Clarification of NICHD Eligibility Requirements for Applications Submitted in Response to PA-06-001 “Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)” – Population Research Program

Notice Number: NOT-HD- 07-010

Key Dates
Release Date: April 13, 2007

Issued by
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (


This Notice clarifies the following eligibility requirements for the acceptance by NICHD of applications submitted in response to PA-06-001 “Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01).”  Specifically:


The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) accepts K01 applications for only three specific research areas:  Medical Rehabilitation Research, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Population Research.

With regard to Population Research, NICHD participation in this program was expanded in 2001 to include the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB), Center for Population Research. The mission of the DBSB is to provide a better understanding of populations – how populations change in size, composition, and distribution; the complex social, economic and cultural factors that cause populations to change; and the consequences of population change for health and well-being at the individual and societal levels. DBSB uses the K01 mechanism to support career development for junior-level researchers in the area of population research.


The specific objectives of the NICHD K01 in Population Research are:

Definition of Population Research

Population research is defined as demographic, behavioral, and social scientific research on fertility, family and household structures, mortality and morbidity, migration, immigration, population and the environment, and population distribution and characteristics. In the area of population research on health, DBSB welcomes research that addresses the intersection of demographic processes and health; studies health from a population perspective; and/or integrates demographic or social scientific approaches to understanding health with behavioral or biomedical approaches.

In population research, “population” is defined as the aggregate collection of individuals defined either geographically or demographically. Examples include the residents of New York City, married people in the U.S., and African children under age five. Aggregates defined by their participation in a study, program, or service are not considered populations under this definition.
Eligibility Requirements

As stated in PA-06-001, applicants for the NICHD K01 in Population Research must be junior-level researchers.  For the purposes of this program, junior-level researchers are defined as follows:

Eligibility for this program is limited to assistant professors and, in certain circumstances described below, associate professors.  Recent associate professors are eligible if they are already in population studies and are seeking a mentored research experience in other disciplines or if they are in other disciplines and are seeking a mentored research experience in population studies. Recent associate professors who initially applied while they were assistant professors and are submitting a revised (amended) application are eligible. Individuals holding research positions that are equivalent to an assistant professor position or, with the restrictions listed in this paragraph, an associate professor position, are also eligible to apply.

Candidates for the NICHD K01 in Population Research must have a research or a health-professional doctorate or its equivalent, must be committed to developing careers as independent investigators in demography or other areas in population research, and must have demonstrated the capacity or potential for highly productive independent population research. Candidates may undertake three to five years of advanced study and supervised research with the goal of developing into independent investigators in population research.

Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Identification of Mentors and Advisors

When preparing the application, the candidate must identify a mentor with extensive experience in population research. A secondary mentor also may be proposed for guidance in a special area of expertise, but the primary mentor must continue to be involved throughout the award period. Under unusual circumstances, a candidate may select a primary mentor who is not affiliated with the applicant institution. In these circumstances, a secondary mentor must be named from the applicant institution and both mentors must be involved throughout the award period. Candidates choosing a mentor outside of the applicant institution should explain their choice in detail, including the unique benefits to be gained by such a mentorship. Applicants and mentors in this situation should also provide a plan for maintaining an effective mentoring relationship at a distance. Candidates may choose to propose both a basic research mentor and a clinical research mentor, if appropriate. Candidates with a background in demography or other areas of population research who are proposing a mentored experience in another discipline may propose a primary mentor in the new discipline and a secondary mentor in population research. In this case, both mentors must be involved throughout the award period.

The candidate, in consultation with his or her mentor(s), should identify an advisory committee composed of the mentor(s) and one to three other senior faculty members. Advisory committee members can be affiliated with other academic or research institutions. The advisory committee should consult with the candidate at least annually to review the career development plan and research project, to evaluate his or her progress, and to provide guidance for future scientific career development.  Applications with more than two mentors or advisory committees with more than three additional advisors may be returned to the applicant without review.


Rebecca L. Clark, Ph.D.
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B07, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
(Rockville, MD 20852 for express/courier service)
Telephone: (301) 496-1175

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