The sponsoring institution may be private (profit or nonprofit) or public, including the NIH Intramural Programs and other Federal laboratories.
The applicant institution will be the mentored phase (K99) institution. All institution/organization types listed above are eligible for both the mentored (K99) and independent (R00) phase, with the following exceptions: (1) Eligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NIH intramural program, are eligible only for the mentored phase; and (2) Eligibility of organizations, other than institutions of higher education, 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 (R01 or R01-equivalent) grants.
K99/R00 applicants must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience as of the relevant application due date regardless of whether it is a new or resubmission application. Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. If an applicant achieves independence (i.e., any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99 award, nor the R00 award, will be issued.
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). NIH will approve an extension of one year for childbirth within the 4 year K99 eligibility window. Applicants who will be PD/PIs on a K99 application must provide the child’s date of birth in the extension request justification submitted to IC program officials and/or scientific/research contacts listed in the FOA at least 12 weeks before submitting an application. Part-time postdoctoral research training, related to personal or family situations or occurring during a research residency or fellowship, will be pro-rated accordingly. In addition, 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 counts toward the 4-year limit.
Additional clarifications are provided under Frequently Asked Questions. Potential candidates are encouraged to discuss their individual situation with an NIH Institute or Center Scientific Program Contact before applying.
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).
For applications submitted on behalf of non-U.S. citizens with temporary U.S. visas, visa status during each phase of the K99/R00 award must allow the PD/PI to conduct the proposed research at the applicant institution. 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 overarching goal of this program is to enhance the diversity of independent investigators conducting research within the NIH mission. Fostering diversity by addressing underrepresentation in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NIH strategy to identify, develop, support and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital. 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, post-doctorate, and faculty populations to enhance the participation of individuals from groups identified as underrepresented in the biomedical sciences (see NOT-OD-20-031, Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity).
For the purpose of this announcement, institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will enhance diversity on a national basis. 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 this program. A clear commitment to enhancing diversity in the biomedical research workforce is required from the institutional environment letter.
Candidates for the K99/R00 award must have a clinical or research doctorate (including PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DMD, DVM, ScD, DNS, PharmD or equivalent doctoral degrees). Clinicians (including those with MD, DDS, DVM and other licensed health professionals) in a clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research may also be eligible for the K99/R00 award.