Transition of Individual Career Development (K) Applications to Electronic Submission (—New Business Processes and Other Information

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-029

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: December 12, 2008

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (


This notice announces new business processes for the electronic submission of individual career development applications (“K-series”) as well as additional information that will be required from applicants for the February 12, 2009 submission date and beyond.


As previously announced in Notice NOT-OD-08-073, effective with the February 12, 2009 submission date, NIH is transitioning to electronic submission all Research Career Development Award Programs (“K”s) with the exception of K12s.  Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for individual “K” programs have been updated and will also be announced in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.

The SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies, now includes Part 1.7 Supplemental Instructions to the SF 424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application (“K” series).  Please note that this new Application Guide is to be used with all Adobe application packages, including those for the K programs.  

The transition to electronic submission entails several new business processes and will also require additional information as part of the submitted application.

New Business Processes & Additional Information

1.  Submission of Budget Information:  Historically “K” applications have required limited budget information to be included with the application at the time of submission.  The transition to electronic submission changes that process.  Applicants will be required to include the SF424(R&R) Detailed Budget Component with the initial application submission.  However, the actual data requested in the component will be limited to the Senior/Key Person costs for only the candidate (base salary, person months, requested salary and fringe benefits); and then in F.1 Other Direct Costs/Materials and Supplies, the total amount requested for Research Development Support costs will be entered.  As with all applications using this budget component, a budget justification is required.  For “K” applications, this justification should be used to provide a detailed description for the specific Research Development Support costs such as equipment, supplies and additional personnel that will be used to help achieve the career development and research objectives of the award.  Facilities & Administrative costs for Ks continue to be provided at a rate of 8% of modified total direct costs.  Applicants should review the supplemental “K” instructions found in Part I.7.4 of the SF424(R&R) Application Guide for Adobe applications.

2.  Reference Letters:  Reference letters required for mentored “K” programs must be submitted directly by the referee through the eRA Commons and not as part of the electronic application that goes through  Reference letters are still an integral part of the application and they will be joined with the electronic application within the eRA system once an application completes the submission process.  Applications that are missing the required letters may be delayed in the review process or not accepted at all.   Information about these critical letters is in each applicable FOA, and complete instructions for candidates and referees are found in Part I, Section 7.3 of the of the SF424(R&R) Application Guide for Adobe Applications. 

3.  Changes to Candidate’s Biosketch:  The candidate’s biosketch has been revised to include the same “Research Support” section used in the biosketch for all researchers. Candidates are required to include descriptions of ongoing and completed research projects that are relevant to the research proposed in the application.   In addition, when a candidate submits an application from an organization at which he/she is projected to hold a position, position titles and employment information from both the current and the projected positions must be included. 

4.  Applications for NIH Intramural Labs and Unaffiliated Candidates:  K22 and K99/R00 applications from candidates sponsored by NIH Intramural labs and K22 candidates unaffiliated with a sponsoring institution at the time of application submission must follow specific instructions provided in the relevant FOA.


Questions concerning this notice should be directed to:

Office of Extramural Programs
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Phone: 301-451-4225

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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