RELEASE DATE:  November 14, 2003

NOTICE: NOT-OD-04-007 (This Notice has been revised, see NOT-OD-08-065. See also NOT-HS-05-005)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

With this notice, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) modifies its 
policy on mentored career development awards (K Awards) to allow award 
recipients to hold concurrent support from their career award and a 
competing research grant when recognized as a Principal Investigator or 
subproject Director.   Thus mentored career award recipients in the 
last two years of their support period will be permitted to reduce the 
level of effort required for the career award and replace that effort 
with an NIH research grant or subproject provided they remain in a 
mentored situation.  This policy will permit those candidates who are 
ready to apply for and receive NIH research support to continue to 
benefit from the period of protected time offered by the career 
development award.  


NIH mentored career development mechanisms are intended to support a 
period of career development in preparation for a role as an 
independent researcher (see In some 
cases, current NIH policy has delayed the period of transition to 
independence until the career award is completed or nearly completed.  
This policy has often led to a hiatus in research support and an 
increased likelihood that career award recipients will not transition 
to independent research support.  In rare cases, the NIH has 
discontinued mentored career awards at the time of receipt of 
independent research funding.  With this announcement, the NIH will 
discontinue the practice of early termination of a career award when 
the recipient receives an NIH research project grant or when the 
recipient is named as the director of a subproject on a multi-project 
NIH grant.  This policy is consistent with the NIH Roadmap Initiative 
in terms of promoting the career development of clinical researchers 
(see   It is our hope, that this change in 
policy will facilitate the transition of all mentored career award 
recipients to independent NIH research support.    


Effective for competing applications submitted for February 1, 2004 and 
beyond, mentored career award recipients, in the last two years of 
career award support, are encouraged to obtain funding from NIH either 
as Principal Investigator on a competing research grant award or 
cooperative agreement, or as project leader on a competing multi-
project award.  Requested budgets for a competing research grant or a 
subproject on a multi-project grant should request appropriate amounts 
for the salary and associated costs for the career recipient’s effort.  
At the time the research grant is awarded, the effort required on the 
career award may be reduced to no less than 50 percent and replaced by 
effort from the research award so that the total level of research 
commitment remains at 75 percent or more for the duration of the 
mentored career award.  This change in policy applies to the following 
mentored career award mechanisms: K01, K07 (developmental) K08, K22, 
K23, and K25, as well as the individuals mentored through institutional 
K12 awards.  To be eligible for salary support from the Center or 
Research Project Grant (RPG):

(1) The career award recipient must be the named Principal Investigator 
on a competing NIH research project grant (R01, R03, R15, R21, R34, 
etc.) or the recipient must become the sub-project director on a 
competing multi-component research or center grant or cooperative 
agreement (P01, P50, U01, etc.). 

(2) The career award must be active when the RPG or center competing 
application is submitted. 

(3) The career award must have no more than two years of support 
remaining by the planned start date of the Center or RPG award.   

In a letter accompanying the Center or RPG application, the chair of 
the mentored award recipient’s department or other responsible 
institutional official must provide evidence that the recipient will 
continue to focus on the development of his/her research career, will 
continue to have access to his/her mentor, and that the recipient’s 
total level of research effort will be maintained and protected at a 
minimum of 75 percent.  

When a mentored career award recipient obtains independent support, as 
described above, the NIH Institute or Center supporting the career 
award will adjust the level of effort committed to the career award to 
no less than 50 percent consistent with maintaining total research 
effort at 75 percent or more of total professional effort.  NIH will 
maintain the total salary amounts committed to the career award if 
consistent with the adjusted level of effort and institutional base 
salary (up to the legislative limit).  The career award may also be 
adjusted to avoid budgetary overlap.   Consistent with long-standing 
policies, additional salary for career award recipients may not be 
derived from NIH research grants unless the recipient is the named 
Principal Investigator on the research grant or has been named director 
of a subproject on a competing multi-component NIH grant.  

For additional information concerning this change contact:

Walter T. Schaffer, Ph.D.
Acting Director, Office of Extramural Programs
NIH Research Training Officer
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 3537
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-7922
Phone     301-435-2687
FAX       301-480-0146

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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