decorative image
Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
decorative image
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Division of Biomedical Research Workforce

Career Path

NIH Funding Programs by Career Stage

Early Career
DP2, K01, K02, K08, K22, K43, K76, R25
Early career researchers are transitioning to fully independent positions as investigators and faculty members. Non-US citizens are eligible to participate in the K99 award.
Established Investigator
F33, D43, R01, R03, R21, P01, P50
Research Project Grants such as the R01 support larger scale research projects.

R03 and R21 grants are great options to support projects that can be carried out in a short period of time with limited resources.
Key F = Fellowship
K = Career Development
R = Research
T = Training
P = Program Project/Center

*LMIC = Low-and-Middle-Income Country

Alert: For due dates on or after January 25, 2025, NIH is revising the fellowship review criteria used to evaluate fellowship applications and modifying the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form to align with the restructured review criteria. Learn more.

Undergraduate Education

Engaging in research projects outside the classroom during undergraduate years is important.

Early Career

The main goal for these early career researchers is to establish themselves and their teams as experts in their fields of research.

Graduate/​Clinical Doctorate

The emphasis during these years is on acquiring the fundamental knowledge to master scientific research or clinical discipline. An experienced mentor is critical to successful training.

Established Investigator

Established researchers are focused on their independent research, and use their broad knowledge and scientific expertise to impact public health and society at large.


Research during this period is increasingly sophisticated and independent. The selection of a mentor during this period is very important for its impact on the researcher's future professional career.