Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/18/2024

The NCI Transition Career Development Award (K22 Independent Clinical Trial Optional)

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) represents the continuation of an NCI program to facilitate the transition of investigators in mentored, non-independent cancer research positions to independent faculty cancer research positions. This goal is achieved by providing protected time through salary and research support for the initial 3 years of the first independent tenure-track faculty position, or its equivalent, beginning at the time when the candidate starts a tenure-track faculty position.

This NOFO is designed for applicants proposing research in which leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary clinical trial is optional and replaces both PAR-21-128 and PAR-21-111

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

PAR-24-117 Expiration Date March 13, 2027

Eligibility Requirements

Any candidate with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and who has at least 2 years of postdoctoral cancer research training, but, no more than a total of 8 years of mentored, non-independent research experience after the terminal research doctorate or clinical degree is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration is not included in the 8-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. 

Individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and women are always encouraged to apply for NIH support. Such individuals may also be eligible for the NCI Transition Career Development Award to Promote Diversity (K22) and are advised to contact the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities. See, Reminder: Notice of NIH's Encouragement of Applications Supporting Individuals from Underrepresented Ethnic and Racial Groups as well as Individuals with Disabilities, NOT-OD-22-019

Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).

Postdoctoral Investigators:

At the time of the initial application submission (or resubmission), candidates for this award must (1) have earned a terminal clinical degree or research doctorate (including Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.C., N.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., Sc.D., D.N.S., Pharm.D., or equivalent doctoral degree) or a combined research doctorate/clinical degree; (2) have at least 2 years of postdoctoral, or its equivalent, training in cancer research (e.g., postdoctoral fellow, postdoctoral associate, clinical fellow, clinical associate, or equivalent); (3) have no more than a total of 8 years of mentored, non-independent research training experience after the terminal clinical degree or research doctorate; (4) have not already obtained an individual career development award or research project grant (except R03) from the Federal Government; and (5) have not already had or have held an independent research faculty or tenure-track faculty position, or its equivalent, in academia, industry or elsewhere.

Individuals are eligible for a K22 award if they have been, or currently are, the PD/PI of an NIH R03 or a PHS or non-Federal award that does not duplicate the specific aims or research goals of an R03 grant.  

Other Candidates:

Some institutions appoint postdoctoral fellows in positions with other titles (e.g., research associate, instructor, or equivalent), although they are still in mentored, non-independent training positions. Candidates in such positions are encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibility from the NCI K22 Scientific/Research Contact listed in Section VII before they begin to prepare their applications. It is incumbent upon the candidate to provide evidence that he/she is in a mentored, non-independent position if requested.


Time spent in clinical training is not counted for the 8-year postdoctoral research experience limit. Following clinical training or fellowship training periods, clinicians (including those with M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M. degrees and other licensed professionals) may obtain clinical faculty positions that denote independence in clinical responsibilities, but not in research. A clinical faculty member who does not hold an independent research faculty position may be eligible for the K22 award and should contact the NCI Scientific/Research Contact listed in Section VII for guidance. Clinicians in such positions are encouraged to obtain confirmation of their eligibility before they begin to prepare their applications. Such individuals may also wish to consider other career development awards available for physician scientists as well.