NIH – NIAID Physician-Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)

July 24, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

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. NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of mentored and non-mentored career development award programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence and to support established investigators in achieving specific objectives. Candidates should review the different career development (K) award programs, to determine the best program to support their goals.More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the NIAID Physician-Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) is to help address the current shortage of physicians who conduct biomedical research by offering this career development opportunity. Physician-scientists who see patients and perform medical research are ideally positioned to translate laboratory findings about disease mechanisms into clinical interventions that improve patient outcomes. This program supports outstanding eligible postdoctoral researchers who complete mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The NIAID Physician-Scientists (PS) 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 NIAID. 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. This program is intended for individuals who require at least 12 months and up to 24 months of mentored research training and career development (K99 phase) before transitioning to the R00 award phase of the program for up to 24 months. 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 prepare them to become competitive candidates for tenure-track faculty positions and 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. 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 NIAID PS K99/R00 award will provide up to 4 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. In the second (R00) phase, NIAID will provide up to 2 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.

For the purposes of this program, physician-scientists include individuals with an MD, DO, DDS/DMD, DVM/VMD, MD/PhD, DNP, or nurses with research doctoral degrees who devote the majority of their time to biomedical research. This 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. This 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 NIAID 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).

NOTE: The following types of applications will not be supported by this PA:

  • Applications that do not propose at least one specific aim focused in clinical and/or translational research. For the purpose of this award, translational research is defined as the application of basic research discoveries toward the diagnosis, management, and prevention of human disease. Clinical research is defined as research with human subjects that is: (1) patient-oriented research, (2) epidemiological and behavioral studies, and/or (3) outcomes research and health services research
  • Applications submitted by candidates who have achieved independence (i.e., applicants who have accepted any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made
  • Applications that propose new clinical trials; however, work proposed on the mentor’s ongoing clinical trial is acceptable

Deadline:  standard dates apply


Filed Under: Funding Opportunities