Release Date:  July 29, 1998


National Institute of Mental Health

This notice provides an update to the recent National Institute of Mental Health
(NIMH) career award (K-series) policy notices.  As such, this document is
intended to complement the policies of the trans-NIH K-Series program
announcements.  Prospective applicants must follow all the instructions covered
under each program as well as in Form PHS 398 when preparing an application.

Note: This document points to additional NIMH policy especially where they differ
from those articulated in the program announcements.  Specifically, changes in
policy on mentored K awards, and NIMH contribution to the investigator"s salary.

This notice consolidates, replaces, and supersedes all previous NIMH notices,

(1) NIMH Supplemental Information to the NIH Career Development Program
Announcements (K Awards)
NIH Guide, Vol. 24, No. 18, May 19, 1995

(2) NIMH Policy Changes for Career Awards (K-Series) and Supplemental Instructions
to the NIMH K Award Program Announcements
NIH Guide, Vol. 25, No. 31, September 20, 1996

(3) NIMH Policy for Career Awards (K-SERIES): Change of Institution
NIH Guide, Vol. 26, No. 15, May 9, 1997

This Notice addresses the following NIH program announcements, which may be
obtained from the NIMH Research Training and Career Development web site:

PA-95-049:  Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)
PA-95-050:  Independent Scientist Award (K02)
PA-95-051:  Senior Scientist Award (K05)
PA-95-052:  Academic Career Award (K07) þ discontinued (see K08 award)
PA-95-053:  Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08)
PA-98-052:  Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
PA-98-053:  Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)


K01, K08, and K23 Awards:

It is the policy of NIMH that the K01, K08, and K23 career award mechanisms are
intended to help new investigators at various stages of postdoctoral training to
gain additional experience in order to become an independent scientist.  These
awards are not intended to be used to maintain a promising person in postdoctoral
status.  Institutions are encouraged to use these awards to help transition the
awardee from mentored research to independence.  Support for the K01, K08, and
K23 awards are limited to one five year term, and are further restricted to one
mentored career award per individual.

NIMH realizes that new investigators often need to obtain external support and/or
move to another institution in order ultimately to secure a more independent
position (e.g., faculty).  Therefore, it is the policy of NIMH to be flexible
with regard to institutional commitment as well as transfer to another
institution (see below for more on transfer).

K02, K05, and K24 Awards:

The early to mid-career awards, K02 and K24, are available for two five year
terms (including one competitive renewal). Investigators with research support
from other NIH Institutes may receive an initial K02 or K24 award from NIMH. 
However, an individual who previously has held an NIMH K01, K08, or K23 award
must have NIMH research support at the time of his/her first K02 or K24 award. 
Eligibility for renewal of K02 or K24 awards is limited to NIMH grantees at the
time of award.  Support from either K02, or K24 or any combination of these
awards is limited to two five-year terms.

The senior scientist award, K05, is restricted to one five year term only, and
is available to those investigators who are NIMH grantees at the time of award. 
Current K05 awardees are NOT eligible to submit a competing renewal (type 2)

Scientists who hold a position with firm salary support for research or whose
primary responsibility is administrative, must demonstrate a compelling need for
a K02, K05, or K24 award.

For the purpose of these policies, NIMH grantees are Principal Investigators on
R01, R10, R18, R21, R24, R29, R37, P01, P20, P30, P50, and U01 grants
(investigators who direct subprojects on P series grants are not eligible).


The unique aspects of NIMH allowable costs, specifically in the categories of
salary and research support are listed below.

Salary (K01, K02, K05, K08, K23, K24):

Effective October 1, 1998 (i.e., applications submitted on or after June 1, 1998
deadline for Fiscal Year 1999 support), this policy applies to all new (type 1),
and competitive renewal (type 2) applications.  However, it does NOT apply to
non-competitive renewal (type 5) applications. The NIMH contribution to the
Principal Investigator"s salary is geared to the institutional base salary as

Institutional Base Salary        NIMH Contribution
Up to $48,000                    100% of institutional base salary
$48,001 to $64,000               $48,000 (i.e., 75% of $64,000)
$64,001 and over                 75% of institutional base salary, up to $90,000

Research Development Support (K01, K08, K23):

The NIMH allows for funds up to $50,000 per year for expenses outlined in each
program announcement.  Applicants must clearly justify any requested costs.

Research Support (K02, K05, K24):

For the K02 and K05 awards, the NIMH allows for funds up to $25,000 per year for
those applications from individuals who are engaged in predominantly theoretical
work, such as modeling or computer simulation, as outlined in each program

For the K24 award, the NIMH will provide up to $25,000 per year for research
expenses, such as supplies, equipment, technical personnel, travel, and
statistical services.


If the grantee is moving to another eligible institution, and wishes to transfer
his or her career award to the new institution, the following steps should be
carried out:

o  An abbreviated (see below) application must be submitted by the new

o  The period of support requested can be no more than the time remaining within
the existing original award project period.

o  The request must be submitted at least three months in advance of the desired
effective date to allow the necessary time for staff review.  No transfer will
be allowed for awards with less than six months remaining in the project period.

Note: NIMH will continue to allow an awardee to transfer from one institution to
another for the last year of the award, with prior approval of the responsible
Project Officer. No transfer will be allowed during a period of administrative
extension or after the project has terminated.

The abbreviated application (use Form PHS 398, Research Career Award Section),
which will initially be evaluated by the Project Officer, should provide detailed
information in the areas outlined below:

Section I þ Basic Administrative Data:

A complete face page (AA) should provide information on all items and include all
appropriate signatures. The "abstract" page (BB) should include a brief summary
of the goals of the research and career plans, as well as the reason(s) for the
transfer of institution, and identify key personnel.  The table of contents
substitute page (LL) should be used to indicate the page numbers for appropriate
sections (see ahead). The budget pages (DD and EE) should provide information for
the period of support remaining within the existing award project period. Budgets
in the new application cannot exceed the amounts previously approved for the same
project periods. Justifications are required for any costs that differ
significantly from previously approved budget items (e.g., personnel costs,
equipment, and other expenses). The biographical sketch and other support pages
(FF and GG) should include only information relevant to the transfer. The
resources page (HH) and continuations, as necessary, should provide detailed
information about the new institution. A completed checklist (page II) is
required, and the personnel effort report page (JJ) should be included if new
collaborators have been added. The personal data page (KK) should be omitted.

Section II þ Specialized Information:

1. The Candidate

Part (a).  Letters of Reference (for mentored awards): New letters of reference
are not required.

Parts (b, c, d).  Candidate"s background, Career Goals, and Career Development:
since this is an important aspect of a career development award, provide (where
pertinent) detailed information on these topics. Give examples of how the career
goals and development might be enhanced by the move to the new institution.

2. Statement by Sponsor(s), Consultant(s), and Collaborator(s)

Provide detailed information, if any of these will change from the original
application, or the applicant"s modes of interaction with these individuals will
differ. It is critically important to provide a detailed statement by any new
sponsor(s) for mentored career development awards (K01, K08, and K23), especially
indicating the scientific credentials of the new sponsor.

3.  Environment and Institutional Commitment to Candidate

Parts (a, b).  This section is perhaps the most important in terms of evaluation
of the merit of the request to transfer the grant to another institution.
Particular attention should be paid to NIMH policies articulated in this notice.

4.  Research Plan

Describe any changes to the original research plan, and explain how the research
plan may be enhanced by the move to the new institution. K02, K05, and K24
awardees should give examples of potential new collaborations (provide letters
of commitment under #2 above) that might improve the overall plan.

NIMH Staff Review:

Prior to the final year of awards, transfer of career grants to another
institution may be approved, without peer review, under the circumstances
stipulated below. Therefore, early consultation with NIMH Program staff is
critical for transfer of the grant to a new institution. It is strongly
recommended that potential applicants contact the NIMH program staff listed under
INQUIRIES for consultation and guidance, prior to contacting the responsible
Project Officer, to whom the abbreviated application should be sent.

The Project Officer"s review will be based on the degree to which the goals of
the original peer reviewed application (as evidenced in the most recent summary
statement) will be met in the new institution. Critical among these
considerations will be the continued capacity to carry out full-time research,
potential to contribute significantly to the scientific field of study as
evidenced by research productivity, clear and high likelihood that the new
environment will contribute to scientific development and productivity,
scientific and technical merit of the  research plan and its consistency with the
career development plan, the new mentor"s research and mentoring qualifications
in the scientific area of study, and strong institutional environment and
commitment. After consideration, the Project Officer will recommend, to the
Director of the funding Division, either approval or disapproval of the requested
transfer. In the event of disapproval (which will not be subject to request for
reconsideration), the grantee has the option of submitting a new, complete
application from the new institution, which will be peer reviewed in the next
review cycle.


Consultation with NIMH staff is encouraged especially during the planning phase
of the application.  Prospective applicants may visit the NIMH Research Training
and Career Development Website: to obtain
additional information.

For Institute-level training and career development policy, contact:

Henry Khachaturian, Ph.D.
Office of Science Policy and Program Planning
Room 17C-26
Telephone: (301) 443-4335
FAX:  (301) 443-4225

For specific programmatic information and Division/Office-level policy, contact
the following:

Walter Goldschmidts, Ph.D.
Division of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience Research
Room 11-103
Telephone:  (301) 443-3563
FAX:  (301) 443-1731

Fred Altman, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
Room 18-105
Telephone:  (301) 443-8962
FAX:  (301) 443-9719

Kenneth G. Lutterman, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
Room 10-95
Telephone:  (301) 443-3373
FAX:  (301) 443-4045

The mailing address for NIMH personnel is:

5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD  20857

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