NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K08 Clinical Trial Required)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of the NCI Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08) program is to prepare individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the nation. This program represents the continuation of a long-standing NIH program that provides support and protected time to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree or a health professional doctoral degree for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research. This NCI-sponsored K08 award is specifically designed to enhance the diversity in the NCI-funded cancer research workforce by supporting eligible clinical scientists from diverse backgrounds, including groups that have been shown to be nationally underrepresented in health-related sciences and for those who are committed to a career in basic biomedical, behavioral or translational cancer research, including research on cancer health disparities. The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development and training, awardees will develop enhanced research capabilities for cancer research careers and be better prepared to compete for research project grants (e.g. R03, R21, or R01) funding. 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing to serve as the lead investigator of an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or a separate ancillary clinical trial, as part of their research and career development. Applicants not planning an independent clinical trial, or proposing to gain research experience in a clinical trial led by another investigator, must apply to companion FOA (PAR-21-300).

  • K Series Deadlines: Feb. 12, Jun. 12, Oct. 12.

PAR-21-299 Expiration Date September 8, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Current and former PDs/PIs on NIH research project (R01), program project (P01), center grants (P50), or Project Leads of program project (P01), or center grants (P50), other major individual career development awards (e.g., DP5, K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, K25, K76, K99/R00), or the equivalent are not eligible. Current and former PDs/PIs of an NIH Small Grant (R03), Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21/R33), Planning Grant (R34/U34), Dissertation Award (R36), or SBIR/STTR (R41, R42, R43, R44) remain eligible, as do PD/PIs of Transition Scholar (K38) awards and individuals appointed to institutional K programs (K12, KL2).

Candidates for the K08 award must have a clinical doctoral degree. Such degrees include, but are not limited to, the MD, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), and DVM. Individuals with the PhD or other doctoral degree in clinical disciplines such as clinical psychology, nursing, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology or rehabilitation are also eligible. Individuals holding the PhD in a non-clinical discipline who are certified to perform clinical duties should contact the National Cancer Institute (NCI) concerning their eligibility for a K08 award.

Enhancing Diversity 

In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, educational and research opportunities are not equally available to all. NIH encourages institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences (NOT-OD-20-031), such as:

A. Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis (see data at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/showpub.cfm?TopID=2&SubID=27) and the report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). The following racial and ethnic groups have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.  In addition, it is recognized that underrepresentation can vary from setting to setting; individuals from racial or ethnic groups that can be demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented by the grantee institution should be encouraged to participate in NIH programs to enhance diversity. For more information on racial and ethnic categories and definitions, see the OMB Revisions to the Standards for Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1997-10-30/html/97-28653.htm).

B. Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.  See NSF data at, https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/static/data/tab7-5.pdf.

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as those who meet two or more of the following criteria:

1. Were or currently are homeless, as defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Definition: https://nche.ed.gov/mckinney-vento/);

2. Were or currently are in the foster care system, as defined by the Administration for Children and Families (Definition: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/focus-areas/foster-care);

3. Were eligible for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program for two or more years (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/income-eligibility-guidelines);

4. Have/had no parents or legal guardians who completed a bachelor’s degree (see https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2018/2018009.pdf);

5. Were or currently are eligible for Federal Pell grants (Definition: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/fpg/eligibility.html);

6. Received support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as a parent or child (Definition: https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-eligibility-requirements).

7. Grew up in one of the following areas: a) a U.S. rural area, as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Health Grants Eligibility Analyzer (https://data.hrsa.gov/tools/rural-health), or b) a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated Low-Income and Health Professional Shortage Areas  (qualifying zipcodes are included in the file). Only one of the two possibilities in #7 can be used as a criterion for the disadvantaged background definition.

Students from low socioeconomic (SES) status backgrounds have been shown to obtain bachelor’s and advanced degrees at significantly lower rates than students from middle and high SES groups (see https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asp), and are subsequently less likely to be represented in biomedical research. For background see Department of Education data at, https://nces.ed.gov/https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_tva.asphttps://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/advancing-diversity-inclusion.pdf

For the purposes of this funding opportunity announcement, only individuals from categories A and B are eligible to apply for support under this program.

      Funding Type

      Award

      Eligibility

      African American
      Disabled
      Hispanic
      Medical Fellow/Resident
      Minorities encouraged
      Native American
      Post Doctoral Fellows
      Women of Color

      Category

      Medical
      Medical - Basic Science
      Medical - Clinical Science
      Medical - Translational

      External Deadline

      October 12, 2021