Division of Biomedical Research Workforce

FAQs

Contact the Grants Management Specialist or Program Officer identified in the Notice of Award; some Institute/Centers require prior approval for such a change.


 

Although the majority of fellowships are funded as NRSA (e.g., F30, F31, F32, F33), NIH also funds non-NRSA fellowship programs such as the Fogarty International Center’s International Neurosciences Fellowship (F05).  Each funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provides information regarding applicable policies, many of which are the same as the NRSA. For a list of current NRSA fellowship FOAs, see the F-Kiosk: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm.  For a list of current non- NRSA fellowship FOAs, see: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_non_nrsa.htm.

The initial peer review will be organized by participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). ICs may work together to cluster the review of K99/R00 Award applications that involve common areas of science relevant to the missions of multiple ICs.

Yes. Under NOT-OD-14-074 and clarification Notice NOT-OD-14-082, an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application for an Individual Fellowship (F) award can be submitted again as a new (A0) application, provided the summary statement for the A1 application has been released and eligibility criteria for the individual FOA are still met (eg. maximum length of studies or training allowed prior to application). 

Yes. See the Introduction to Data Tables, Blank Data Tables, and Instructions and Sample Data Tables at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm#.

Yes. Sometimes it is advisable to have a second sponsor, especially if the project involves special expertise.

A grantee may request additional slots, and there is no limit, unless one is stated in the applicable funding opportunity announcement. The applicant must justify all requested slots and demonstrate that the program has an adequate applicant pool and faculty resources to support the request.

At the time of an NRSA fellowship award, the applicant must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. If the individual expects to become a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date indicated in the fellowship funding opportunity announcement (FOA), he or she may submit an application. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship.​

  • Trainee-Related Expenses - Yes. Institute/Center prior approval is not required.

  • Stipends and Tuition/Fees – Yes, but without Institute/Center prior approval funds may only be moved from one of these categories to the other.  If funds are to be rebudgeted from one of these categories into a different category (e.g., into the Trainee-Related Expenses category), prior approval of the Institute/Center is required.

  • Trainee Travel – Yes. Institute/Center prior approval is not required. ​

Yes. Under NOT-OD-14-074 and clarification Notice NOT-OD-14-082, a new (A0) application following an unsuccessful new (A0) application can be submitted without an intervening resubmission (A1) application.  Note that the summary statement for the unsuccessful A0 application needs to have been released and eligibility criteria for individual funding opportunity announcement must still be met. ​

No. Applications requesting only the independent phase will not be accepted.

The K99/R00 award provides up to 5 years of continuous support consisting of mentored and independent research phases.

Generally, foreign organizations are eligible, but programs may vary in their requirements, and applicants should refer to the specific funding opportunity announcement (see Section III of the funding opportunity announcement, Eligible Applicants).

No.  Institute/Center utilization of the various CDAs is IC specific.  Each funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will identify the Institute/Centers participating in that particular program announcement, however they may have differing requirements and use the awards for different purposes.  For example, some Institute/Centers might require that you have an R01 grant from that IC before you are eligible for an independent career development award. This is one reason it is essential to contact the relevant Institute/Center program staff identified in the FOA. 

Those who participate in an NIH supported project in a postdoctoral role (postdoctoral scholar, fellow, or other postdoctoral position) for one person month or more are reported in Progress Reports and are required to have a Commons ID (see NIH Guide NOT-09-140).  An eRA Commons postdoctoral role has been established in eRA Commons for this purpose.  The Commons role of PD/PI should be used for individuals submitting applications for individual fellowship awards.​

Yes, the requirements may vary among programs that are supported by various funding authorities. Each funding opportunity announcement, in Section III, includes specific applicant eligibility requirements that address, among other items, eligible organizations, degree requirements, and sponsor and citizenship requirements.​

Yes, authorizing legislation requires recipients to pay back to the Federal government their initial 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support by engaging in health-related biomedical, behavioral and/or clinical research, research training, health-related teaching, or any combination of these activities.​​​

Applications must respond to a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to obtain the appropriate application, instructions, and supplemental forms that are required. For a list of current fellowship FOAs, see the F-Kiosk: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm.

The Certification Letter must be on sponsoring institution letterhead, signed by an institutional official, and scanned so that the signature is visible.  The file should be labeled "Certification_Letter" and attached under "Additional Attachments" as described in the fellowship section of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other Agencies.

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The proposed sponsoring organization must affiliate the fellowship applicant with the new sponsoring organization so that the individual can view and access data records for applications submitted on behalf of the individual by that organization.  A separate eRA Commons registration for the applicant is not required.  See the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other Agencies for guidance for affiliating individual fellows in the eRA Commons.  ​



NRSA awards provide training opportunities for individuals at various stages of education and training, beginning at the baccalaureate level and through the postdoctoral phase.

In order to activate the extramural independent scientist R00 phase, individuals must have been offered and accepted a tenure-track, full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent) at an eligible institution with appropriate infrastructure to support the proposed research program and a history of external research funding. 

The application for the extramural independent scientist R00 phase of the award must be submitted no later than 2 months prior to the proposed activation date of the R00 award by the R00 phase grantee organization. However, to avoid potential problems in activation, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH program officials as soon as plans to assume an independent position develop, and not later than 6 months prior to the termination of the K99 phase of the award to discuss plans for transition to, and the application for, the R00 phase. This is especially important if the applicant has any question about the acceptability of a specific independent position for the R00 phase of the award.


All dual-degree applicants must have matriculated into their dual-degree program no more than 48 months prior to the due date of the initial (-01) application.  This 48-month window is calculated from the start date of entry into medical school or other equivalent (e.g., veterinary) school. ​

Candidates are strongly encouraged to include in their application:

1) a description of the relationship between the mentor's research and the candidate's proposed research,

2) how the candidate will gain independence from his/her mentors and separate his/her scientific research program from that of the mentor(s),

3) a statement from the primary mentor that provides: 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.

For additional details, see the funding opportunity announcement.​

A training grant’s completion rate should be calculated based on students entering the institution’s graduate programs ten years prior to the reporting year. For example, when reporting for 2014-2015, programs should report on the percentage of students that began graduate studies at their institution ten years earlier (i.e., academic year 2005-2006) and that were supported by the training grant at any point within that 10-year timeframe. If all of those students have completed a Ph.D. by the ten-year mark, the completion rate will be 100%. If some students have left the program without a Ph.D., transferred to medical school or another doctoral-level professional program, or are still in training, the completion rate should be reduced accordingly. Individuals transferring to or from Ph.D. programs in similar fields at other institutions should be excluded from both the entering and graduating cohorts in calculating the completion rate.

Reviewers will evaluate new RCR plans as well as the past record of RCR instruction (where applicable).  Reviewers will specifically address the five Instructional components taking into account the characteristics of institutional programs or the unique circumstances outlined for short-term training programs, individual fellowships, career awards, and research education programs. 

The RCR plan and past record of RCR instruction (where applicable) will be discussed after the overall determination of merit of the application at large; the review panel’s evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the impact/priority score. Plans and past records will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE.  The results of the review will be reported as an administrative note in the summary statement and will explain how the review panel determined its rating.  Regardless of the impact/priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan. 

At least three, but no more than five, letters of reference must be submitted directly by the referees through the eRA Commons.  The reference letters will be joined with the electronic application once the application completes the submission process.  Letters of Reference may be submitted at any time after the funding opportunity announcement opens, but MUST be received by the application due date.  The letters should be from individuals who are not directly involved in the application but are familiar with the candidate's qualifications, training, and interests.  The candidate's mentor must NOT submit a letter of reference; the mentor's statement will be required as part of the application.  See the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.


 

There is no problem with supplementing your K salary with non-Federal funds at any time during the award period, provided the supplemental support does not require extra duties that would interfere with activities under the career development award. The issue to consider is whether the foundation will give you an award if you are already an NIH grantee because some foundations limit their funding to non-NIH-funded investigators.


 

In the requested budget for the competing research grant you should request appropriate amounts for the salary and associated costs of your effort.  If you receive a research project grant as a PD/PI during the last two years of the K award, NIH will permit you to reduce the effort required to no less than 6 person months (50% full-time professional effort at the grantee organization) and replace it with effort from the research award so that the total level of research commitment remains at 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort), or more for the remainder of the mentored K award.  A letter must accompany the research grant application from the chair of your department or other responsible institutional official providing evidence that you will continue to focus on the development of your research career and continue to have access to your mentor, and that your total level of research effort will be maintained and protected at a minimum of 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort).  At the time of award of the research grant the career development award may be adjusted to avoid budgetary overlap.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-08-065.

As a career development award recipient you may serve on an NIH research grant at any time during the award, and, you may receive salary from an NIH or any other Federal research grant while on a career development award. For effort directly committed to the K-award, salary supplementation is allowable, but must be from non-Federal sources (including institutional sources). For effort not directly committed to the K-award, K-award recipients may devote effort, with compensation, on Federal or non-Federal sources as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or in another role (e.g., co-Investigator), as long the specific aims of the other supporting grant(s) differ from those of the K-award (see NOT-OD-17-094. Keep in mind that if the research under the K- and R-series awards are the same (or similar), the effort devoted to the R grant is subsumed under the minimum 75% effort required by the K. If the research is clearly different, then the effort devoted to the R cannot exceed your remaining 25% effort. Also see NIH policy for short-term adjustments to the minimum effort requirement under certain circumstances (NOT-OD-09-036). Also see policy for the final two years of the K award: NOT-OD-08-065.

No. If the award is issued as a Type -7, it should include a specific budget period and an activation notice from the new grantee is not required. The new NoA is the authorizing document.

Yes.  Unlike resubmission (A1) applications where a candidate may be beyond the 48-month matriculation period, any new (A0) application regardless of the frequency and the order submitted (e.g., A0 then A1 then A0) falls under the 48-month restriction period stated in PA-14-150.​

For eRA Commons issues see http://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html, where you can submit a web ticket, or call 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552. For Grants.gov Customer Support, email support@grants.gov or call 800-518-4726.

Applicants should include data for all trainees who were or are supported by the training grant, and also include equivalent trainees from the same training cohort who were not supported by the training grant.

No. Unless the fellow is at a foreign or federal sponsoring institution, an activation notice is only required for the first (–01) year.​

No.  NIH does not expect institutions to include the actual IDPs; instead, the progress report should outline current practices that document that IDPs are used to help manage the training of individuals.​

No. IC-specific receipt dates are available in the T32 and T35 Parent Announcements, and in funding opportunity announcements issued by the individual ICs. The most recent training program announcements are in the T-Kiosk: http://grants.nih.gov/training/T_Table.htm.

No. Grantees can determine due dates through the website located at:  http://era.nih.gov/commons/quick_queries/index.cfm#progress (updated on/around the 30th of each month), or by checking the eRA Commons Status system.

Yes. Information on the nature of the RCR instruction and the extent of fellow and faculty participation must be provided in the annual progress report:

  • For institutional training, research education, and institutional career development awards, the report must also include a description of any enhancements and/or modifications to the five instructional components from the plan described in the application.  Training faculty members who were contributors to formal instruction in RCR during the last budget period must be named.

  • For individual fellowships the report must include subject matter covered, format, frequency and duration of instruction, or indicate when during a previous or future budget period instruction in RCR did or will take place.  The report should discuss both formal and/or informal instruction and note the extent to which the sponsor or senior fellow participated in these activities. 

For individual career development awards and dissertation awards, the report should describe formal and informal instruction (or participation as a course director, etc. in the case of senior career awardees) during the budget period, or if during a prior budget period, the date of occurrence.  Activities undertaken to individualize instruction appropriate to the career stage of the candidate or PD/PI should be discussed.  For dissertation awards, the report should describe how the mentor participated in these activities.

NIH recommends that applicants contact the scientific/research contact for the relevant Institute/Center listed in Section VII of the funding opportunity announcement.

No, transition from the mentored phase to the extramural independent scientist phase is not automatic. It is subject to review of the K99 awardee's research training/career development accomplishments and the evaluation of all documents submitted during application for the R00 phase. These include the tenure-track faculty job offer and the research plan to be carried out at the extramural sponsoring institution to which he or she has been recruited.

​Yes. Efforts to recruit and retain individuals that contribute to the diversity of the workforce are obligations of those members of the institution specifically associated with the training program, as well as the institution as a whole.​​​

Consult the Notice of Award (NoA); many Institute/Centers restrict appointments during a no cost extension.  If there is no restriction, contact the Grants Management Specialist identified in the NoA; the limited training experience a new trainee would receive could be a factor in whether or not the appointment will be accepted.

Yes. Publications of research completed by trainees and potential trainees should be provided. See the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.

No.  An Activation Notice (Form PHS 416-5) is required for fellows sponsored by foreign and Federal institutions for the initial year only.  See NIH NOT-OD-14.101.

The following fellowships fall under NRSA authority: F30, F31, F32, and F33.

The following training awards fall under NRSA authority: T32, T34, T35​.

Fellowship applicants must make arrangements for at least 3 but no more than 5 letters of reference from individuals who can make meaningful comments about their qualifications and potential for a research career.  The letters are submitted directly by the referees through the eRA Commons using a separate and confidential process.   They are not submitted as part of the application through Grants.gov. The letters should be from individuals not directly involved in the application, and the sponsor(s) cannot submit letters of reference.  Complete instructions are in the fellowship section of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other Agencies.​​

Applicants should follow the budget instructions for research career development awards outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide when providing information for the requested years of K99 support. The amounts provided for salary and research costs by the participating ICs are not uniform. Please see the Contact Table for IC-specific information, in the funding opportunity announcement.

In the initial K99 application, an itemized budget is not required for the R00 phase. The applicant should indicate a minimum of 9-months effort for him/herself for each project period.  The exact amount of direct and indirect costs does not need to be specified, and a zero may be used as a placeholder in these sections.  Total costs of $249,000 should be entered in Total Direct and Indirect Costs. Information requested on the K99 application Checklist page regarding Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rates for the requested R00 years of support may be left blank. 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. ​​

A change of sponsoring institution always requires the prior approval of the awarding Institute/Center and an application must be submitted from the new institution.  The change of sponsoring institution application should be submitted electronically using the Change of Grantee Organization (Type 7 Parent) funding opportunity announcement. NIH recommends you contact the Grants Management Specialist identified on the Notice of Award (NoA) for guidance.​

Faculty Participation.  Substantial face-to-face discussions between the fellow, other individuals in a similar training status, and sponsors, plus a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies) are highly encouraged. Online course work may not be the sole means of instruction.

Subject Matter.  Most acceptable plans address conflict of interest, policies regarding human subjects and live vertebrate animals in research, safe laboratory practices, sponsor/fellow relationships, collaborative research, peer review, data management, research misconduct, authorship, the scientist as a responsible member of society, ethical issues and the impacts of scientific research.

Faculty Participation.  Sponsors and other appropriate faculty are highly encouraged to contribute both to formal and informal instruction in RCR. Informal instruction occurs in the laboratory and other informal situations.  Sponsors may contribute to formal instruction as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors.

Duration of Instruction.  Most acceptable plans include at least eight substantive contact hours.  A semester-long series is generally more effective than a single seminar or one-day workshop.

Frequency of Instruction.  Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.  Initial instruction during predoctoral training should occur as early as possible in graduate school. Senior fellows may fulfill the requirement for RCR instruction by participating as lecturers and discussion leaders.

For additional information see NIH Guide Notice OD-10-019, Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the RCR

(http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html).

All new institutional applications must include a plan for instruction in RCR that addresses the specified instructional components and describes how participation in instruction in RCR will be monitored (NOT-OD-10-019).  Renewal institutional applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current RCR instruction.  All training faculty who served as RCR course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

New individual applications must include a section on instruction in RCR, appropriate to the career stage of the applicant (instruction for applicants in the early stages of their careers; participation as course directors, lecturers, or discussion leaders for applicants in middle or senior stages of their careers), as part of the Research Training Plan or Candidate Information and Career Development Plan.  This section will document prior participation or instruction in RCR during the applicant's current career stage (including the date instruction was last completed) and propose plans to either receive instruction in RCR or participate as a course lecturer, etc., depending on the applicant's career stage.   The plan may include career stage-appropriate, individualized instruction or independent scholarly activities that will enhance the applicant's understanding of ethical issues related to their specific research activities and the societal impact of that research.  The role of the sponsor/mentor in instruction in RCR must be described.  Individual renewal applications, where applicable, must describe instruction in RCR activities undertaken during the past project period as well as future plans in order to meet the Frequency of Instruction component. 

 

For non-U.S. citizen/permanent residents, the applicant U.S. institution is responsible for determining and documenting in the application that the applicant investigator's visa will allow him or her to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the research project in the U.S. for the duration of the proposed independent research (R00) phase. 

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ.

In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 75% effort) at least for the duration of the R00 award. The start-up package and other institutional support should be comparable to that given to other recently hired faculty into tenure-track or equivalent positions.  Moreover, institutions may not require the use of R00 funds to offset a typical startup package. The sponsoring institution should describe the candidate's academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track or equivalent, and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The independent phase institution must foster and support the awardee's ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support.​



 

It is expected that K99/R00 awardees will locate a qualifying independent research position prior to completion of the mentored phase, and that transition with associated funding will be continuous in time. It is expected that the awardee will complete at least one full year of mentored training under the K99 phase before transitioning to the R00 phase, except under unusual circumstances. Individuals who expect to transition to an independent position in less time may not be appropriate for this grant mechanism and may wish to consider applying for other grant mechanisms, such as the K22, R03, R21, or R01, instead. K99 awardees who are not able to transition at the end of the K99 project period may request a No Cost Extension. Requests for administrative supplements to extend K99 phase support generally will not be considered.

The independent phase institution will submit an application on behalf of the applicant for the R00 award using the PHS398.  Applicants should refer to the FOA for details.
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 An individual may not receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level, and 3 years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of NRSA support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships, inclusive of NRSA support from another agency. Under certain circumstances NIH may grant a waiver based on a justification from the individual and sponsoring institution.  Individuals are encouraged to consult with the funding Institute/Center and review the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.6 Period of Support, prior to submitting a waiver request.


 

All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in RCR (see NOT-OD-10-019).  This policy applies to the following programs:  D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.   This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in RCR as stated in the relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement.

NRSA awards support the training of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical researchers through individual pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, and institutional research training grants.

 

The Sponsor and Co-Sponsor Information is prepared in conjunction with the sponsor(s) and submitted as part of the electronic application.  This information addresses who will supervise the training and research experience, and must include: 1) documentation about the availability of sufficient research support and facilities for high-quality research training at the sponsoring institution, 2) a detailed description of the proposed role in, and commitment to, guiding the individual applicant during the research training experience, 3) a description of the research training plan, and 4) an assessment of the applicant's qualifications and potential for a research career.  For specific instructions see the fellowship section of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other Agencies, and also the relevant funding opportunity announcement.  




 

The eRA Commons xTrain module is an electronic system used to prepare and submit PHS 2271 Statement of Appointment forms and PHS 416-7 Termination Notices when required for institutional research training and career development awards, individual fellowships, and research education awards.  Paper submissions of these forms are not accepted by NIH.

Transition from the mentored phase (K99) to the extramural independent scientist phase (R00) of the award is intended to be continuous in time.  It is expected that K99 awardees will locate a qualifying independent research position prior to completion of the mentored phase, and that transition with associated funding will be continuous in time. ICs may, at their discretion, make exceptions to this time limitation when individuals have been invited for faculty job interviews but final decisions have not yet been made by the potential R00 institution or, rarely, because of unusual, extenuating circumstances.

Transition from the mentored phase to the extramural independent scientist phase is not automatic and is subject to an administrative review. Applicants that are approved to transition will receive a Notice of Award. Applicants who are not approved to transition will receive written notification from the awarding component communicating the rationale for the disapproval.  This letter typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the R00 application.

Use the existing stipend levels in effect at the time of the application submission. The Institute/Center will make appropriate stipend adjustments at the time of award.​​

Use the existing stipend levels in the application.  The NIH Institute/Center will make appropriate stipend adjustments at the time of award.

In July, 2013, NIH began encouraging institutions to assist graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to achieve their career goals within the biomedical research workforce through the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs).  Institutions are also encouraged to report on this in all progress reports submitted beginning October 1, 2014 using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).  IDPs should be broadly implemented for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (including scholars, trainees and fellows, and individuals in other postdoctoral positions) supported by NIH awards.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-13-093 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-093.html

Visit the F Kiosk (http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm) for the links to active funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).  Each FOA provides information specific to the particular fellowship and refers to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ. To download the appropriate instructions and application package, click the “Apply for Grant Electronically” link in the FOA.  Note that if the instructions in the FOA differ from those in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, follow the instruction in the FOA.  The Office of Sponsored Programs, or similar office at the applicant’s institution, should be able to provide assistance with the application process.​​


Review criteria are provided in each funding opportunity announcement, Section V.  The Scientific Review Group (SRG) will provide an overall impact score to reflect its assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the applicant's potential for a productive independent scientific research career in a health-related field, considering the scored and additional review criteria. Since fellowships are training awards and not research awards, major considerations are the applicant's potential for a productive career, the applicant's need for the proposed training, and the degree to which the research training proposed, the sponsor, and the environment, will satisfy those needs.

NRSA individual fellowship applications receive a secondary level of review by Institute/Center staff. Criteria used in making award decisions include the SRG's recommendation concerning the overall merit of the application, the relevance of the application to the Institute/Center's research training priorities and program balance, and the availability of funds.


See the xTrain training resources, FAQs and External User Guide on the eRA Manage Trainees, Fellows page at:  http://era.nih.gov/grantees/manage_trainees_fellows.cfm.

Grantees using the RPPR are encouraged to report in Section B. Accomplishments, Question B.4 about the use of the IDP for graduate students and/or postdoctoral researchers listed in RPPR Section D. Participants, or on a Statement of Appointment Form (PHS 2271). 

The use of xTrain is required for the following activity codes:

  • Kirschstein-NRSA undergraduate institutional training grants (T34 – appointment forms only)

  • Kirschstein-NRSA predoctoral and postdoctoral institutional training grants (T32, T35, T90, TL1, and TU2)

  • National Library of Medicine institutional training grants (T15)

  • Kirschstein-NRSA fellowships (F30, F31, F32, and F33 – termination notices only)

  • Research education awards (R25, R90)*

  • Institutional career development awards (K12, KL2, KM1)*

*For research education and institutional career development awards, grantees should check with the NIH awarding Institute or Center to determine if the R25, R90, K12, KL2, or KM1 program requires submission of the PHS 2271 Appointment form and/or the PHS 416-7 Termination Notice via xTrain.  All other activity codes listed above require electronic submission of the PHS 2271 and/or PHS 416-7 as indicated.

Contact the NIH staff identified for the relevant Institute/Center in Section VII of the funding opportunity announcement.

Contact the NIH staff identified in the most recent Notice of Award (renewal applications) or the staff identified for the relevant Institute/Center in Section VII of the funding opportunity announcement (new applications).

Always check the eligibility criteria in the funding opportunity announcement for specific requirements.  General requirements are:

  • The application must be submitted on behalf of the candidate by a domestic for-profit or non-profit public or private institution/organization; foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

  • Candidates (called the PD/PI for purposes of eRA Commons account type) are generally required to hold a research or health-professional doctoral degree, or its equivalent; eligibility for some awards is limited to applicants with health professional doctoral degrees.

  • For programs other than the K99/R00 program, only U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time an award is made are eligible. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to apply for a career development award unless they have begun the process of becoming a permanent resident and expect to be admitted as a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date.​

The Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award should be consulted.  Some Institute/Centers expect grantees to re-budget to accommodate this type of change; others may be able to provide additional funds.

Trainees can be appointed at any time during a budget period for a 12-month appointment. The entire 12-month stipend and tuition are charged to the current year at the time of the appointment. The amount not yet expended at the end of the budget period should be reported as an unliquidated obligation on the annual Federal Financial Report (FFR).


 

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Contact the Grants Management Specialist or Program Officer identified in the Notice of Award; some Institute/Centers require prior approval for such a change.


 

No.  Submit the Termination Notice immediately using the eRA Commons xTrain system.  The preferred process is that the Fellow initiates the termination notice, the Sponsor certifies and routes it, and the Business Official submits it to the Agency.  See http://era.nih.gov/files/termination_fellowship.pdf for instructions. The Termination Notice must also reflect any other funds awarded directly to the individual.  For fellows at foreign institutions, this could include any round-trip travel costs to/from the training site.  For fellows at Federal institutions, this could include funds expended from the Institutional Allowance, such as health insurance, travel, tuition and fees.​​​

No. Duplicative support from Federal funding is not allowed. Since T34 programs provide participating students with stipends on a twelve-month basis, they cannot participate concurrently in a research education program.

While trainees are required to devote full-time effort to the training program, they may receive separate compensation from an NIH grant when employed on a limited part-time basis, for example, as a laboratory assistant. Compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the trainee's planned training experience. Under no circumstances may the conditions of the employment interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved Kirschstein-NRSA training program. For additional information see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.3.10.2 Compensation.


 

 

  • Trainee-Related Expenses - Yes. Institute/Center prior approval is not required.

  • Stipends and Tuition/Fees – Yes, but without Institute/Center prior approval funds may only be moved from one of these categories to the other.  If funds are to be rebudgeted from one of these categories into a different category (e.g., into the Trainee-Related Expenses category), prior approval of the Institute/Center is required.

  • Trainee Travel – Yes. Institute/Center prior approval is not required. ​

The cost of meals may be allowable if they are provided in conjunction with a meeting considered an ancillary activity to the training grant.  The cost must meet a test of reasonableness.  Recurring meetings should not be broadly considered as meetings for the primary purpose of disseminating technical information to justify charging meals to the grant.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.3.8.4 Training-Related Expenses.

Recruitment costs incurred under training programs, e.g., advertising, may be allocated to a grant-supported project (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 7.9.1 Selected Items of Cost). Project funds may not be used for a prospective trainee's travel costs to/from the institution for the purpose of recruitment.

No. Salary costs are restricted to the K99 PD/PI and other personnel only. Research costs are available to support research expenses of the PD/PI. No salary for mentoring can be charged to either the salary or the research cost categories.

Charges from these categories are only made to the grant when actual expenditures are incurred. Therefore, only an actual charge for travel or training related expenses that has been incurred but not yet paid before the end of a budget period may be reported as an unliquidated obligation.

Yes, but prior approval of the Institute/Center may be required.  The Notice of Award will specify whether or not prior approval is necessary.

Stipends and tuition and fees may not be charged to the grant before a trainee is officially appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to NIH. There are rare occasions when costs associated with training related expenses and/or trainee travel may be allowable as pre-award costs. Consult with the relevant Grants Management Officer of the Institute/Center when considering pre-award costs.

The Federal Government's fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1. So, FY 2014 is from October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014. All applications that will be awarded during this period are considered to be FY 2014 awards. For example, an award made on July 1, 2014 (Budget start date: 7/1/2014 – Budget end date: 6/30/2015) is considered to be an FY 2014 award.

The F&A rate base for all research training awards is 8% of modified total direct costs, which excludes contracts in excess of $25,000.

For training grant appointments, the amount of the stipend is determined by the stipend schedule in effect at the time the award is made and remains in effect until the award is renewed.  If the award was made July 1, 2014, all trainees will receive stipends in accordance with the FY14 stipend scale for the entire period of their appointments.  If trainees remain on the training grant for another year, they will receive the higher stipend amount when they are reappointed in July.

 Contact the Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award. Multiple factors will be considered, e.g., how many such individuals are already supported, institutional commitment, availability of funds, etc.


 

 No. Grantees should request full needs in these categories. The formula currently in effect will be applied by the Institute/Center at the time of the award. See the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.

Health insurance costs incurred by the institution, or other training related expenses incurred, but not yet paid or recorded, can be treated as an unliquidated obligation on the Federal Financial Report.

Applicants should follow the budget instructions for research career development awards outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide when providing information for the requested years of K99 support. The amounts provided for salary and research costs by the participating ICs are not uniform. Please see the Contact Table for IC-specific information, in the funding opportunity announcement.

In the initial K99 application, an itemized budget is not required for the R00 phase. The applicant should indicate a minimum of 9-months effort for him/herself for each project period.  The exact amount of direct and indirect costs does not need to be specified, and a zero may be used as a placeholder in these sections.  Total costs of $249,000 should be entered in Total Direct and Indirect Costs. Information requested on the K99 application Checklist page regarding Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rates for the requested R00 years of support may be left blank. 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. ​​

The institutional allowance for fellows at Federal institutions is intended to cover costs of scientific meeting travel, health insurance, and books.  Each cost must be justified and requested separately from the funding Institute/Center, which will authorize appropriate expenditures and release the amount in PMS.​

 

For non-U.S. citizen/permanent residents, the applicant U.S. institution is responsible for determining and documenting in the application that the applicant investigator's visa will allow him or her to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the research project in the U.S. for the duration of the proposed independent research (R00) phase. 

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ.

In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 75% effort) at least for the duration of the R00 award. The start-up package and other institutional support should be comparable to that given to other recently hired faculty into tenure-track or equivalent positions.  Moreover, institutions may not require the use of R00 funds to offset a typical startup package. The sponsoring institution should describe the candidate's academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track or equivalent, and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The independent phase institution must foster and support the awardee's ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support.​



 

Wait to hear from the awarding Institute/Center.  If the stipend increase was effective in the same fiscal year as the award, the grants management official will revise the Notice of Award (NoA) to incorporate the new stipend levels.  Once you receive the revised NoA, you must use xTrain in the eRA Commons to amend any previously accepted appointments to reflect the new stipend levels.

Although the majority of fellowships are funded as NRSA (e.g., F30, F31, F32, F33), NIH also funds non-NRSA fellowship programs such as the Fogarty International Center’s International Neurosciences Fellowship (F05).  Each funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provides information regarding applicable policies, many of which are the same as the NRSA. For a list of current NRSA fellowship FOAs, see the F-Kiosk: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm.  For a list of current non- NRSA fellowship FOAs, see: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_non_nrsa.htm.

Exceptions to the 4-year limit may be approved, e.g., where significant changes in fields of study have occurred, such as moving from physical science to life science research, or from engineering to behavioral research. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require concurrence of NIH program staff of the Institute/Center most likely to be assigned the application. Institute/Center concurrence must be obtained prior to submission, and a statement describing the circumstances must be included in the application.​

The initial peer review will be organized by participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). ICs may work together to cluster the review of K99/R00 Award applications that involve common areas of science relevant to the missions of multiple ICs.

Individuals in a mentored, postdoctoral training position who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of the title of their current position, are eligible to apply for this award.  

Individuals who currently hold or have held a tenure-track research faculty or other professorship or their equivalent in academia, industry or elsewhere are not eligible to apply for this award. However, a clinical faculty member who does not hold an independent research faculty position may be eligible for the K99/R00 award, and should contact program staff at the relevant Institute/Center for guidance. Following clinical training or clinical fellowship training periods, clinicians often obtain a clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research. 


Questions regarding additional unique situations should be discussed with NIH program staff contacts in the funding opportunity announcement.

Yes.  Applications may be submitted by eligible NRSA recipients. NRSA recipients selected for K99/R00 funding must terminate their NRSA support prior to receiving support from the K99/R00.​

Because of the relatively short duration of the mentored phase of the K22 and K99/R00 awards, a request for reduction in appointment OR in percent effort devoted to the award must address the impact of this action on the awardee's ability to make sufficient progress to meet the goals of the program. For example, K99 awardees must describe how the request will affect their ability to transition to the R00 phase of the award. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.4 Temporary Adjustments to the Percent Effort Requirement, and NOT-OD-09-036.


 

For independent career development awards that require only 25-50% effort, e.g., K07 leadership, K05, and K24, temporary adjustments to the percent effort requirement are not permitted.

For K07 and K24 awardees, the full-time appointment required at the onset of the award may be reduced by the grantee to less than full-time (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months during the project period.  Awardees are expected to continue to maintain between 25% (equivalent to 3 person-months) and 50% (equivalent to 6 person-months) of full-time professional effort at all times.  Ideally, the recipient will increase his/her percent effort on the award to compensate for the anticipated effect of the part-time appointment on the awardee's career goals.

For the K02, which requires the candidate to have a full-time appointment and commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort to their career development and research, the same temporary adjustments allowed for mentored career development awards are applicable.

 See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.4 Temporary Adjustments to the Percent Effort Requirement, and NOT-OD-09-036.


 

Yes.  The candidate's academic appointment must be full time, and the candidate must be provided with appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources to carry out the research plan proposed in the application.

A change of sponsoring institution is permitted only when all of the terms and benefits attributable to the original award can be assured. Consultation with the applicable NIH program and grants management staff is strongly encouraged when a change of institution is being considered.

No. Applications requesting only the independent phase will not be accepted.

The K99/R00 award provides up to 5 years of continuous support consisting of mentored and independent research phases.

No.  Institute/Center utilization of the various CDAs is IC specific.  Each funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will identify the Institute/Centers participating in that particular program announcement, however they may have differing requirements and use the awards for different purposes.  For example, some Institute/Centers might require that you have an R01 grant from that IC before you are eligible for an independent career development award. This is one reason it is essential to contact the relevant Institute/Center program staff identified in the FOA. 

Those who participate in an NIH supported project in a postdoctoral role (postdoctoral scholar, fellow, or other postdoctoral position) for one person month or more are reported in Progress Reports and are required to have a Commons ID (see NIH Guide NOT-09-140).  An eRA Commons postdoctoral role has been established in eRA Commons for this purpose.  The Commons role of PD/PI should be used for individuals submitting applications for individual fellowship awards.​

Yes, the requirements may vary among programs that are supported by various funding authorities. Each funding opportunity announcement, in Section III, includes specific applicant eligibility requirements that address, among other items, eligible organizations, degree requirements, and sponsor and citizenship requirements.​

Yes.  Recipients of independent career development awards are generally required to devote a minimum of 3-6 person months (25-50% effort) conducting research and research career development related activities during the period of the award. Some awards allow and may require more than 6 person months (50% effort). For example, K02 recipients are required to devote 9 person months (75% effort) to research.  The relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement will provide program specific minimum percent effort requirements.​

No. 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.

Therefore, applicants with postgraduate clinical training experience remain eligible and are encouraged to apply for the K99/R00 award. Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss time spent conducting research during their postgraduate clinical training experience with an NIH program contact person before applying.

Yes, authorizing legislation requires recipients to pay back to the Federal government their initial 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support by engaging in health-related biomedical, behavioral and/or clinical research, research training, health-related teaching, or any combination of these activities.​​​

Yes. Time spent conducting postgraduate research, whether inside or outside of the United States, is considered part of the 4-year research eligibility limit.

Yes. ALL Postdoctoral research experience counts, including time spent conducting research (or publishing research results) where you obtained your doctoral degree prior to starting an official postdoctoral position.

In general, the clock starts with the first relevant Ph.D. degree. Depending on the research training experience, some Ph.D.s may count as biomedically relevant (e.g., Biochemistry, Biophysics). However, if the first Ph.D. is in a totally unrelated field (e.g., English), the clock starts with the second, relevant Ph.D. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Institute/Center staff for specific guidance.

No. NIH does not anticipate that any modifications regarding citizenship eligibility will be made to NRSA-supported research. Organizations eligible for the K99 phase include domestic for-profit or non-profit institutions/organizations, public or private institutions (such as universities, colleges, hospitals and laboratories), and eligible agencies of the federal government, including NIH intramural laboratories, training and career development programs.​

Career transition awards, such as the K22 and K99/R00, provide support in two phases: a mentored phase (two years) followed by an independent phase (three years).  However, the K22 program varies by Institute/Center and some Institute/Centers only support the newly independent phase of an investigator's research career development. 

The K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award is a two-phase award as described above, but has unique eligibility criteria and requires the K99 award recipient to secure a tenure track, full-time assistant professor position or equivalent in order to transition to the R00 independent phase.    ​​​​

View the FAQs for this specific program and review Table of Institute/Center-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts for this program.  Note that the NIH has made significant changes to this program in PA-14-042, including reducing the application window from 5 to 4 years of postdoctoral research experience. All applications, both new and resubmission (A1), must conform to the eligibility criteria in this FOA.

Individual mentored CDA applications (e.g. K01, K07 developmental, K08, K23, K25) require the candidate to identify a mentor (sometimes referred to as a sponsor) with extensive and appropriate research experience who, together with the candidate, is responsible for the planning, direction, and execution of the program. The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in the proposed research area, have a track record of success in training independent investigators, and should have sufficient independent research support to cover any costs of the proposed research project in excess of the allowable costs of the CDA award. Mentored CDAs are not renewable.

Unlike other career development awards, institutional awards do not support a single candidate.  Rather they provide support to the grantee institution for the development of independent basic or clinical scientists (known as scholars) who are selected by the institution.

The K12 is solicited only by IC-specific Funding Opportunity Announcements, and awards a specified number of scholar positions.  Although the K12 is subject to NIH Standard Terms of Award, the carryover of unobligated balances from one budget period to the next generally requires prior written approval. K12 awards are generally not transferable to another institution. When institutional mentored research development programs are incorporated as part of a Clinical and Translational Science Award the KL2 activity code is used.

NRSA awards provide training opportunities for individuals at various stages of education and training, beginning at the baccalaureate level and through the postdoctoral phase.

In order to activate the extramural independent scientist R00 phase, individuals must have been offered and accepted a tenure-track, full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent) at an eligible institution with appropriate infrastructure to support the proposed research program and a history of external research funding. 

The application for the extramural independent scientist R00 phase of the award must be submitted no later than 2 months prior to the proposed activation date of the R00 award by the R00 phase grantee organization. However, to avoid potential problems in activation, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH program officials as soon as plans to assume an independent position develop, and not later than 6 months prior to the termination of the K99 phase of the award to discuss plans for transition to, and the application for, the R00 phase. This is especially important if the applicant has any question about the acceptability of a specific independent position for the R00 phase of the award.


All dual-degree applicants must have matriculated into their dual-degree program no more than 48 months prior to the due date of the initial (-01) application.  This 48-month window is calculated from the start date of entry into medical school or other equivalent (e.g., veterinary) school. ​

If transition from the K99 phase at an extramural institution to the R00 phase occurs at the originally scheduled end date of the K99 award, then no specific steps to terminate the K99 award are necessary.  If the transition occurs prior to the scheduled end date, then a revised Notice of Award will be issued to terminate the K99 phase award. Carryover of unspent funds from a partially completed year in the K99 phase into the R00 phase will be permitted, subject to approval by the Grants Management Office of the awarding NIH Institute or Center.

See the NIH RePORT success rate tables for K awards: http://report.nih.gov/success_rates/index.aspx. The actual number and distribution of awards made by the NIH will depend upon the quality of the applications received, the results of the scientific peer review process, the availability of funds, and the program priorities of awarding Institutes and Centers.

There is no problem with supplementing your K salary with non-Federal funds at any time during the award period, provided the supplemental support does not require extra duties that would interfere with activities under the career development award. The issue to consider is whether the foundation will give you an award if you are already an NIH grantee because some foundations limit their funding to non-NIH-funded investigators.


 

In the requested budget for the competing research grant you should request appropriate amounts for the salary and associated costs of your effort.  If you receive a research project grant as a PD/PI during the last two years of the K award, NIH will permit you to reduce the effort required to no less than 6 person months (50% full-time professional effort at the grantee organization) and replace it with effort from the research award so that the total level of research commitment remains at 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort), or more for the remainder of the mentored K award.  A letter must accompany the research grant application from the chair of your department or other responsible institutional official providing evidence that you will continue to focus on the development of your research career and continue to have access to your mentor, and that your total level of research effort will be maintained and protected at a minimum of 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort).  At the time of award of the research grant the career development award may be adjusted to avoid budgetary overlap.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-08-065.

As a career development award recipient you may serve on an NIH research grant at any time during the award, and, you may receive salary from an NIH or any other Federal research grant while on a career development award. For effort directly committed to the K-award, salary supplementation is allowable, but must be from non-Federal sources (including institutional sources). For effort not directly committed to the K-award, K-award recipients may devote effort, with compensation, on Federal or non-Federal sources as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or in another role (e.g., co-Investigator), as long the specific aims of the other supporting grant(s) differ from those of the K-award (see NOT-OD-17-094. Keep in mind that if the research under the K- and R-series awards are the same (or similar), the effort devoted to the R grant is subsumed under the minimum 75% effort required by the K. If the research is clearly different, then the effort devoted to the R cannot exceed your remaining 25% effort. Also see NIH policy for short-term adjustments to the minimum effort requirement under certain circumstances (NOT-OD-09-036). Also see policy for the final two years of the K award: NOT-OD-08-065.

At the time of initial award, all candidates must meet the full-time appointment requirement as well as the minimum 75% effort requirement.  Once the award has been made, however, recipients may request a reduction in their appointments to less than full-time for personal or family situations (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months.  You may request either a reduction in percent effort OR in institutional appointment status, but may not request both simultaneously.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-09-036 for additional information. 

No.  At this time, NIH encourages grantees to develop institutional policies requiring that an IDP be implemented for every graduate student and postdoctoral researcher supported by any NIH grant.

No.  NIH does not expect institutions to include the actual IDPs; instead, the progress report should outline current practices that document that IDPs are used to help manage the training of individuals.​

NIH recommends that applicants contact the scientific/research contact for the relevant Institute/Center listed in Section VII of the funding opportunity announcement.

No, transition from the mentored phase to the extramural independent scientist phase is not automatic. It is subject to review of the K99 awardee's research training/career development accomplishments and the evaluation of all documents submitted during application for the R00 phase. These include the tenure-track faculty job offer and the research plan to be carried out at the extramural sponsoring institution to which he or she has been recruited.

The grantee organization must document its agreement to release the candidate from other duties and activities to devote the required percentage of time (often, at least 75%) for development of a research career (e.g., reduction of the candidate's teaching load, committee and administrative assignments, and clinical or other professional activities).

There are four general different kinds of career development awards:

  • Individual mentored awards provide support for a sustained period of "protected time" (generally 3, 4, or 5 years) for intensive research career development under the guidance of an experienced mentor or sponsor in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences.  These include the K01, K07 (developmental), K08, K23, K25, and K99/R00.

  • Career transition awards provide protected time through salary and research support to facilitate the transition of postdoctoral individuals or junior faculty in mentored positions to research independence. These include the K22 and K99/R00.

  • Independent awards are non-mentored and provide protected time for scientists who can demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research focus as a means of enhancing their research careers. These include the K02, K05, K07 leadership, and K24.

  • Institutional scientist development programs are mentored and provide support to an institution for the development of independent basic or clinical scientists. The goal of this program is to enhance research career development for individuals (known as 'scholars') selected by the institution who are training for careers in specified research areas. These include the K12 and KL2.

The following fellowships fall under NRSA authority: F30, F31, F32, and F33.

The following training awards fall under NRSA authority: T32, T34, T35​.

Career Development Awards, also known as CDA or "K" awards, are designed for those with a doctoral degree who have demonstrated independent research accomplishments but need additional experience to establish or sustain an independent research program.   CDAs provide up to five years of salary support and guarantee substantial protected time to engage in research and related activities. 

Independent career development awards are non-mentored and provide protected time for scientists who can demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research focus as a means of enhancing their research careers. These awards are intended to foster the development of outstanding scientists and to enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research. Some awards in this category require the candidate to serve as a research mentor for junior researchers.  Examples include K02, K05, K07 leadership, and K24.

Applicants should follow the budget instructions for research career development awards outlined in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide when providing information for the requested years of K99 support. The amounts provided for salary and research costs by the participating ICs are not uniform. Please see the Contact Table for IC-specific information, in the funding opportunity announcement.

In the initial K99 application, an itemized budget is not required for the R00 phase. The applicant should indicate a minimum of 9-months effort for him/herself for each project period.  The exact amount of direct and indirect costs does not need to be specified, and a zero may be used as a placeholder in these sections.  Total costs of $249,000 should be entered in Total Direct and Indirect Costs. Information requested on the K99 application Checklist page regarding Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rates for the requested R00 years of support may be left blank. 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. ​​

This means that, regardless of whether the application is New or a Resubmission (A1) application, the applicant must have fewer than 4 years of postgraduate research experience at the application due date. For example, if an applicant is within the 4 years of eligibility at the time of the initial application due date, but not within the 4 years of eligibility at the time of resubmission, he/she is no longer eligible to apply for the PI award, and may not resubmit the application.

See the NIH RePORT success rate tables for K awards: http://report.nih.gov/success_rates/index.aspx. Keep in mind that success rates vary by Institute and Center and by fiscal year of funding.

The K99/R00 augments, but does not replace, other NIH programs that provide mentored research and career development experiences for postdoctoral and early-career investigators. Most NIH Institutes/Centers support this program as well as other research training and career development programs.

 

For non-U.S. citizen/permanent residents, the applicant U.S. institution is responsible for determining and documenting in the application that the applicant investigator's visa will allow him or her to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the research project in the U.S. for the duration of the proposed independent research (R00) phase. 

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ.

In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 75% effort) at least for the duration of the R00 award. The start-up package and other institutional support should be comparable to that given to other recently hired faculty into tenure-track or equivalent positions.  Moreover, institutions may not require the use of R00 funds to offset a typical startup package. The sponsoring institution should describe the candidate's academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track or equivalent, and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The independent phase institution must foster and support the awardee's ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support.​



 

It is expected that K99/R00 awardees will locate a qualifying independent research position prior to completion of the mentored phase, and that transition with associated funding will be continuous in time. It is expected that the awardee will complete at least one full year of mentored training under the K99 phase before transitioning to the R00 phase, except under unusual circumstances. Individuals who expect to transition to an independent position in less time may not be appropriate for this grant mechanism and may wish to consider applying for other grant mechanisms, such as the K22, R03, R21, or R01, instead. K99 awardees who are not able to transition at the end of the K99 project period may request a No Cost Extension. Requests for administrative supplements to extend K99 phase support generally will not be considered.

Utilize the Career Award Wizard on the K Kiosk at http://grants.nih.gov/training/kwizard/index.htm.  By answering questions such as the nature of your degree, whether you have successfully competed for research funding, and the need for additional mentoring, the wizard will identify potential awards that might be appropriate for you.  Before beginning work on an application, read the funding opportunity announcement and contact the relevant Institute/Center program staff.  This last step is critical and can save you wasted time and effort.

 

The Information about NIH career development awards posted on the Kiosk (https://grants.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm) can also be helpful. The site has a table listing all the different types of career development awards and active funding opportunity announcements.​

The K99/R00 is a two-phase award designed to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers complete needed, mentored training and transition to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions.

 An individual may not receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level, and 3 years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of NRSA support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships, inclusive of NRSA support from another agency. Under certain circumstances NIH may grant a waiver based on a justification from the individual and sponsoring institution.  Individuals are encouraged to consult with the funding Institute/Center and review the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.6 Period of Support, prior to submitting a waiver request.


 

Mentored CDA recipients are required to devote a minimum commitment equivalent of 9 calendar person months (75% of their full-time appointment at the applicant institution) to the career development and research objectives of the program specified in each funding opportunity announcement (FOA). The remaining 3 person months (25% effort), if applicable, can be divided among other research, clinical, and teaching activities only if these activities are consistent with the goals of the mentored CDA, i.e., the recipient's development into an independent investigator. Some NIH ICs allow less than 75% (but not lower than 50%) effort for certain clinical specialties. Applicants must consult the FOA and also Institute/Center program staff for this exception.  Provided they remain in a mentored status, mentored CDA recipients in the final two years of their support period are permitted to reduce the level of effort required for the CDA when they have competed successfully for peer-reviewed research awards from NIH or any Federal agency (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.2 Concurrent Support). 


 

NIH and the National Science Foundation agree upon the following definition of a postdoctoral scholar:

An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his or her chosen career path.

NRSA awards support the training of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical researchers through individual pre- and postdoctoral fellowships, and institutional research training grants.

The Pathway to Independence Award program (K99/R00) provides a unique opportunity for highly promising candidates to obtain two forms of support from a single NIH award. The support is interconnected and combines an initial mentored research phase (K99 phase) followed by the scientist's first independent research support (R00 phase). For additional details, consult the FOA.

Transition from the mentored phase (K99) to the extramural independent scientist phase (R00) of the award is intended to be continuous in time.  It is expected that K99 awardees will locate a qualifying independent research position prior to completion of the mentored phase, and that transition with associated funding will be continuous in time. ICs may, at their discretion, make exceptions to this time limitation when individuals have been invited for faculty job interviews but final decisions have not yet been made by the potential R00 institution or, rarely, because of unusual, extenuating circumstances.

Transition from the mentored phase to the extramural independent scientist phase is not automatic and is subject to an administrative review. Applicants that are approved to transition will receive a Notice of Award. Applicants who are not approved to transition will receive written notification from the awarding component communicating the rationale for the disapproval.  This letter typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the R00 application.

In July, 2013, NIH began encouraging institutions to assist graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to achieve their career goals within the biomedical research workforce through the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs).  Institutions are also encouraged to report on this in all progress reports submitted beginning October 1, 2014 using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).  IDPs should be broadly implemented for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers (including scholars, trainees and fellows, and individuals in other postdoctoral positions) supported by NIH awards.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-13-093 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-093.html

The NIH Research Training and Research Career Development website at: http://grants.nih.gov/training/extramural.htm. For a list of current Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), see the F-Kiosk: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm. For a list of current non-NRSA fellowship FOAs, see: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_non_nrsa.htm​.

Grantees using the RPPR are encouraged to report in Section B. Accomplishments, Question B.4 about the use of the IDP for graduate students and/or postdoctoral researchers listed in RPPR Section D. Participants, or on a Statement of Appointment Form (PHS 2271). 

Organizations eligible for the R00 phase include:

      1)   ​Domestic for-profit or non-profit institutions/organizations

      2)   Public or private institutions (such as universities, colleges, hospitals and laboratories)

 

 Unlike the K99 Phase, agencies of the Federal government (e.g., the NIH intramural program) are not eligible for the R00 phase.

Additionally, other than institutions of higher education, eligibility 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 grants (R01 or R01-equivalent).​

  • Foreign institutions and non-U.S. components of U.S. organizations are not eligible to apply to apply for either the K99 phase or the R00 phase.

  • Agencies of the Federal government that are ineligible to receive NIH extramural research grants, including the NIH intramural research program, are ineligible to apply for the R00 phase. 

  • Other than institutions of higher education, eligibility 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 grants (R01 or R01-equivalent).​

Prior to preparing an application, potential applicants should consult with the scientific program contact person listed in the funding opportunity announcement.

Candidates for independent career development awards must have a doctoral degree and their own peer-reviewed research support at the time the award is made. Some of the participating NIH Institute and Centers require candidates to have an NIH research grant from their IC at the time of application. Other NIH ICs will accept candidates with peer-reviewed, independent research support from other sources. 

Always check the eligibility criteria in the funding opportunity announcement for specific requirements.  General requirements are:

  • The application must be submitted on behalf of the candidate by a domestic for-profit or non-profit public or private institution/organization; foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

  • Candidates (called the PD/PI for purposes of eRA Commons account type) are generally required to hold a research or health-professional doctoral degree, or its equivalent; eligibility for some awards is limited to applicants with health professional doctoral degrees.

  • For programs other than the K99/R00 program, only U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time an award is made are eligible. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to apply for a career development award unless they have begun the process of becoming a permanent resident and expect to be admitted as a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date.​

Outstanding postdoctoral candidates who have terminal clinical or research doctorates (or equivalent doctoral degrees) and who have no more than 4 years of full-time postdoctoral research experience at the time of initial application receipt date, or subsequent resubmission (A1) are eligible. Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration is not included in the 4-year eligibility limit, nor is clinical training with no research involvement (e.g., full-time residency training). Part-time postdoctoral research training, related to personal or family situations or occurring during a research residency or fellowship, will be pro-rated accordingly.  Potential applicants with questions about their eligibility status are encouraged to discuss their situation with an NIH program staff contact.​

The following are ineligible to apply for the K99/R00:

  • Investigators who have currently or previously held an independent research faculty or tenure-track faculty position, or its equivalent in academia, industry, or elsewhere.

  • Investigators who have more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of initial application submission or revision.

  • Investigators who currently are, or have previously been, an independent PD/PI on NIH research grants (such as R01, R03, R21, P01, or subprojects of such grants).

  • Former and current recipients of NIH Career Development Awards.

Investigators who have been a PD/PI on peer-reviewed NIH or non-NIH research grants over $100,000 in direct costs per year.

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.

The K99/R00 is designed to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers complete needed, mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent research careers. The intended applicant will have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience, evidence of research productivity including scientific publications, and a creative idea for an independent research project. 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.

The woman for whom the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) was named, was a well-regarded scientist who was known as a great advocate for research training.

 Dr. Ruth Lillian Kirschstein passed away on October 6, 2009. Her many accomplishments include her involvement in polio vaccine development, becoming the first woman director of an NIH Institute, being a champion of research training, and advocating for the inclusion of underrepresented individuals in the biomedical workforce.  

More on Dr. Kirschstein’s life can be found at: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/training/pages/ruthkirschstein.aspx  or in the complimentary e-book, Always There: The Remarkable Life of Ruth Lillian Kirschstein, M.D.

NIH endorses efforts to assist graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to achieve their career goals and become contributing members of the biomedical research workforce.  The policy encouraging the use of IDPs is responsive to recommendations of the Biomedical Workforce Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) (http://acd.od.nih.gov/bwf.htm) to better prepare biomedical graduate students and postdoctoral scientists to successfully participate in a broad-based and evolving economy. ​

The K99/R00 seeks to attract the best and brightest individuals conducting research in the United States, regardless of citizenship, and to facilitate the transition to research independence in the U.S.

No. The distribution of awards will depend upon the quality of the applications received, the results of the scientific peer review process, the availability of funds and the program priorities of Institutes/Centers.

No. NIH will not intercede on behalf of non-citizens whose stay in the United States may be limited by their visa status. As a result, NIH requires the applicant institution or organization to determine and indicate, in its application, that such individuals' visas will allow them to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the project. If a grant is awarded on the basis of this information and the individual's visa does not allow for such a stay, the NIH may terminate the grant.

Yes. K99/R00 (PI) award recipients can check “Yes” in the “New Investigator” box when applying for a NIH R01. This is consistent with existing policy of considering recipients of all mentored career development awards (e.g., K01, K08, K22, K23, K25, K99) as “New Investigators” when applying for NIH R01 support.

Yes. The PI’s visa must allow him/her to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the relevant phase (K99 or R00) of the award. 

No. The permanent residency requirement must be satisfied at the time of award.

At the time of an NRSA fellowship award, the applicant must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. If the individual expects to become a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date indicated in the fellowship funding opportunity announcement (FOA), he or she may submit an application. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship.​

No. Citizenship/permanent residency requirements for training grants must be met at the time of the appointment.

At the time of the training grant award, the trainee must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive for appointment must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship

At the time of an NRSA fellowship award, the applicant must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. If the individual expects to become a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date indicated in the fellowship funding opportunity announcement (FOA), he or she may submit an application. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship.​

No. NIH does not anticipate that any modifications regarding citizenship eligibility will be made to NRSA-supported research. Organizations eligible for the K99 phase include domestic for-profit or non-profit institutions/organizations, public or private institutions (such as universities, colleges, hospitals and laboratories), and eligible agencies of the federal government, including NIH intramural laboratories, training and career development programs.​

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.

The K99/R00 seeks to attract the best and brightest individuals conducting research in the United States, regardless of citizenship, and to facilitate the transition to research independence in the U.S.

No. The distribution of awards will depend upon the quality of the applications received, the results of the scientific peer review process, the availability of funds and the program priorities of Institutes/Centers.

No. NIH will not intercede on behalf of non-citizens whose stay in the United States may be limited by their visa status. As a result, NIH requires the applicant institution or organization to determine and indicate, in its application, that such individuals' visas will allow them to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the project. If a grant is awarded on the basis of this information and the individual's visa does not allow for such a stay, the NIH may terminate the grant.

Yes. The PI’s visa must allow him/her to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the relevant phase (K99 or R00) of the award. 

No. A Payback Agreement is required only for the initial 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support regardless of where the NRSA training takes place.​

Although waivers are rarely approved, a medical waiver can be requested by submitting a recent letter from your physician (on official letterhead) documenting your medical condition and inability to work. In considering waiver requests, NIH may waive the payback obligation, in whole or in part, upon determination that compliance by the individual is impossible or would involve substantial hardship, and enforcement of the obligation to that individual would be inequitable and against good conscience.

No, the NRSA payback obligation cannot be fulfilled while participating in the LRP. You must request a deferral of NRSA payback service prior to acceptance into the LRP. It is important to note, though, that you may continue to receive your stipend from the NRSA. The deferral form can be obtained by contacting the LRP Help Line at 866-849-4047.

A supervisor who can verify that you performed the reported payback service activities must sign the APAC form. If you remained under your Program Director’s supervision after your training grant appointment, then your Program Director may sign as your supervisor. If you moved to a new institution after your NRSA research training, then your supervisor at your new location will need to sign the form.

No. You can fulfill your payback obligation at any institution (including private industry) where biomedical or behavioral health-related research and/or teaching is performed.

Yes, authorizing legislation requires recipients to pay back to the Federal government their initial 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support by engaging in health-related biomedical, behavioral and/or clinical research, research training, health-related teaching, or any combination of these activities.​​​

All new postdoctoral trainees are appointed to a grant by signing a Statement of Appointment (PHS 2271) and Payback Agreement (PHS 6031) form, which outline the obligations incurred by accepting NRSA support.

To document your payback service, you must complete a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Annual Payback Activities Certification (APAC) form and submit it to the NRSA Payback Center each year for approval until your service obligation is completed.

Yes, if the appointment is for their initial 12-months of postdoctoral support from a Kirschstein-NRSA training grant or fellowship. If the trainee received any other Kirschstein-NRSA postdoctoral support that totaled 12 months, on either another training grant or fellowship, a payback agreement would not be required.  See FAQs on Payback Requirements for Postdoctoral Training and Fellowships.

Patient care or any activity unrelated to biomedical or health-related research or teaching does not qualify.

According to NRSA guidelines, acceptable payback service is any health-related research or teaching that averages at least 20 hours per week. This can include dissertation-related research, clinical teaching, or research during the pursuit of a medical education. Research and teaching duties may include time spent in the laboratory and/or classroom, as well as time spent preparing for teaching activities (up to three hours of preparation for each hour of direct instruction).

If you receive NRSA training and are unable or unwilling to complete the required payback service, you must reimburse the U.S. Government for the investment made in your career by repaying the stipends received (plus interest, in some cases). Special exceptions are rarely granted, but may be considered in extraordinary circumstances. If you do not repay your NRSA obligation by service, your file will be forwarded to the NIH Office of Financial Management, which will contact you regarding your financial obligation.

Notify the NRSA Payback Center of your address change by emailing us at NRSA Payback Center or calling 866-298-9371. You also should notify the funding NIH Institute or Center. If you continue to interact with the NIH as an applicant, investigator, or reviewer, you should also update your contact information in the eRA Commons.

Payback means that you will perform qualified research or teaching activities for a length of time equal to the period of NRSA support you received. Receiving 12 months of postdoctoral training support obligates you to perform 12 months of qualified research or teaching activities as payback. Only the first year of training incurs a payback obligation; the second year of training pays back the first year, with each month of qualifying payback activity paying back one month of NRSA support. If you receive two full years of NRSA training, you will have completed your payback obligation. In general, payback activity must involve at least 20 hours per week and be conducted over 12 consecutive months. Special exceptions to these requirements may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The NRSA Payback Service Center will contact you approximately one year after your NRSA training grant appointment or fellowship has concluded. At that time, you will be asked to complete the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Annual Payback Activities Certification (APAC) form indicating any payback service you have completed since then. It is important to keep the Payback Service Center updated of any change of address.

You may request a 12-month extension by completing the APAC form and submitting it to the NRSA Payback Service Center. A valid plan to engage in payback service should be presented on the APAC form.

There are a wide range of acceptable forms of payback service:

Continued NRSA Research Training
Continued NRSA research training support is considered acceptable payback service. Beginning with the 13th month of NRSA research training, the first year's obligation is automatically repaid on a month-by-month basis until the 24th month is completed. At that point, NRSA payback is fulfilled.

Health-Related Research or Teaching
Trainees or fellows that complete less than 24 months of NRSA research training can discharge their obligation by engaging in health-related research or teaching, as defined below:

Research is defined as an activity that involves the design of experiments, development of protocols, and collection and interpretation of data. In addition, review of original research or administration of original research, which includes providing scientific direction and guidance to research, may be acceptable if a doctoral degree and relevant research experience is required of individuals filling such positions. Such research can be conducted in an academic, government, commercial, or other environment in either a foreign or domestic setting. In addition, when consistent with the cumulative amount, type, and frequency of research or research training experiences, functions that involve analytic or other technical activities conducted in direct support of research, as defined above, also will satisfy the service payback obligation.

Teaching is defined as an instructional activity that takes place in an organized educational or other instructional environment. Activities classified as teaching generally are carried out in a formal didactic setting; however, other activities will be considered if they are consistent with the certifying institution's policy on the definition of teaching responsibilities. Such teaching can be conducted at universities, professional schools, research institutes, teaching hospitals, primary schools, secondary schools, or colleges. When calculating hours of teaching per week, it is permissible to include three hours of preparation time for each hour of direct instruction. Acceptable teaching activities must have a biomedical, behavioral, or health-related relevance.

Health-Related Activities 
incorporate a broad range of activities related to the description, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of disease—from the most basic biomedical or behavioral research to applied or clinical research. In addition to fields usually considered directly related to human disease, activities in other fields, such as agriculture, environmental sciences, biotechnology, and bioengineering, also will be considered health-related research.

Call the NRSA Payback Center's toll free number at 866-298-9371 or email the NRSA Payback Center at NRSApaybackcenter@mail.nih.gov​​.


All NRSA postdoctoral trainees and fellows incur a payback obligation during their first year of support. However, the second year of training pays back the first year, with each month of qualifying training activity paying back one month of NRSA support. Trainees and fellows who receive two full years of NRSA training fulfill their payback obligation at the end of the second year of NRSA research training.

Predoctoral NRSA trainees or fellows do not incur a payback obligation.​

The Payback Service Center administers payback requirements for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (Kirschstein-NRSA).

Trainees and fellows are required to begin engaging in payback service within two years of the end of the NRSA research training. If there are extenuating circumstances and a trainee plans on conducting payback activities in the future, they may indicate on the APAC form that an extension is necessary before payback service can begin. If a trainee is a participant in the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRP), their NRSA payback service must be deferred until completion of the program. Once their LRP participation ends, the trainee is expected to immediately engage in NRSA payback activities.

Policy guidelines for NRSA awards are described in detail in the NIH Grants Policy Statement on the NIH website (specific requirements for payback are outlined in the section “Payback Reporting Requirements”) and on the Payback Agreement Form PHS 6031.

Any NRSA postdoctoral trainee or fellow appointed after June 10, 1993, incurs a payback obligation during their first year of support. But only the first year of training incurs a payback obligation; the second year of training pays back the first year, with each month of qualifying payback activity paying back one month of NRSA support. Trainees and fellows who receive two full years of NRSA training fulfill their payback obligation at the end of the second year of NRSA research training.

Predoctoral NRSA trainees or fellows appointed since 1993 do not incur a payback obligation.

The Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award should be consulted.  Some Institute/Centers expect grantees to re-budget to accommodate this type of change; others may be able to provide additional funds.

Although stipends are not considered salaries, these funds are subject to Federal, and sometimes State, income tax. Such income may be reported by the sponsoring institution on IRS Form 1099, Statement of Miscellaneous Income. Normally, the business office of the sponsoring institution will be responsible for annually preparing and issuing IRS Form 1099 for fellows paid through the institution (fellows at domestic non-Federal institutions). Sponsoring institutions are not required to issue a Form 1099, but it is a useful form of documentation of funds received and it serves as a reminder to the fellow that some tax liability may exist. Fellows are reminded that even if the sponsoring institution does not issue a Form 1099, they still are required to report Kirschstein-NRSA stipends. For fellows training at Federal or foreign institutions, the Department of Health and Human Services Payment Management System will issue a Form 1099.

Fellowship recipients do not receive salaries or fringe benefits, but they do receive a stipend to help defray living expenses during the research training experience, which is based on educational level and experience. See http://grants1.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm. NIH also awards an institutional allowance to the sponsoring institution to help support the costs of health insurance and other training related expenses.


No. Duplicative support from Federal funding is not allowed. Since T34 programs provide participating students with stipends on a twelve-month basis, they cannot participate concurrently in a research education program.

While trainees are required to devote full-time effort to the training program, they may receive separate compensation from an NIH grant when employed on a limited part-time basis, for example, as a laboratory assistant. Compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the trainee's planned training experience. Under no circumstances may the conditions of the employment interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved Kirschstein-NRSA training program. For additional information see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.3.10.2 Compensation.


 

 

  • Trainee-Related Expenses - Yes. Institute/Center prior approval is not required.

  • Stipends and Tuition/Fees – Yes, but without Institute/Center prior approval funds may only be moved from one of these categories to the other.  If funds are to be rebudgeted from one of these categories into a different category (e.g., into the Trainee-Related Expenses category), prior approval of the Institute/Center is required.

  • Trainee Travel – Yes. Institute/Center prior approval is not required. ​

No. Funds awarded in the stipend or tuition and fee categories may not be used for other purposes except under unusual circumstances, and only with the prior approval of the NIH awarding office.

No. Salary costs are restricted to the K99 PD/PI and other personnel only. Research costs are available to support research expenses of the PD/PI. No salary for mentoring can be charged to either the salary or the research cost categories.

Training Related Expenses can be used to help defray costs such as staff salaries. However, such charges must meet the test of allocability and reasonableness. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.3.8.4 Training-Related Expenses.

Stipends and tuition and fees may not be charged to the grant before a trainee is officially appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to NIH. There are rare occasions when costs associated with training related expenses and/or trainee travel may be allowable as pre-award costs. Consult with the relevant Grants Management Officer of the Institute/Center when considering pre-award costs.

No.  Individuals working on an NRSA receive NRSA established stipends to offset the cost-of-living during the period of training; stipends are not considered equivalent to salaries or other forms of compensation provided to individuals supported on research grants. NIH simply uses the zero-level NRSA postdoctoral stipend as a benchmark that approximates a reasonable rate of compensation for graduate students (NOT-OD-02-017).

The taxability of stipends in no way alters the relationship between Kirschstein-NRSA fellows and sponsoring institutions. Kirschstein-NRSA stipends are not considered salaries. In addition, recipients of Kirschstein-NRSA individual fellowships are not considered to be in an employee-employer relationship with NIH or the sponsoring institution solely as a result of the Kirschstein-NRSA award.

Yes, Federal fellows are required to obtain health insurance either from the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) or from a private company. If the fellow elects coverage from FAES, the funds are provided separately from the Institutional Allowance in the "Other Expenses" category. If the fellow elects coverage through a private company, the allowable premium is provided in addition to the stipend level in the stipend category.

Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 117) applies to the tax treatment of scholarships and fellowships. In general, degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for qualified tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization. Non-degree candidates are required to report as gross income any monies paid on their behalf for stipends or any course tuition and fees required for attendance.

The maximum total compensation for a graduate student receiving support from a research grant is the zero-level Kirschstein-NRSA stipend in effect when NIH issues the award (available at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm).  The amount provided for compensation includes salary or wages, fringe benefits, and tuition remission.

There is no problem with supplementing your K salary with non-Federal funds at any time during the award period, provided the supplemental support does not require extra duties that would interfere with activities under the career development award. The issue to consider is whether the foundation will give you an award if you are already an NIH grantee because some foundations limit their funding to non-NIH-funded investigators.


 

As a career development award recipient you may serve on an NIH research grant at any time during the award, and, you may receive salary from an NIH or any other Federal research grant while on a career development award. For effort directly committed to the K-award, salary supplementation is allowable, but must be from non-Federal sources (including institutional sources). For effort not directly committed to the K-award, K-award recipients may devote effort, with compensation, on Federal or non-Federal sources as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or in another role (e.g., co-Investigator), as long the specific aims of the other supporting grant(s) differ from those of the K-award (see NOT-OD-17-094. Keep in mind that if the research under the K- and R-series awards are the same (or similar), the effort devoted to the R grant is subsumed under the minimum 75% effort required by the K. If the research is clearly different, then the effort devoted to the R cannot exceed your remaining 25% effort. Also see NIH policy for short-term adjustments to the minimum effort requirement under certain circumstances (NOT-OD-09-036). Also see policy for the final two years of the K award: NOT-OD-08-065.

For training grant appointments, the amount of the stipend is determined by the stipend schedule in effect at the time the award is made and remains in effect until the award is renewed.  If the award was made July 1, 2014, all trainees will receive stipends in accordance with the FY14 stipend scale for the entire period of their appointments.  If trainees remain on the training grant for another year, they will receive the higher stipend amount when they are reappointed in July.

At the time of initial award, all candidates must meet the full-time appointment requirement as well as the minimum 75% effort requirement.  Once the award has been made, however, recipients may request a reduction in their appointments to less than full-time for personal or family situations (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months.  You may request either a reduction in percent effort OR in institutional appointment status, but may not request both simultaneously.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-09-036 for additional information. 

NIH’s understanding is that these final regulations do not apply to or impact Kirschstein-NRSA programs or awards. NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, nor does it have the authority to dispense tax advice. The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS.  Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the law to their situation and for information on their tax obligations.

 An individual may not receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level, and 3 years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of NRSA support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships, inclusive of NRSA support from another agency. Under certain circumstances NIH may grant a waiver based on a justification from the individual and sponsoring institution.  Individuals are encouraged to consult with the funding Institute/Center and review the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.6 Period of Support, prior to submitting a waiver request.


 

The amount funded as salary varies throughout participating Institute/Centers and limits are noted in the funding opportunity announcement; applicable fringe benefits are provided.  Requested salary and fringe benefit amounts must be in accordance with institution policies and based on the candidate's institutional base salary prorated for their commitment on the project.  The grantee institution may supplement the salary from non-Federal sources, and institutions may re-budget total costs to cover additional salary charges within the approved scope of the project.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.8.1 Salaries and Fringe Benefits. 


 

Wait to hear from the awarding Institute/Center.  If the stipend increase was effective in the same fiscal year as the award, the grants management official will revise the Notice of Award (NoA) to incorporate the new stipend levels.  Once you receive the revised NoA, you must use xTrain in the eRA Commons to amend any previously accepted appointments to reflect the new stipend levels.

Use the existing stipend levels in effect at the time of the application submission. The Institute/Center will make appropriate stipend adjustments at the time of award.​​

Use the existing stipend levels in the application.  The NIH Institute/Center will make appropriate stipend adjustments at the time of award.

NIH has transitioned payment for all Individual Fellowship awards to Payment Management System (PMS) subaccounts.  Foreign fellows must obtain PMS accounts and draw down their stipend and travel funds. See NIH NOT-OD-13-111 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-13-111.html).

Pre- and Post-Submission Information for Diversity Programs

Yes. Awardees are expected to report on any changes to their Recruitment Plan, on progress in this area, including specific activities undertaken, aggregate numbers of applications, acceptances, enrollments, and retention and completion of training for underrepresented populations, in the annual Progress Report. Renewal or Revision Applications should include this information as part of the Progress Report.

Yes. The Trainee Diversity Report format page should be used to submit data on diversity of the appointed trainees as defined in NOT-OD-15-053.

Yes. The data tables for use with institutional research training grant applications should be used to report on the applicants and trainees in each underrepresented population.

Yes. The PHS 2271 Appointment Form provides for voluntary self-identified reporting of individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as race/ethnicity data. NIH will periodically publish reports on trends in trainee appointments that will include demographic data reflecting the dimensions of diversity recruitment now to be tracked. Anonymized and aggregated data reports are available from NIH upon request according to well-developed access policies designed to protect the identity of individuals and small groups of individuals. See, NIH Data Access Policy.

Yes. Renewal Applications must report data on the diversity of their applicants, trainees, and past trainees to the extent that such records are available at the trainee institution. Institutions should immediately begin collecting such data for future reports.

Defining Underrepresented Groups

Category A refers to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. The revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity set forth the minimum categories for race (not subpopulations) and ethnicity in Federal statistics and administrative program reporting. At this time, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NIH data systems do not collect demographic data at the subpopulation level. The Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce has recommended that NIH data collection efforts promote more granularity by permitting the self-identification of subpopulation groups. See Recommendation 1 of the DBRW Report.

Literature shows that women from underrepresented populations, including underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds face specific challenges at the graduate level and beyond in scientific fields. (See, e.g., Inside the Double Bind, A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics http://her.hepg.org/content/t022245n7x4752v2/fulltext.pdf).

Upon review of National Science Foundation (NSF) data, and scientific discipline or field related data, NIH institutes, centers, and offices may include women as eligible candidates in faculty-level, diversity-targeted programs to address faculty recruitment, appointment, retention or advancement. This option is not available for funding opportunities that do not directly provide structured opportunities for advancement (i.e., Diversity Supplement). Applicants should review the details in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of interest. More information can be found at the Extramural Diversity website. See NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Women in the Biomedical Workforce.

No. Category C (individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds) determines the eligibility based on family circumstances, or educational challenges faced early in one's academic career. This category only applies to trainees at the high school or undergraduate level, therefore, the wages of graduate and postdoctoral scholars should not be used to determine programmatic eligibility. For more information, see NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.

Trainee or candidate eligibility should be based on self-identification. Institutions should ask potential trainees or candidates whether they are from an underrepresented group (See NOT-OD-15-053). No documentation from the individual (beyond self-identification) is required for Category A. For potential trainees and candidates indicating that they meet Category B or C, suitable documentation must be provided to the institution to support eligibility. Depending on the program, the institution may be required to state the basis for the individual’s eligibility (e.g., institutional certification letters).

NIH relies on the definition provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA defines an individual with a disability as a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The NSF reports participation in science by individuals with disabilities. See the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2017).

In 2010, the Bureau of the Census reported that nearly 20 percent of the United States population had a disability. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that in 2012, 11 percent of college students had a disability, and 34 percent of undergraduates with disabilities are from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. According to the Council of Graduate Schools and statistics from NCES, in 2008 about seven percent of all doctoral students and about six percent of doctoral students in health or life science programs had a disability. For more information, see NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Individuals with Disabilities.

The disadvantaged background category (C1 and C2) is only applicable to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates. For such programs, institutions should consider the financial circumstances of the individual since the family's arrival in the U.S. Note that except for rare exceptions (e.g., K99/R00), most training and career programs have citizenship requirements.

NIH uses the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) definition of rural, which has three subcategories:

Rural

  • Fringe: Census-defined rural territory that is less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster
  • Distant: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster
  • Remote: Census-defined rural territory that is more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster

https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ruraled/definitions.asp. A useful website is Rural Education in America, https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ruraled/. Remember that the focus for this category is on high school and college students from “environments that [have] demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.” Therefore, whatever information is provided to support a candidate’s eligibility under this criterion should address not only the location of the school, but also the educational institution’s lack of resources. A school can be rural, but not disadvantaged.

A source of data about condition of school facilities, educational attainment, educational technology, knowledge and skills at kindergarten, etc. that would be helpful in assessing inner city environments can be found at NCES, Fast Facts page. See, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/index.asp?faq=FFOption3#faqFFOption3.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) reports that African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics (or Latinos), Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are underrepresented at many career stages in health-related sciences on a national basis. (See the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering, 2017). Individuals from these groups are under-represented when compared to their age-cohorts in science-baccalaureate earners, among science-PhD earners, and in the biomedical workforce. For more information, see NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups.

Support can be provided to established investigators who is, or becomes disabled while funded on an NIH research project. See, Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research. Such support will be limited to items that will permit the investigator to complete the remaining years of a currently funded research project. This might include: salary support for an individual who can assist the Established Investigator in meeting the goals of the research project, specialized equipment, or modifications of the working environment. In all cases, the requested support must be consistent with the type of disability and the nature of the approved research. The total amount of support requested under this supplement must be reasonable in relationship to the direct costs of the parent award and the Established Investigator's role and effort on the project. In future competing applications, funds for continuation of the accommodations provided under this supplement must be requested in the parent grant application and may NOT be requested as a research supplement.

Funds may be requested to make changes or adjustments in the research setting that will make it possible for a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions associated with his/her role on the project. The accommodations requested under this program must be directly related to the performance of the proposed role on the research project and must be appropriate to the disabilities of the individual. Some types of accommodations that might be provided under this award include: specialized equipment, assistive devices, and personnel such as readers, interpreters, or assistants. In all cases, the total funds for accommodations requested must be reasonable. See, Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

Underrepresentation refers to groups whose representation in science and education or employment is comparatively smaller than their representation in the U.S. population. See, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/glossary-and-key-to-acronyms/. See also, NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Diversity Matters: Definitions.

The National Science Foundation reports that the representation of certain groups of people in science and engineering (S&E) education and employment differs from their representation in the U.S. population. Women, persons with disabilities, and three racial and ethnic groups—African Americans or Blacks, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians and Alaska Natives—are underrepresented in S&E. While women have reached parity with men among S&E degree recipients overall, they constitute disproportionally smaller percentages of employed scientists and engineers than they do of the U.S. population. Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians and Alaska Natives have gradually increased their share of S&E degrees, but they remain underrepresented in educational attainment and the S&E workforce. By contrast, Asians are overrepresented among S&E degree recipients and employed scientists and engineers. See, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/digest/introduction/. The charts below illustrate these concepts.

United States resident population ages 18-64, by race, ethnicity and sex: 2014 (NSF Report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2017)

Scientists and engineers working in science and engineering occupations: 2015 (NSF Report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2017)

Underrepresented groups include: individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds (at the undergraduate and below level), persons with disabilities, and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Women may also be identified as underrepresented at senior career levels. The Notice, NIH Interest in Diversity identifies the groups that have been identified as nationally underrepresented in health-related sciences. See, NOT-OD-15-053. NIH’s identification of these populations is evidence based and grounded in scientific objectivity. Therefore, NIH relies on National Science Foundation (NSF) data, and the Secretary’s poverty level data to determine eligibility. For more information, see NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Diversity Matters.

The concept of educational and economic disadvantage are often intertwined. Individuals from low-income families are underrepresented in scientific careers, and have limited access to necessary science and math prerequisites at every academic level. Data shows that while half of all individuals from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, only one in 10 individuals from low-income families do. Low-income students are less likely to take a science-oriented core curriculum, and less likely to meet readiness benchmarks on college entrance exams. This can be attributed in part to data showing that nationwide, between 10-25 percent of high schools do not offer more than one of the core courses in the typical sequence of high school math and science education—such as algebra I and II, geometry, biology, and chemistry. For more information, see, NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.

The NIH diversity policy was established to address populations that are underrepresented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, mathematical sciences, and other relevant disciplines (See NOT-OD-15-053). NIH’s identification of these populations is evidence based and grounded in scientific objectivity to avoid being influenced by individual perspectives, value commitments, community bias or personal interests. Therefore, NIH relies on National Science Foundation (NSF) data, and the Secretary’s poverty level data to determine eligibility. When the NSF identifies additional populations using the same methodology, NIH will adjust eligibility criteria accordingly.

Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity

No. It is never acceptable to focus efforts entirely on one population to the exclusion of the other underrepresented groups. The acceptability of the Plan will be evaluated in its entirety with appropriate consideration of various recruitment efforts as judged by the reviewers. However, plans may vary in their emphasis and may excel more in one area than the others with respect to activities targeting individuals in populations defined in NOT-OD-15-053, and referenced in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

At this time, neither NSF nor NIH systems accommodate analysis or reports of demographic data at the subpopulation level. In the absence of the ability to collect such data, subpopulation data should not be reported in the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity.

At this time, neither NSF nor NIH systems accommodate analysis or reports of demographic data at the subpopulation level. In the absence of the ability to collect such data, subpopulation data should not be reported in the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity.

In the past, individuals from racial and ethnic populations with low numbers on a campus could be included in diversity programs and reported in the Plan. However, this policy was changed in January 2015 because addressing numerical representation at the institutional level does not align with NIHs interest in diversity, which is national in scope. See, the Diversity FAQ, What does underrepresentation mean?

The racial and ethnic categories and definitions can be found in NOT-OD-15-089. The Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (OMB Directive 15) set forth the minimum categories for data on race and ethnicity for Federal statistics and administrative program reporting. The categories are defined as follows:

American Indian or Alaska Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.

Asian. A person having origins in any of the peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia , or the Indian subcontinent, including, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. Terms such as “Haitian” or “Negro” can be used in addition to “Black or African American”.

Hispanic or Latino. A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term “Spanish origin” can be used in addition to “Hispanic or Latino.”

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle east, or North Africa.

See, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards

The Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity should address the groups that are nationally underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. See NOT-OD-15-053 for more information.

The Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity expands on the former requirement of a Minority Recruitment and Retention Plan, which focused on the importance of recruiting minority groups into science. The Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity has expanded, and addresses individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds (at the undergraduate and below academic level). At NIH’s discretion, and defined in the FOA, the Plan may also address women at senior faculty levels.

Peer reviewers will be asked to consider the Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity and the merit of the plan in two ways:

1) For renewal applications, the diversity of the applicant and trainee pool will be considered as part of the review criterion reflecting the trainee pool. Diversity in the student pool has been associated with improved outcomes in many educational settings. Thus, accomplishments in this area will contribute to the priority score assigned to the application.

2) For new and renewal applications, the reviewers will be asked to comment upon the acceptability of the Recruitment Plans to Enhance diversity. This discussion will occur after the priority score vote on the application has taken place. The comments and recommendation will be recorded as an administrative note. New or renewal applications will not be funded until an acceptable Recruitment Plan is submitted.

No. An award will not be made for any application with an unacceptable Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity.

NIH Institutes and Centers have processes by which the applicant may submit an updated Recruitment Plan that addresses the reviewers' concerns. An award may be issued after such concerns have been resolved.

Both the institution and the training grant program (e.g., program director and faculty) should be involved in efforts to enhance the participation of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in the training grant program. The training grant program is responsible for submitting a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity to the NIH component making the training grant award.

Applications for institutional research training, institutional career development, and institutional research education grant awards involving participants (e.g., T32, T35, K12, CTSA, and R25) must include a Recruitment Plan to Enhance Diversity as part of the application.

The plan should describe efforts to enhance diversity within the program through enhanced recruitment of individuals from underrepresented populations, which includes underrepresented racial and ethnic populations; individuals with disabilities; individuals from economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds (at the college level and below). If NIH has identified women at senior faculty levels as an eligible population for the program, the recruitment plan must also describe efforts to conduct targeted outreach to women. Institutions are required to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national basis. See NOT-OD-15-053 for more information on NIH's interest in diversity.

 Contact the Grants Management Specialist identified in the Notice of Award. Multiple factors will be considered, e.g., how many such individuals are already supported, institutional commitment, availability of funds, etc.


 

​Yes. Efforts to recruit and retain individuals that contribute to the diversity of the workforce are obligations of those members of the institution specifically associated with the training program, as well as the institution as a whole.​​​

Recruitment and Retention

In addition to recruitment and outreach, NIH funded programs must address retention strategies for all participants and should also identify specific strategies that will be used to retain individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. For more information, visit the NIH Extramural Diversity Website, retention issues and strategies.

The NIH Extramural Diversity Website identifies some strategies to build the participation of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. See, Building Participation: recruitment and retention. You can also find information about the institutions, research organizations, professional societies and affinity groups that can help to recruit applicants from underrepresented backgrounds. Some useful website pages are: leveraging stakeholders to promote diversity, recruitment and retention, and eliminating barriers to participation.

A recruitment plan is a best practice that should be used by principal investigators, faculty members and senior leaders to help identify strategies to enhance the pool of applicants for any program. While recruitment and outreach to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds does not guarantee or increase the likelihood of participation for any applicant, efforts that are more inclusive can enhance the diversity of applicant pools. Strategies can be adapted to fit the academic level and needs of your program. See, NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Building Participation.

NIH Interest in Diversity

NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. To achieve this mission, NIH invests in research to improve public health. It also devotes substantial resources to identify, develop, support and maintain its scientific resources, including human capital. NIH’s ability to ensure that it remains a leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented researchers. Promoting diversity in the extramural scientific workforce by taking steps to recruit individuals from underrepresented groups in the programs that we support is critical to the success of the NIH mission. The NIH Interest in Diversity is found in NOT-OD-15-053. See also, NIH Extramural Diversity Website, Diversity Matters.

NIH launched a website to provide information about diversity in extramural programs. You can learn how diversity supports the NIH mission, learn about populations that are underrepresented in research careers, find opportunities to participate in diversity programs, meet researchers, and more. Whether you are a science student, trainee, faculty member, or someone who is interested in diversity programs, you can find what you are looking for here.

Reviewers will evaluate new RCR plans as well as the past record of RCR instruction (where applicable).  Reviewers will specifically address the five Instructional components taking into account the characteristics of institutional programs or the unique circumstances outlined for short-term training programs, individual fellowships, career awards, and research education programs. 

The RCR plan and past record of RCR instruction (where applicable) will be discussed after the overall determination of merit of the application at large; the review panel’s evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the impact/priority score. Plans and past records will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE.  The results of the review will be reported as an administrative note in the summary statement and will explain how the review panel determined its rating.  Regardless of the impact/priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan. 

Research misconduct is specifically defined by federal regulation as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research or in reporting research results.   It is well recognized that RCR encompasses honesty and multiple other aspects of ethical behavior in the practice of scientific research. 

Although documentation is not routinely required, it is expected that course attendance is monitored and that institutions maintain records sufficient to demonstrate that NIH-supported trainees, fellows, and scholars have received the required instruction.

Yes. Information on the nature of the RCR instruction and the extent of fellow and faculty participation must be provided in the annual progress report:

  • For institutional training, research education, and institutional career development awards, the report must also include a description of any enhancements and/or modifications to the five instructional components from the plan described in the application.  Training faculty members who were contributors to formal instruction in RCR during the last budget period must be named.

  • For individual fellowships the report must include subject matter covered, format, frequency and duration of instruction, or indicate when during a previous or future budget period instruction in RCR did or will take place.  The report should discuss both formal and/or informal instruction and note the extent to which the sponsor or senior fellow participated in these activities. 

For individual career development awards and dissertation awards, the report should describe formal and informal instruction (or participation as a course director, etc. in the case of senior career awardees) during the budget period, or if during a prior budget period, the date of occurrence.  Activities undertaken to individualize instruction appropriate to the career stage of the candidate or PD/PI should be discussed.  For dissertation awards, the report should describe how the mentor participated in these activities.

Faculty Participation.  Substantial face-to-face discussions between the fellow, other individuals in a similar training status, and sponsors, plus a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies) are highly encouraged. Online course work may not be the sole means of instruction.

Subject Matter.  Most acceptable plans address conflict of interest, policies regarding human subjects and live vertebrate animals in research, safe laboratory practices, sponsor/fellow relationships, collaborative research, peer review, data management, research misconduct, authorship, the scientist as a responsible member of society, ethical issues and the impacts of scientific research.

Faculty Participation.  Sponsors and other appropriate faculty are highly encouraged to contribute both to formal and informal instruction in RCR. Informal instruction occurs in the laboratory and other informal situations.  Sponsors may contribute to formal instruction as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors.

Duration of Instruction.  Most acceptable plans include at least eight substantive contact hours.  A semester-long series is generally more effective than a single seminar or one-day workshop.

Frequency of Instruction.  Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.  Initial instruction during predoctoral training should occur as early as possible in graduate school. Senior fellows may fulfill the requirement for RCR instruction by participating as lecturers and discussion leaders.

For additional information see NIH Guide Notice OD-10-019, Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the RCR

(http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html).

All new institutional applications must include a plan for instruction in RCR that addresses the specified instructional components and describes how participation in instruction in RCR will be monitored (NOT-OD-10-019).  Renewal institutional applications must, in addition, describe changes in formal instruction over the past project period and plans for the future that address any weaknesses in the current RCR instruction.  All training faculty who served as RCR course directors, speakers, lecturers, and/or discussion leaders during the past project period must be named in the application.

New individual applications must include a section on instruction in RCR, appropriate to the career stage of the applicant (instruction for applicants in the early stages of their careers; participation as course directors, lecturers, or discussion leaders for applicants in middle or senior stages of their careers), as part of the Research Training Plan or Candidate Information and Career Development Plan.  This section will document prior participation or instruction in RCR during the applicant's current career stage (including the date instruction was last completed) and propose plans to either receive instruction in RCR or participate as a course lecturer, etc., depending on the applicant's career stage.   The plan may include career stage-appropriate, individualized instruction or independent scholarly activities that will enhance the applicant's understanding of ethical issues related to their specific research activities and the societal impact of that research.  The role of the sponsor/mentor in instruction in RCR must be described.  Individual renewal applications, where applicable, must describe instruction in RCR activities undertaken during the past project period as well as future plans in order to meet the Frequency of Instruction component. 

Responsible conduct of research is defined as the practice of scientific investigation with integrity.  It involves the awareness and application of established professional norms and ethical principles in the performance of all activities related to scientific research.  NIH believes that RCR is an essential component of research training, that active involvement in the issues of RCR should occur throughout a scientist’s career, that individuals supported by fellowships and career development awards should assume responsibility for their instruction in RCR, and that research faculty of the institution should participate in the RCR instruction. See NOT-OD-10-019 for more information.

All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in RCR (see NOT-OD-10-019).  This policy applies to the following programs:  D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.   This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in RCR as stated in the relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement.

See the NIH Guide Notice OD-10-019, Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the RCR (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html). Also, the NIH Research Training website (http://grants.nih.gov/training/extramural.htm) includes additional information on RCR, links to instructional materials, and examples of programs that are regarded as good models for instruction in RCR (http://bioethics.od.nih.gov/researchethics.html).  The National Academy Press 3rd. edition of the highly recommended On Being a Scientist is available online at http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12192.

The initial peer review will be organized by participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). ICs may work together to cluster the review of K99/R00 Award applications that involve common areas of science relevant to the missions of multiple ICs.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to include in their application:

1) a description of the relationship between the mentor's research and the candidate's proposed research,

2) how the candidate will gain independence from his/her mentors and separate his/her scientific research program from that of the mentor(s),

3) a statement from the primary mentor that provides: 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.

For additional details, see the funding opportunity announcement.​

Reviewers will evaluate new RCR plans as well as the past record of RCR instruction (where applicable).  Reviewers will specifically address the five Instructional components taking into account the characteristics of institutional programs or the unique circumstances outlined for short-term training programs, individual fellowships, career awards, and research education programs. 

The RCR plan and past record of RCR instruction (where applicable) will be discussed after the overall determination of merit of the application at large; the review panel’s evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the impact/priority score. Plans and past records will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE.  The results of the review will be reported as an administrative note in the summary statement and will explain how the review panel determined its rating.  Regardless of the impact/priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan. 

​Yes. Efforts to recruit and retain individuals that contribute to the diversity of the workforce are obligations of those members of the institution specifically associated with the training program, as well as the institution as a whole.​​​

Faculty Participation.  Substantial face-to-face discussions between the fellow, other individuals in a similar training status, and sponsors, plus a combination of didactic and small-group discussions (e.g. case studies) are highly encouraged. Online course work may not be the sole means of instruction.

Subject Matter.  Most acceptable plans address conflict of interest, policies regarding human subjects and live vertebrate animals in research, safe laboratory practices, sponsor/fellow relationships, collaborative research, peer review, data management, research misconduct, authorship, the scientist as a responsible member of society, ethical issues and the impacts of scientific research.

Faculty Participation.  Sponsors and other appropriate faculty are highly encouraged to contribute both to formal and informal instruction in RCR. Informal instruction occurs in the laboratory and other informal situations.  Sponsors may contribute to formal instruction as discussion leaders, speakers, lecturers, and/or course directors.

Duration of Instruction.  Most acceptable plans include at least eight substantive contact hours.  A semester-long series is generally more effective than a single seminar or one-day workshop.

Frequency of Instruction.  Instruction must be undertaken at least once during each career stage, and at a frequency of no less than once every four years.  Initial instruction during predoctoral training should occur as early as possible in graduate school. Senior fellows may fulfill the requirement for RCR instruction by participating as lecturers and discussion leaders.

For additional information see NIH Guide Notice OD-10-019, Update on the Requirement for Instruction in the RCR

(http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-019.html).

All trainees, fellows, participants, and scholars receiving support through any NIH training, career development award (individual or institutional), research education grant, and dissertation research grant must receive instruction in RCR (see NOT-OD-10-019).  This policy applies to the following programs:  D43, D71, F05, F30, F31, F32, F33, F34, F37, F38, K01, K02, K05, K07, K08, K12, K18, K22, K23, K24, K25, K26, K30, K99/R00, KL1, KL2, R25, R36, T15, T32, T34, T35, T36, T37, T90/R90, TL1, TU2, and U2R.   This policy also applies to any other NIH-funded programs supporting research training, career development, or research education that require instruction in RCR as stated in the relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement.


Review criteria are provided in each funding opportunity announcement, Section V.  The Scientific Review Group (SRG) will provide an overall impact score to reflect its assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the applicant's potential for a productive independent scientific research career in a health-related field, considering the scored and additional review criteria. Since fellowships are training awards and not research awards, major considerations are the applicant's potential for a productive career, the applicant's need for the proposed training, and the degree to which the research training proposed, the sponsor, and the environment, will satisfy those needs.

NRSA individual fellowship applications receive a secondary level of review by Institute/Center staff. Criteria used in making award decisions include the SRG's recommendation concerning the overall merit of the application, the relevance of the application to the Institute/Center's research training priorities and program balance, and the availability of funds.


No. Funds are awarded in a lump sum and grantees are free to expend these as best meets their actual needs. The formula is used for award calculation purposes only.

No. Funds awarded in the stipend or tuition and fee categories may not be used for other purposes except under unusual circumstances, and only with the prior approval of the NIH awarding office.

Stipends and tuition and fees may not be charged to the grant before a trainee is officially appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to NIH. There are rare occasions when costs associated with training related expenses and/or trainee travel may be allowable as pre-award costs. Consult with the relevant Grants Management Officer of the Institute/Center when considering pre-award costs.

Applicants cannot request health insurance costs in an application.  The NIH provides a lump sum for Training Related Expenses (TRE) that may be used, among other things, to defray health insurance costs to the extent that the same health insurance fees are charged to regular non-Federally supported students and postdoctoral fellows.  Applicants may request the lump sum for TRE specified in the funding opportunity announcement.

Applicants should request the full amount of tuition and fees and should not calculate award costs (see NOT-OD-10-173). At the time of award, the Institute/Center will apply the appropriate formula.​

Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 117) applies to the tax treatment of scholarships and fellowships. In general, degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for qualified tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization. Non-degree candidates are required to report as gross income any monies paid on their behalf for stipends or any course tuition and fees required for attendance.

The maximum total compensation for a graduate student receiving support from a research grant is the zero-level Kirschstein-NRSA stipend in effect when NIH issues the award (available at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm).  The amount provided for compensation includes salary or wages, fringe benefits, and tuition remission.

For institutional training grants and most individual fellowships, TRE will be awarded based on $4,200 per predoctoral trainee and $7,850 per postdoctoral trainee.  TRE for individual fellowships to Federal and For-Profit sponsoring institutions will be awarded at $3,100 for predoctorates, and $6,750 for postdoctorates.

While the grantee can request actual needs, the award will likely be made at the committed tuition level, unless actual is less. The formula used at the time of the competitive award provides no increase in future years.

 No. Grantees should request full needs in these categories. The formula currently in effect will be applied by the Institute/Center at the time of the award. See the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.

Health insurance costs incurred by the institution, or other training related expenses incurred, but not yet paid or recorded, can be treated as an unliquidated obligation on the Federal Financial Report.

NIH will award 60 percent of each requested postdoctoral trainee’s tuition and fees up to a cap of $4,500 per year, or $16,000 for those in formal degree-granting programs.  For postdoctoral trainees and fellows, tuition is limited to that required for specific courses in support of the approved training program or research training experience supported by the fellowship, which should be identified in the application(see NOT-OD-10-173).​

NIH will award 60 percent of each requested predoctoral trainee’s tuition and fees up to a cap of $16,000 annually, or $21,000 for dual-degree students (see NOT-OD-10-173).

NIH does not pay for health insurance per se. Rather, NIH provides a lump sum to the grantee institution, referred to as Training Related Expenses (TRE), to offset a portion of the institutional costs associated with health insurance (either self-only or family, as appropriate).  Health insurance costs may be charged by the grantee institution to TRE only if the costs are applied by the grantee consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution, regardless of the source of support. Individuals should seek advice from the grantee institution regarding institutional policies and procedures.

No.  Submit the Termination Notice immediately using the eRA Commons xTrain system.  The preferred process is that the Fellow initiates the termination notice, the Sponsor certifies and routes it, and the Business Official submits it to the Agency.  See http://era.nih.gov/files/termination_fellowship.pdf for instructions. The Termination Notice must also reflect any other funds awarded directly to the individual.  For fellows at foreign institutions, this could include any round-trip travel costs to/from the training site.  For fellows at Federal institutions, this could include funds expended from the Institutional Allowance, such as health insurance, travel, tuition and fees.​​​

If transition from the K99 phase at an extramural institution to the R00 phase occurs at the originally scheduled end date of the K99 award, then no specific steps to terminate the K99 award are necessary.  If the transition occurs prior to the scheduled end date, then a revised Notice of Award will be issued to terminate the K99 phase award. Carryover of unspent funds from a partially completed year in the K99 phase into the R00 phase will be permitted, subject to approval by the Grants Management Office of the awarding NIH Institute or Center.

The eRA Commons xTrain module is an electronic system used to prepare and submit PHS 2271 Statement of Appointment forms and PHS 416-7 Termination Notices when required for institutional research training and career development awards, individual fellowships, and research education awards.  Paper submissions of these forms are not accepted by NIH.

Submit the Termination Notice immediately using the eRA Commons xTrain system.  The preferred process is that the Fellow initiates the termination notice, the Sponsor certifies and routes it, and the Business Official submits it to the Agency.  See http://era.nih.gov/files/termination_fellowship.pdf for instructions.

Yes, recipients are employees of the institution and applicable institutional leave policies (e.g., for vacation, sick, parental leave) apply.  A leave of absence or sabbatical greater than 3 months must be requested and approved in writing by the NIH.  For some awards, additional information may be required by the Institute/Center; see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.13.1 Leave.

Trainees may receive stipends for up to 60 calendar days (equivalent to 8 work weeks) of parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at the grantee organization have access to this level of paid leave for this purpose. Either parent is eligible for parental leave. The use of parental leave must be approved by the training program director.  

At the time of initial award, all candidates must meet the full-time appointment requirement as well as the minimum 75% effort requirement.  Once the award has been made, however, recipients may request a reduction in their appointments to less than full-time for personal or family situations (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months.  You may request either a reduction in percent effort OR in institutional appointment status, but may not request both simultaneously.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-09-036 for additional information. 

Fellows may receive stipends for up to 60 calendar days (equivalent to 8 work weeks) of parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at the grantee organization have access to this level of paid leave for this purpose. Either parent is eligible for parental leave. The use of parental leave must be approved in advance by the sponsor.

Individuals requiring extended periods of time away from their research training experience, that is, more than 15 calendar days of sick leave or more than 60 calendar days of parental leave, must seek approval from the Institute/Center for an unpaid leave of absence. Upon approval of the request, the Institute/Center will issue a revised NoA extending the ending date of the current budget/project period by the appropriate number of days or months of unpaid leave time. Recipients are precluded from spending award funds during the leave of absence; although continued coverage of health insurance would be allowable if in accordance with policy of the sponsoring institution.

Training Related Expenses can be used to help defray costs such as staff salaries. However, such charges must meet the test of allocability and reasonableness. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.3.8.4 Training-Related Expenses.

Yes, Federal fellows are required to obtain health insurance either from the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) or from a private company. If the fellow elects coverage from FAES, the funds are provided separately from the Institutional Allowance in the "Other Expenses" category. If the fellow elects coverage through a private company, the allowable premium is provided in addition to the stipend level in the stipend category.

NIH does not pay for health insurance per se. Rather, NIH provides a lump sum to the grantee institution, referred to as Training Related Expenses (TRE), to offset a portion of the institutional costs associated with health insurance (either self-only or family, as appropriate).  Health insurance costs may be charged by the grantee institution to TRE only if the costs are applied by the grantee consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution, regardless of the source of support. Individuals should seek advice from the grantee institution regarding institutional policies and procedures.

The amount funded as salary varies throughout participating Institute/Centers and limits are noted in the funding opportunity announcement; applicable fringe benefits are provided.  Requested salary and fringe benefit amounts must be in accordance with institution policies and based on the candidate's institutional base salary prorated for their commitment on the project.  The grantee institution may supplement the salary from non-Federal sources, and institutions may re-budget total costs to cover additional salary charges within the approved scope of the project.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.8.1 Salaries and Fringe Benefits. 


 

Exceptions to the 4-year limit may be approved, e.g., where significant changes in fields of study have occurred, such as moving from physical science to life science research, or from engineering to behavioral research. Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require concurrence of NIH program staff of the Institute/Center most likely to be assigned the application. Institute/Center concurrence must be obtained prior to submission, and a statement describing the circumstances must be included in the application.​

Individuals in a mentored, postdoctoral training position who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of the title of their current position, are eligible to apply for this award.  

Individuals who currently hold or have held a tenure-track research faculty or other professorship or their equivalent in academia, industry or elsewhere are not eligible to apply for this award. However, a clinical faculty member who does not hold an independent research faculty position may be eligible for the K99/R00 award, and should contact program staff at the relevant Institute/Center for guidance. Following clinical training or clinical fellowship training periods, clinicians often obtain a clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research. 


Questions regarding additional unique situations should be discussed with NIH program staff contacts in the funding opportunity announcement.

Yes.  Applications may be submitted by eligible NRSA recipients. NRSA recipients selected for K99/R00 funding must terminate their NRSA support prior to receiving support from the K99/R00.​

Yes.  The candidate's academic appointment must be full time, and the candidate must be provided with appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources to carry out the research plan proposed in the application.

No. The permanent residency requirement must be satisfied at the time of award.

At the time of an NRSA fellowship award, the applicant must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. If the individual expects to become a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date indicated in the fellowship funding opportunity announcement (FOA), he or she may submit an application. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship.​

No. Citizenship/permanent residency requirements for training grants must be met at the time of the appointment.

At the time of the training grant award, the trainee must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive for appointment must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship

At the time of an NRSA fellowship award, the applicant must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. If the individual expects to become a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date indicated in the fellowship funding opportunity announcement (FOA), he or she may submit an application. Documentation concerning permanent residency is not required as part of the initial application, but an applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized statement of admission for permanent residence prior to the issuance of the award. Additional information is in each FOA, Section III, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 11.2.2.4 Citizenship.​

No. Applications requesting only the independent phase will not be accepted.

The K99/R00 award provides up to 5 years of continuous support consisting of mentored and independent research phases.

Generally, foreign organizations are eligible, but programs may vary in their requirements, and applicants should refer to the specific funding opportunity announcement (see Section III of the funding opportunity announcement, Eligible Applicants).

Yes, the requirements may vary among programs that are supported by various funding authorities. Each funding opportunity announcement, in Section III, includes specific applicant eligibility requirements that address, among other items, eligible organizations, degree requirements, and sponsor and citizenship requirements.​

No. 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.

Therefore, applicants with postgraduate clinical training experience remain eligible and are encouraged to apply for the K99/R00 award. Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss time spent conducting research during their postgraduate clinical training experience with an NIH program contact person before applying.

Yes. Time spent conducting postgraduate research, whether inside or outside of the United States, is considered part of the 4-year research eligibility limit.

Yes. ALL Postdoctoral research experience counts, including time spent conducting research (or publishing research results) where you obtained your doctoral degree prior to starting an official postdoctoral position.

In general, the clock starts with the first relevant Ph.D. degree. Depending on the research training experience, some Ph.D.s may count as biomedically relevant (e.g., Biochemistry, Biophysics). However, if the first Ph.D. is in a totally unrelated field (e.g., English), the clock starts with the second, relevant Ph.D. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Institute/Center staff for specific guidance.

No. NIH does not anticipate that any modifications regarding citizenship eligibility will be made to NRSA-supported research. Organizations eligible for the K99 phase include domestic for-profit or non-profit institutions/organizations, public or private institutions (such as universities, colleges, hospitals and laboratories), and eligible agencies of the federal government, including NIH intramural laboratories, training and career development programs.​

In the requested budget for the competing research grant you should request appropriate amounts for the salary and associated costs of your effort.  If you receive a research project grant as a PD/PI during the last two years of the K award, NIH will permit you to reduce the effort required to no less than 6 person months (50% full-time professional effort at the grantee organization) and replace it with effort from the research award so that the total level of research commitment remains at 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort), or more for the remainder of the mentored K award.  A letter must accompany the research grant application from the chair of your department or other responsible institutional official providing evidence that you will continue to focus on the development of your research career and continue to have access to your mentor, and that your total level of research effort will be maintained and protected at a minimum of 9 person-months (75% full-time professional effort).  At the time of award of the research grant the career development award may be adjusted to avoid budgetary overlap.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-08-065.

Consult the funding opportunity announcement  for specific eligibility requirements, but generally applicants who have previously served as the PD/PI on an NIH R03 or R21 award, or non-PHS equivalent, may apply for a mentored CDA (except the K99/R00). 

Individuals are NOT eligible for a mentored CDA if they have a pending application for:

1)    any other PHS career award that duplicates the provisions of the proposed NIH program

2)    an NIH institute-specific K22 or a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00); and/or have been or are currently a PD/PI on an independent NIH research grant (such as R01) or a subproject leader on a Program Project (P01) or Center Grant (P50), or a non-PHS equivalent to these grants. ​​​

The grantee organization must document its agreement to release the candidate from other duties and activities to devote the required percentage of time (often, at least 75%) for development of a research career (e.g., reduction of the candidate's teaching load, committee and administrative assignments, and clinical or other professional activities).

There are four general different kinds of career development awards:

  • Individual mentored awards provide support for a sustained period of "protected time" (generally 3, 4, or 5 years) for intensive research career development under the guidance of an experienced mentor or sponsor in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences.  These include the K01, K07 (developmental), K08, K23, K25, and K99/R00.

  • Career transition awards provide protected time through salary and research support to facilitate the transition of postdoctoral individuals or junior faculty in mentored positions to research independence. These include the K22 and K99/R00.

  • Independent awards are non-mentored and provide protected time for scientists who can demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research focus as a means of enhancing their research careers. These include the K02, K05, K07 leadership, and K24.

  • Institutional scientist development programs are mentored and provide support to an institution for the development of independent basic or clinical scientists. The goal of this program is to enhance research career development for individuals (known as 'scholars') selected by the institution who are training for careers in specified research areas. These include the K12 and KL2.

This means that, regardless of whether the application is New or a Resubmission (A1) application, the applicant must have fewer than 4 years of postgraduate research experience at the application due date. For example, if an applicant is within the 4 years of eligibility at the time of the initial application due date, but not within the 4 years of eligibility at the time of resubmission, he/she is no longer eligible to apply for the PI award, and may not resubmit the application.

 

For non-U.S. citizen/permanent residents, the applicant U.S. institution is responsible for determining and documenting in the application that the applicant investigator's visa will allow him or her to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the research project in the U.S. for the duration of the proposed independent research (R00) phase. 

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ.

In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 75% effort) at least for the duration of the R00 award. The start-up package and other institutional support should be comparable to that given to other recently hired faculty into tenure-track or equivalent positions.  Moreover, institutions may not require the use of R00 funds to offset a typical startup package. The sponsoring institution should describe the candidate's academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track or equivalent, and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The independent phase institution must foster and support the awardee's ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support.​



 

Utilize the Career Award Wizard on the K Kiosk at http://grants.nih.gov/training/kwizard/index.htm.  By answering questions such as the nature of your degree, whether you have successfully competed for research funding, and the need for additional mentoring, the wizard will identify potential awards that might be appropriate for you.  Before beginning work on an application, read the funding opportunity announcement and contact the relevant Institute/Center program staff.  This last step is critical and can save you wasted time and effort.

 

The Information about NIH career development awards posted on the Kiosk (https://grants.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm) can also be helpful. The site has a table listing all the different types of career development awards and active funding opportunity announcements.​

Organizations eligible for the R00 phase include:

      1)   ​Domestic for-profit or non-profit institutions/organizations

      2)   Public or private institutions (such as universities, colleges, hospitals and laboratories)

 

 Unlike the K99 Phase, agencies of the Federal government (e.g., the NIH intramural program) are not eligible for the R00 phase.

Additionally, other than institutions of higher education, eligibility 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 grants (R01 or R01-equivalent).​

  • Foreign institutions and non-U.S. components of U.S. organizations are not eligible to apply to apply for either the K99 phase or the R00 phase.

  • Agencies of the Federal government that are ineligible to receive NIH extramural research grants, including the NIH intramural research program, are ineligible to apply for the R00 phase. 

  • Other than institutions of higher education, eligibility 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 grants (R01 or R01-equivalent).​

Candidates for independent career development awards must have a doctoral degree and their own peer-reviewed research support at the time the award is made. Some of the participating NIH Institute and Centers require candidates to have an NIH research grant from their IC at the time of application. Other NIH ICs will accept candidates with peer-reviewed, independent research support from other sources. 

Always check the eligibility criteria in the funding opportunity announcement for specific requirements.  General requirements are:

  • The application must be submitted on behalf of the candidate by a domestic for-profit or non-profit public or private institution/organization; foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

  • Candidates (called the PD/PI for purposes of eRA Commons account type) are generally required to hold a research or health-professional doctoral degree, or its equivalent; eligibility for some awards is limited to applicants with health professional doctoral degrees.

  • For programs other than the K99/R00 program, only U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time an award is made are eligible. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to apply for a career development award unless they have begun the process of becoming a permanent resident and expect to be admitted as a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date.​

Outstanding postdoctoral candidates who have terminal clinical or research doctorates (or equivalent doctoral degrees) and who have no more than 4 years of full-time postdoctoral research experience at the time of initial application receipt date, or subsequent resubmission (A1) are eligible. Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration is not included in the 4-year eligibility limit, nor is clinical training with no research involvement (e.g., full-time residency training). Part-time postdoctoral research training, related to personal or family situations or occurring during a research residency or fellowship, will be pro-rated accordingly.  Potential applicants with questions about their eligibility status are encouraged to discuss their situation with an NIH program staff contact.​

The following are ineligible to apply for the K99/R00:

  • Investigators who have currently or previously held an independent research faculty or tenure-track faculty position, or its equivalent in academia, industry, or elsewhere.

  • Investigators who have more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of initial application submission or revision.

  • Investigators who currently are, or have previously been, an independent PD/PI on NIH research grants (such as R01, R03, R21, P01, or subprojects of such grants).

  • Former and current recipients of NIH Career Development Awards.

Investigators who have been a PD/PI on peer-reviewed NIH or non-NIH research grants over $100,000 in direct costs per year.

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.

The K99/R00 is designed to help outstanding postdoctoral researchers complete needed, mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent research careers. The intended applicant will have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience, evidence of research productivity including scientific publications, and a creative idea for an independent research project. 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.

The K99/R00 seeks to attract the best and brightest individuals conducting research in the United States, regardless of citizenship, and to facilitate the transition to research independence in the U.S.

No. The distribution of awards will depend upon the quality of the applications received, the results of the scientific peer review process, the availability of funds and the program priorities of Institutes/Centers.

No. NIH will not intercede on behalf of non-citizens whose stay in the United States may be limited by their visa status. As a result, NIH requires the applicant institution or organization to determine and indicate, in its application, that such individuals' visas will allow them to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the project. If a grant is awarded on the basis of this information and the individual's visa does not allow for such a stay, the NIH may terminate the grant.

Yes. The PI’s visa must allow him/her to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the relevant phase (K99 or R00) of the award. 

In order to activate the extramural independent scientist R00 phase, individuals must have been offered and accepted a tenure-track, full-time assistant professor position (or equivalent) at an eligible institution with appropriate infrastructure to support the proposed research program and a history of external research funding. 

The application for the extramural independent scientist R00 phase of the award must be submitted no later than 2 months prior to the proposed activation date of the R00 award by the R00 phase grantee organization. However, to avoid potential problems in activation, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH program officials as soon as plans to assume an independent position develop, and not later than 6 months prior to the termination of the K99 phase of the award to discuss plans for transition to, and the application for, the R00 phase. This is especially important if the applicant has any question about the acceptability of a specific independent position for the R00 phase of the award.

If transition from the K99 phase at an extramural institution to the R00 phase occurs at the originally scheduled end date of the K99 award, then no specific steps to terminate the K99 award are necessary.  If the transition occurs prior to the scheduled end date, then a revised Notice of Award will be issued to terminate the K99 phase award. Carryover of unspent funds from a partially completed year in the K99 phase into the R00 phase will be permitted, subject to approval by the Grants Management Office of the awarding NIH Institute or Center.

No, transition from the mentored phase to the extramural independent scientist phase is not automatic. It is subject to review of the K99 awardee's research training/career development accomplishments and the evaluation of all documents submitted during application for the R00 phase. These include the tenure-track faculty job offer and the research plan to be carried out at the extramural sponsoring institution to which he or she has been recruited.

It is expected that K99/R00 awardees will locate a qualifying independent research position prior to completion of the mentored phase, and that transition with associated funding will be continuous in time. It is expected that the awardee will complete at least one full year of mentored training under the K99 phase before transitioning to the R00 phase, except under unusual circumstances. Individuals who expect to transition to an independent position in less time may not be appropriate for this grant mechanism and may wish to consider applying for other grant mechanisms, such as the K22, R03, R21, or R01, instead. K99 awardees who are not able to transition at the end of the K99 project period may request a No Cost Extension. Requests for administrative supplements to extend K99 phase support generally will not be considered.

Transition from the mentored phase (K99) to the extramural independent scientist phase (R00) of the award is intended to be continuous in time.  It is expected that K99 awardees will locate a qualifying independent research position prior to completion of the mentored phase, and that transition with associated funding will be continuous in time. ICs may, at their discretion, make exceptions to this time limitation when individuals have been invited for faculty job interviews but final decisions have not yet been made by the potential R00 institution or, rarely, because of unusual, extenuating circumstances.

Transition from the mentored phase to the extramural independent scientist phase is not automatic and is subject to an administrative review. Applicants that are approved to transition will receive a Notice of Award. Applicants who are not approved to transition will receive written notification from the awarding component communicating the rationale for the disapproval.  This letter typically will be sent within 60 days of receipt of the R00 application.

Because of the relatively short duration of the mentored phase of the K22 and K99/R00 awards, a request for reduction in appointment OR in percent effort devoted to the award must address the impact of this action on the awardee's ability to make sufficient progress to meet the goals of the program. For example, K99 awardees must describe how the request will affect their ability to transition to the R00 phase of the award. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.4 Temporary Adjustments to the Percent Effort Requirement, and NOT-OD-09-036.


 

For independent career development awards that require only 25-50% effort, e.g., K07 leadership, K05, and K24, temporary adjustments to the percent effort requirement are not permitted.

For K07 and K24 awardees, the full-time appointment required at the onset of the award may be reduced by the grantee to less than full-time (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months during the project period.  Awardees are expected to continue to maintain between 25% (equivalent to 3 person-months) and 50% (equivalent to 6 person-months) of full-time professional effort at all times.  Ideally, the recipient will increase his/her percent effort on the award to compensate for the anticipated effect of the part-time appointment on the awardee's career goals.

For the K02, which requires the candidate to have a full-time appointment and commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort to their career development and research, the same temporary adjustments allowed for mentored career development awards are applicable.

 See the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.4 Temporary Adjustments to the Percent Effort Requirement, and NOT-OD-09-036.


 

Yes, to the extent that mentoring activities are not readily separable from activities related to supervising the participation of students and postdoctorates in the funded research project.

Yes.  Recipients of independent career development awards are generally required to devote a minimum of 3-6 person months (25-50% effort) conducting research and research career development related activities during the period of the award. Some awards allow and may require more than 6 person months (50% effort). For example, K02 recipients are required to devote 9 person months (75% effort) to research.  The relevant Funding Opportunity Announcement will provide program specific minimum percent effort requirements.​

As a career development award recipient you may serve on an NIH research grant at any time during the award, and, you may receive salary from an NIH or any other Federal research grant while on a career development award. For effort directly committed to the K-award, salary supplementation is allowable, but must be from non-Federal sources (including institutional sources). For effort not directly committed to the K-award, K-award recipients may devote effort, with compensation, on Federal or non-Federal sources as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) or in another role (e.g., co-Investigator), as long the specific aims of the other supporting grant(s) differ from those of the K-award (see NOT-OD-17-094. Keep in mind that if the research under the K- and R-series awards are the same (or similar), the effort devoted to the R grant is subsumed under the minimum 75% effort required by the K. If the research is clearly different, then the effort devoted to the R cannot exceed your remaining 25% effort. Also see NIH policy for short-term adjustments to the minimum effort requirement under certain circumstances (NOT-OD-09-036). Also see policy for the final two years of the K award: NOT-OD-08-065.

At the time of initial award, all candidates must meet the full-time appointment requirement as well as the minimum 75% effort requirement.  Once the award has been made, however, recipients may request a reduction in their appointments to less than full-time for personal or family situations (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months.  You may request either a reduction in percent effort OR in institutional appointment status, but may not request both simultaneously.  See NIH Guide NOT-OD-09-036 for additional information. 

The grantee organization must document its agreement to release the candidate from other duties and activities to devote the required percentage of time (often, at least 75%) for development of a research career (e.g., reduction of the candidate's teaching load, committee and administrative assignments, and clinical or other professional activities).

 

For non-U.S. citizen/permanent residents, the applicant U.S. institution is responsible for determining and documenting in the application that the applicant investigator's visa will allow him or her to remain in this country long enough to be productive on the research project in the U.S. for the duration of the proposed independent research (R00) phase. 

An institutional commitment agreement will be required at the time of activation of the independent phase of the award. This agreement should satisfy the criteria described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ.

In addition to space, facilities, resources, and other support needed to conduct the proposed research, the sponsoring institution must provide protected research time (minimum of 75% effort) at least for the duration of the R00 award. The start-up package and other institutional support should be comparable to that given to other recently hired faculty into tenure-track or equivalent positions.  Moreover, institutions may not require the use of R00 funds to offset a typical startup package. The sponsoring institution should describe the candidate's academic appointment, bearing in mind that it must be tenure-track or equivalent, and confirm that the appointment is not contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution. The independent phase institution must foster and support the awardee's ability to apply for and secure independent research grant (R01) support.​



 

Mentored CDA recipients are required to devote a minimum commitment equivalent of 9 calendar person months (75% of their full-time appointment at the applicant institution) to the career development and research objectives of the program specified in each funding opportunity announcement (FOA). The remaining 3 person months (25% effort), if applicable, can be divided among other research, clinical, and teaching activities only if these activities are consistent with the goals of the mentored CDA, i.e., the recipient's development into an independent investigator. Some NIH ICs allow less than 75% (but not lower than 50%) effort for certain clinical specialties. Applicants must consult the FOA and also Institute/Center program staff for this exception.  Provided they remain in a mentored status, mentored CDA recipients in the final two years of their support period are permitted to reduce the level of effort required for the CDA when they have competed successfully for peer-reviewed research awards from NIH or any Federal agency (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Section 12.3.6.2 Concurrent Support).