RELEASE DATE:  August 3, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-04-056

Update: The following updates relating to this announcement have been issued: 

April 2, 2009 - Change in allowable salary levels on Career Awards supported 
by the National Cancer Institute (see Notice NOT-CA-09-022).

February 9, 2009 -  The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is announcing a change in allowable 
levels of salary support (see Notice (NOT-CA-09-013).

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Almost all NIH supported career development awards (Ks) require that 
recipients devote a specified minimum percentage of their full-time 
professional effort (in most cases 75%) to the goals of the career award.    
In addition, policy requires a full-time appointment at the applicant 
organization, with salary based on a full-time, 12-month staff appointment.  

NIH has previously defined this requirement as encompassing the entirety of 
the professional commitments of the investigator, both within and outside the 
applicant institution.  Although designed to protect the investigator’s time 
for research and career development, this definition recently has been cited 
as problematic because investigator appointments are becoming increasingly 

In an effort to address these concerns and to foster more consistent 
treatment across all NIH Institutes and Centers, the following policy 
regarding the determination of full-time professional effort will now be 
applied to all K awards:

A career award recipient meets the required commitment of total professional 
effort as long as: 1) the individual has a full-time appointment with the 
applicant organization; and 2) the minimum percentage of the candidate’s 
commitment required for the proposed Career award experience is covered by 
that appointment.  Please note that a candidate may propose a career award 
experience that involves sites beyond the applicant institution or 
organization, provided that the goals of the total experience are encompassed 
and supported under the appointment with the applicant organization.

This policy also applies to individuals who hold additional appointments with 
an independent clinical practice plan, the Veterans Administration or other 
organizations.  Assuming a full-time appointment with the applicant 
organization, a candidate meets the professional effort requirement of the 
career award as long as the minimum percentage required for the proposed 
Career award experience is supported by the appointment at the applicant 
organization.  Responsibilities outside of the applicant organization 
appointment are not restricted but also cannot be used to meet any minimum 
effort requirement.  

The following example is illustrative:

An investigator has a full time appointment at a university and a half time 
appointment with another organization (VA or independent clinical practice 
plan).  Under this new policy, the investigator can be supported because the 
university and candidate can commit at least 75% of the full time appointment 
to the award.

The purpose of this policy is to clarify this requirement to ensure that the 
criteria for proposing and charging effort on career awards are consistent 
with the other NIH funding mechanisms.  We also expect that this 
clarification will expand the pool of eligible candidates for NIH career 

This revised policy applies to all existing Career Development Award 
announcements for all applications and resubmissions submitted on/after 
October 1, 2004.

For additional information concerning this change contact:

Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Tel.: 301-435-0938
FAX: 301-435-3059

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)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892