Release Date:  July 16, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-DC-01-006

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

This notice provides new information to potential applicants and to 
active grantees on the unique guidelines and award provisions of the 
career development (K-award) programs offered by the National Institute 
on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).  This notice 
replaces and supersedes the following notices: 1) NIDCD Supplemental 
Information to the NIH Career Development (K Award) Program 
Announcements, NIH Guide, April 27, 1999; and 2) Supplemental 
Information for NIDCD Career Development (K-Series) Award Applicants 
and Active Grantees, NOT-DC-00-002, NIH Guide, June, 27, 2000.  

Increased salary levels previously announced by the NIDCD for the K02, 
K08 and K23 award mechanisms for competing applications submitted for 
the October 1, 2000 and subsequent receipt dates will be applied to all 
competing K-Series awards issued in Fiscal Year 2001 (FY01).   Active 
K-awards that are in noncompeting status in FY01 will receive this 
increase (as appropriate, based on the institutional salary level) upon 
issuance of their noncompeting continuation grant in the next fiscal 
year (FY02).  The increased salary level, if applicable, should be 
requested by the awardee in the FY02 noncompeting continuation grant 

Prospective applicants for NIDCD K-awards should also consult the 
relevant trans-NIH program announcement (PA) referenced below and the 
Form PHS-398, Section IV: RESEARCH CAREER AWARDS, for instructions on 
preparing a competing K-award application.

The present notice supplements the following trans-NIH PAs issued in 
the NIH Guide:

PA-00-020:  Independent Scientist Award (K02) (issued on 12/02/99)
PA-00-003:  Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08) (issued 
PA-00-004:  Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award 
(issued on 10/08/99)
PA-00-005:  Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research 
(issued on 10/08/99)

These PAs may be accessed using the following URL convention: (e.g., PA-


The K02 award provides up to five years of salary support to recently 
independent scientists, having research support at the time the award 
is made, who demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research 
focus (at least 75 percent effort) in order to foster their career 
development as outstanding scientists. Applicants for the K02 award 
must document within the application that they will have peer-reviewed 
research support at the time of the award, or are awaiting a funding 
decision on a submitted research grant 
application.  However, scientists whose work is primarily theoretical 
may apply for this award in the absence of external research grant 
support, as per the trans-NIH K02 announcement (PA-00-020).  It is the 
policy of the NIDCD not to renew a K02 award beyond its original period 
of five years.  Scientists with firm salary support for their research 
endeavors must demonstrate a compelling need for a K02 award (e.g., 
release time from other duties for research).

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant must hold a doctoral degree and have demonstrated 
independent research accomplishments at the time of application.  
Applicants will normally have had at least five years of postdoctoral 
research experience, but not yet be considered well established in the 
research area of the K02 application.

Allowable Costs

1.  Salary

NIDCD provides up to $75,000 per year of salary support, plus 
commensurate fringe benefits, based on the established salary structure 
at the applicant's institution for staff members of equivalent 
qualifications, rank and responsibilities. Competing K02 awards issued 
by the NIDCD in FY01 shall be incremented to the actual full-time 
salary level of the awardee, up to a maximum of $75,000, for each 
remaining year of the award.  Noncompeting awards will be incremented 
upon receipt of the noncompeting continuation application.  Salary 
support from currently funded Federal research grants generally must be 
forfeited upon award of a K02 grant and cannot be rebudgeted to another 
budget category on the research grant.  Consult with the NIDCD program 
official listed under INQUIRIES if you receive salary support from more 
than one Federal research grant.

2.  Research Development Support

The NIDCD K02 award provides salary support only, and does not support 
incidental expenses related to research and career development, such as 
tuition, fees, books, publication costs or travel to scientific 

The purpose of the K08 and K23 awards is to foster the development of 
clinically trained professionals into independent investigators in the 
biomedical and behavioral scientific mission areas of the NIDCD.  These 
awards serve to facilitate the awardee's progression from mentored 
research status to research independence, not to maintain a promising 
clinician-scientist in postdoctoral training status.  Furthermore, 
these awards are not designed for individuals seeking to change their 
career trajectories from clinical practice to research, but for 
individuals seeking to integrate both elements in their career.  Hence, 
the applicant should demonstrate in the application how the K08 or K23 
award will enable them, in the short- or long-term, to transfer 
scientific knowledge to clinical practice.  Candidates seeking to 
concentrate their research career development on fundamental research 
should apply for a K08 award.  Candidates seeking to concentrate their 
research career development on "patient-oriented research," as defined 
in PA-00-005, should apply for a K23 award.  The choice of appropriate 
mentorship is considered critical to the success of a candidate’s 
research career development plan and details of the plan are closely 
scrutinized.  In addition to the primary mentor, one or more co-mentors 
may be designated. The role(s) of the mentor(s) in the career 
development plan and the schedule for contact between the candidate and 
the mentor(s) must be carefully described in the application.  To 
facilitate regular face-to-face contact within the mentoring 
relationship, the primary mentor should be based at the applicant's 
home institution or at an institution within a reasonable distance 
(i.e., approximately 100 miles) of the applicant's institution. 

The NIDCD strongly encourages K08 and K23 recipients who are 
successfully progressing in their career development program to submit 
an application for independent research support through an NIH research 
project grant mechanism, typically the new-investigator R01 grant, 
during the latter years of their award.  This will facilitate a smooth, 
uninterrupted transition from the mentored research career stage to the 
independent research career stage.

Eligibility Requirements

The applicant should hold a clinical doctoral degree, have completed 
postgraduate clinical training and have secured employment in an 
academic or nonacademic research institution prior to award of a K08 or 
K23 grant.  However, one may submit an application during the final 
stages of clinical training.  In certain cases, the NIDCD may consider 
an individual holding a doctoral degree in a non-clinical discipline, 
but certified or licensed to perform clinical duties, eligible for 
these career development awards, providing the individual’s career 
goals are to combine research with clinical practice. Individuals 
holding both clinical and non-clinical doctoral degrees are eligible.  
Two years of prior research experience, including experiences at the 
undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral levels, is expected of K08 
and K23 applicants. Individuals holding positions of senior academic 
rank, such as associate professor or professor, or the equivalent in 
non-academic settings, are generally not eligible to apply for these 
awards.  However, individuals may apply if they have been promoted to 
the rank of associate professor, or its equivalent, within the last two 
years.  Consult with the NIDCD program official listed under INQUIRIES 
concerning your eligibility for these programs.

The NIDCD encourages early-stage clinician-scientists to consider 
applying for one year of support through an NIDCD R03 award, if needed 
to demonstrate the feasibility of the research to be proposed in their 
K08 or K23 application.

The K-awardee may hold an NIDCD R03 award concurrent with the K08 or 
K23 award, providing the aggregate number of years of R03 support 
(prior to and during the K award) does not exceed three years and that 
the R03 does not provide the K-awardee with additional salary support.  
The purpose of such an R03 grant is to provide the mentored K-awardee 
with additional research funds to support the transition to 
independence. The research specific aims (SAs) of the R03 application 
may overlap, but should expand upon the SAs of the K08 or K23 award, 
rather than duplicate the SAs of the latter award. In this case, the 
concurrent professional effort associated with these awards is 
considered overlapping rather than additive. It is also possible for a 
K-awardee to serve as a co-investigator (Co-I) on another PI’s research 
grant, providing the Co-I’s overall percentage effort does not exceed 
100%.  K08 and K23 recipients offered research support from other 
Federal agencies or from private professional and voluntary 
organizations and foundations should consult with the NIDCD program 
official listed under INQUIRIES prior to accepting the non-Public 
Health Service award.

Allowable Costs

1.  Salary

The NIDCD provides salary support up to a maximum of $105,000, plus 
commensurate fringe benefits, based on the applicant institution’s 
established salary structure for a full-time, 12-month staff member of 
equivalent qualifications, rank and responsibilities in the department 
concerned. Competing K08/K23 awards issued by the NIDCD in FY01 shall 
be incremented to the actual full-time salary level of the awardee, up 
a maximum of $105,000, for each remaining year of the award.  
Noncompeting awards will be incremented upon issuance of the 
noncompeting continuation application in FY02. 

2. Research Development Support

The NIDCD will provide up to $50,000 per annum for the research 
development expenses outlined in PA-00-003 and PA-00-004, including 
expenses relating to travel of the designated external advisory 
committee to the awardee’s institution (see later section on External 
Advisory Committee).

If additional research development support is needed for an NIDCD-
supported K08 or K23 grant already in progress to help transition the 
awardee to independence, an NIDCD R03 may be submitted. In the event 
that the limit of three years of aggregate R03 support has already been 
reached, additional support may be requested from the NIDCD as an 
administrative supplement application if compelling justification can 
be provided.  The awardee should consult with the NIDCD program 
official listed under INQUIRIES prior to submitting such an 
administrative supplement application.

Application Procedures

1.  Career Development Plan

In addition to the guidelines in PA-00-003 and PA-00-004, the NIDCD 
requires that applicants describe plans to complete a graduate-level 
didactic course in biostatistics and research design during the first 
year of the award or provide evidence that such training was previously 
completed by the applicant. 

2.  External Advisory Committee

The NIDCD requires that the applicant, in consultation with his/her 
mentor(s), configure an external advisory committee, to be described in 
the application, composed of two scientists from outside the 
applicant’s institution who are experts in the field of the proposed 
research career development, but who are not mentors or collaborators 
of the applicant or the applicant’s mentor.  The scientists should have 
records of mentoring new investigators and of Federal research funding.  
The external advisory committee members shall commit to be available to 
the candidate for consultation on an as-needed basis [beyond the input 
of the mentor(s)] and to site visit the awardee and his/her primary 
mentor at the home institution twice during the period of the K-award, 
in the first half of the second year and in the latter half of the 
fourth year of the award period.  Each external advisory committee 
member shall write a letter, to be included with the application, 
stating his/her commitment.  The underlying goal of the external 
advisory committee is to provide the awardee, the mentor, the 
institution and the NIDCD with a mechanism for quality assurance on the 
conduct of the research career development program.  The specific 
purposes of these site visits are: 1) to advise the awardee in 
attaining the goals of the career development program, and 2) to help 
ensure that the institution’s commitments to the terms of the award, 
including the awardee’s protected research career development time, the 
research facilities and resources available and the mentorship 
arrangement, are being met. The travel costs associated with these site 
visits shall be budgeted within the application as research development 
expenses. A report of the input of the external advisory committee to 
the awardee and his/her institution, signed by each committee member, 
should be incorporated into the Application for Continuation Grant (PHS 
Form 2590) (progress report), submitted to the NIDCD by the awardee’s 
institution for Years Three and Five of the award.


The NIDCD will support established clinician-investigators who have a 
record of Federal or private research grant funding, past and present, 
and scientific accomplishment in patient-oriented research who seek 
protected time to: 1) enhance their research program and capabilities; 
and 2) mentor medical residents, clinical fellows and/or junior 
clinical faculty in research. Individuals appropriate for the K24 award 
generally have attained the academic rank of full-professor, or the 
equivalent in non-academic settings. Such individuals are often at a 
period in their careers when their research time has been seriously 
challenged by the increasing demands of clinical service, teaching, 
clinical training and administration.  The award protects up to 50% of 
the time of such individuals and allows them to become role models for 
newer clinician-investigators during a period of research renewal.  The 
requested salary level should be prorated for the committed effort to 
the K24 based on the PHS salary cap in effect at the time of 
application.  Applicants for this career development award must present 
a compelling justification for the need and utility of this mechanism 
for their continued career development in patient-oriented research.


In addition to the original application and three copies sent to the 
NIH Center for Scientific Review, send two additional copies of the 
application (and five sets of appendices) to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400-C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180 (regular mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (overnight/express mail)


Consultation with the following program official, responsible for the 
NIDCD extramural research training program, is strongly encouraged 
prior to submitting a K-award application. Direct inquiries to:

Daniel A. Sklare, Ph.D.
Research Training Officer
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South, Rm. 400C, MSC-7180
6120 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892-7180 (regular mail)
Rockville, MD 20852 (overnight/express mail)
Tel:     (301) 496-1804
FAX:  (301) 402-6251

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