NIAID Physician-Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of the NIAID Physician-Scientist Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented independent physician-scientists.  This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a clinical doctorate degree from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The program will provide independent NIAID research support during this transition to help awardees launch competitive, independent research careers in biomedical fields and thereby help to address the national physician-scientist workforce shortage.


  • K Series Due Date(s): Feb. 12, Jun 12, Oct. 12
  • AIDS Application Due Date(s): Jan. 7, May 7, Sep. 7

PAR-17-329 Expiration Date May 8, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Candidates must have a clinical doctorate degree (for example, MD, DO, DDS, DMD, DVM, VMD, or nurses with research doctoral degrees).

There is no citizenship requirement for NIAID physician-scientist K99 applicants. An applicant may be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States, 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), or be a non-U.S. citizen.

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.

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 funded.

Applicants must complete a minimum of 12 months of mentored research training and career development (K99 phase) to be eligible for transition to the R00 award phase of the program.

Applicants for this program must have no more than 4 years of total aggregate postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent resubmission application, and must be in non-tenure-track or equivalent positions (i.e., eligible candidates include residents, clinical fellows, instructors, and clinical assistant professors). Time spent in clinical training during residency or clinical specialty is not counted towards NIAID PS K99/R00 eligibility. Time spent conducting research training during these periods is counted towards the NIAID PS K99/R00 eligibility. In addition, parental leave or other well-justified leave for pressing personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration (e.g., family care responsibilities, disability or illness, active military duty) is not included in the 4-year eligibility limit.Only time dedicated to research activities counts towards the 4-year limit. 

Funding Type



Medical Fellow/Resident
Post Doctoral Fellows


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 12, 2019