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 for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research. The NCI-sponsored K08 award is specifically designed to promote career development of clinical scientists from backgrounds that have been shown to be nationally underrepresented in health-related science 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 study to an existing 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-18-337).    

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

PAR-18-336 Expiration Date: New Date May 8, 2021 per issuance of NOT-CA-20-099. (Original Expiration Date: January 8, 2021)

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The overarching goal of NIH diversity programs is to enhance the pool of independent cancer research investigators from backgrounds nationally underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences (NOT-OD-15-053), which includes:

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 , 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.

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, updated_2014_10.pdf .

C. Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, defined as:

1          Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size, published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels at

2.         Individuals who come from an educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that has demonstrably and directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career.

The disadvantaged background category (C1 and C2) is applicable to programs focused on high school and undergraduate candidates. 

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



    Medical Fellow/Resident
    Minorities encouraged
    Post Doctoral Fellows


    Medical - Basic Science
    Medical - Clinical Science
    Medical - Translational

    External Deadline

    February 12, 2021