the project.
    • Availability of biostatistical support for the duration of the study, including the planning period.
    • A contingency plan (for the institution and mentor) for completion of the study in the event the awardee leaves the institution earlier than the end date of the award.

Salary Support: Up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits. Non-surgeon scientists must devote a minimum of 75% full time professional effort to research and career development activities associated with the K award. Surgeon-scientists must devote a minimum of 50% full time professional effort to research and career development activities associated with the K award.

Research Support: Up to $50,000 per year.

K24 Award: Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research

The NIDCD uses the K24 to support well-established research investigators (in an area of research supported by the NIDCD) interested in mentoring the next generation of basic, clinical, and translational investigators in NIDCD’s research areas.

  • The applicant must have active, peer-reviewed, independent research support from the NIDCD at the time of submission.
  • Applicants must have a mid-career faculty appointment at the associate professor level or higher.
  • Applicants must be part of a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) that will provide resources to facilitate the development of beginning clinical investigators.

Salary Support: Up to the maximum legislative salary cap plus fringe benefits per year, for 25-50% effort.

Research Support: Up to $50,000 per year.

K25 Award: Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award

The NIDCD uses the K25 program to support individuals with quantitative scientific and engineering backgrounds who have not had sustained involvement in biomedical or behavioral research and who wish to focus their research in areas supported by the NIDCD.

  • Application must demonstrate its contribution to the NIDCD and its fit with the NIDCD's missionscientific program areas, and 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide clear evidence that adequate resources are available at the institution for the successful completion of the proposed research project.
  • Applications should include statements from the institution and the mentor(s) addressing the following:
    • Detailed information about who will provide the necessary resources.
    • Funding source and amount of additional funding (as needed).
    • Support staff available and committed to the project.
    • Availability of biostatistical support for the duration of the study, including the planning period.
    • A contingency plan (for the institution and mentor) for completion of the study in the event the awardee leaves the institution earlier than the end date of the award.

Salary Support: Up to $80,000 plus fringe benefits per year.

Research Support: Up to $30,000 per year.

K99/R00 Award: NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award

The NIDCD uses the K99/R00 Pathway to Independence program to support outstanding senior postdoctoral investigators in NIDCD research areas who are ready to complete their transition to become independent investigators.

  • The application must demonstrate its contribution to the NIDCD and its fit with the NIDCD's mission, scientific program areas, and current strategic plan.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide clear evidence that adequate resources are available at the institution for the successful completion of the proposed research project.
  • Applications should include statements from the institution and the mentor(s) addressing the following:
    • Detailed information about who will provide the necessary resources.
    • Funding source and amount of additional funding (as needed).
    • Support staff available and committed to the project.
    • Availability of biostatistical support for the duration of the study, including the planning period.
    • A contingency plan (for the institution and mentor) for completion of the study in the event the awardee leaves the institution earlier than the end date of the award.

Salary Support: Up to $75,000 plus fringe benefits per year.

Research Support: Up to $25,000 per year.

K99/R00 MOSAIC Award: Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

The NIDCD uses the MOSAIC K99/R00 program to support promising postdoctoral investigators from diverse backgrounds who are conducting research in NIDCD research areas and who are ready to complete the transition to become independent investigators.

  • Application must demonstrate its contribution to the NIDCD and its fit with the NIDCD's mission, research priorities, and current strategic plan.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than the third year of their postdoctoral training to ensure awardees receive maximum benefit from both the K99 phase of the award, and to facilitate a timely transition to independence.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide clear evidence that adequate resources are available at the institution for the successful completion of the proposed research project.
  • Applications should include explicit statements from the institution and the mentor(s) addressing the following:
    • Detailed information about who will provide the necessary resources.
    • Funding source and amount of additional funding (as needed).
    • Support staff available and committed to the project.
    • Availability of biostatistical support for the duration of the study, including the planning period.
    • A contingency plan (for the institution and mentor) for completion of the study in the event the awardee leaves the institution earlier than the end date of the award.

Salary Support: Up to $75,000 plus fringe benefits per year.

Research Support: Up to $25,000 per year.

Staff Contacts

Scientific Program Contact:
Alberto L. Rivera-Rentas, Ph.D.
Research Training Officer
Division of Scientific Programs
(301) 451-3245

Grants Management Contact:
Christopher Myers
(301) 402-0909

Last Updated Date: 
March 13, 2020