Notice of Information on the Reissuance of Funding Opportunity Announcement “NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)”

Notice Number:  NOT-OD-13-050

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

  • October 22, 2013 - Updated Timeline for Late Resubmission (-A1) Applications to PA-11-197 "NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)".
  • April 11, 2013 - See Notice NOT-DE-13-004. Notice Regarding Upcoming Changes in Eligibility.
Key Dates

Release Date:  March 22, 2013

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Institutes of Health (NIH)


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently published a notice of intent to reissue the K99/R00 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (see: NOT-OD-13-034). This notice of information on the reissuance of the K99/R00 Pathway to Independence FOA reiterates the major changes in the program, and provides additional guidance to prospective applicants concerning the deadlines for resubmission applications.

The NIH, with participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), intends to make significant changes to the “NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)” (PA-11-197), including reducing the application window from 5 to 4 years of postdoctoral research training experience. As a result, NIH will reissue PA-11-197 later this year for applications due February 12, 2014 and beyond. All applications to the reissued K99/R00 FOA, both new (-01) and resubmission (-A1) must conform to the eligibility criteria outlined in the reissued FOA, namely no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of submission. For additional details, see below: “Applying Under the Current FOA and Subsequent Resubmissions (-A1).”

Several modifications to the program were recommended by the Biomedical Workforce Task Force, a working group of the Advisory Committee to the Director, NIH. This Notice is being published to provide ample time for prospective applicants to plan in advance of the modifications in the K99/R00 program.

Research Initiative Details

The primary purpose of the Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented NIH-supported independent investigators. The program is designed to facilitate the timely transition of exceptionally talented postdoctoral investigators from mentored postdoctoral research positions to stable, independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions with independent NIH or other independent research support at an earlier career stage than is currently the norm.

The Biomedical Workforce Task Force recommendations that will be implemented when the K99/R00 program is re-issued include the following.

Program Implications:

  • Candidates must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research training experience at the time of the initial application or the subsequent resubmission.
  • Although the duration of postdoctoral training may vary across scientific disciplines, candidates must propose a plan for a substantive period of mentored training not to exceed 2 years.
  • It is expected that K99 awardees will benefit from no less than 12 months of mentored research training and career development before transitioning to the independent, R00 phase of the program.
  • Individuals who are close to achieving an independent faculty position, and cannot make a strong case for needing a minimum of 12 months of additional mentored training, are not ideal candidates for this award.
  • If an applicant achieves independence prior to initiating the K99 phase, neither the K99 nor the R00 phase will be awarded.

Review Implications:

  • Review criteria will be modified to encourage reviewers to evaluate the candidate’s potential to utilize the mandatory period of mentored (K99) phase training (no less than 12 months) effectively to advance to an independent position.
  • Because the R00 research plan may be less well-developed for earlier-stage postdoctoral candidates, appropriate guidance will be provided to reviewers to modulate their expectations for the research plan for the independent (R00) phase of the program.
  • Applying Under the Current FOA and Subsequent Resubmissions (-A1):
  • The current FOA, PA-11-197, will remain active through its October 12, 2013 receipt date for new applications, and January 7, 2014 for all AIDS and AIDS-related applications.
  • The NIH will accept late resubmission (-A1) applications from applicants who are no longer eligible to apply for the March 12, 2014 due date, i.e. applicants with more than 4 years of postdoctoral experience. Late -A1 applications will be due no later than December 12, 2013 by 5:00 P.M. local time of the applicant organization. This late resubmission due date is available only to individuals whose eligibility ends prior to the March 12, 2014 due date.
  • Resubmission applications submitted for the March 12, 2014 due date and beyond must conform to the new eligibility criteria in the re-issued FOA.

Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH Research Training Office

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