Release Date:  June 12, 2000

NOTICE:  MH-00-002

National Institute of Mental Health

This notice provides a revision and update of the most recent NIMH POLICY 
UPDATE FOR CAREER AWARDS (K-SERIES) that was published in the NIH Guide on 
July 29, 1998.  This document is intended to complement the policies of the 
Trans-NIH K-Series program announcements (see below).  Prospective applicants 
must follow all the instructions covered under each program announcement as 
well as the Research Career Award section of PHS 398 when preparing an 
application.  Note, however that this policy announcement DOES NOT address 
NIMH-specific career award programs.  It DOES, however, apply to the 
following NIH-wide program announcements.  All career award announcements can 
be found at <> 

PA-00-019:  Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)
PA-00-020:  Independent Scientist Award (K02)
PA-00-021:  Senior Scientist Award (K05)
PA-00-003:  Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08)
PA-00-004:  Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
PA-00-005:  Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)


K01, K08, and K23 Awards:

NIMH mentored career development award mechanisms (K01, K08, and K23) are 
intended to assist new investigators at stages beyond postdoctoral training 
to gain additional supervised experience in order to become an independent 
scientist.  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 

Institutions are encouraged to use these awards to help transition the 
awardee from mentored research to independence.  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 
transfer to another institution.

Applicants are expected to pursue research and career development activities 
directly relevant to the mission of the NIMH.  Applications with marginal or 
no mental health relevance will be considered unresponsive to these programs.  
These applications will not be considered further and will be returned to the 
applicant.  Therefore, it is very important that prospective applicants 
contact the appropriate Institute office, listed under INQUIRES, prior to 
preparing an application.

NIMH mentored career award recipients are encouraged to apply for independent 
research grant support (e.g., R03 or R01) during the period of the award.  
However, in general, NIMH discourages awardees from applying for an NIH 
research grant during the initial stages of the mentored K award 
(corresponding approximately to the first two years of the award).  
Regardless of the timing, when a research grant application is subsequently 
submitted to the NIMH requesting support that overlaps the period of mentored 
K award support, the awardee must include a statement in the application 
which outlines how the career development and research supported through the 
K award will be impacted or modified should the new research application be 
supported.  The applicant should identify how these applications (career 
award and research grant) relate to one another, highlighting any areas of 
scientific overlap.  Since R01 and several other research grant applications 
now follow “modular” guidelines, any budgetary overlap issues will need to be 
resolved with NIMH staff prior to award.  It should be noted that no salary 
for the principal investigator will be provided in the research grant during 
the period of career development support.  Therefore, applicants are strongly 
encouraged to discuss these issues with the NIMH program staff prior to 
submitting a new grant application.

K02 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 peer-reviewed, 
independent research support 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.

K05 Awards:

The senior scientist award, K05, is restricted to one five year term only, 
and is available only to those researchers who are Principal Investigators 
(PI) on an active NIMH research grant at the time of award.  Current K05 
awardees are NOT eligible to submit a competing renewal (type 2) application.

K02, K05, and K24 Awards:

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, eligible applicants are NIMH Principal 
Investigators (PI) on R01, R10, R18, R21, R24, R29, R37, P01, P20, P30, P50, 
and U01 grants.  It should be noted that investigators who direct subprojects 
on P series grants, or are PI on a subcontract on any other grant mechanism, 
are NOT eligible.


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

Salary for K01, K02, K05, K08, and K23 Awards:

Beginning with competing awards made in fiscal year 2001, the NIMH will 
contribute up to 100% of the Principal Investigator's institutional base 
annual salary in any given year, up to a maximum of $90,000.  Note that the 
salary allowance will be commensurate with the actual level of effort up to 
$90,000, and that the annual salary is based on a full-time 12-month 

This policy applies to all new (type 1), and competitive renewal (type 2) 
applications.  However, it does NOT apply to non-competitive continuation 
(type 5) applications resulting from competing applications that began prior 
to fiscal year 2001.  It is important to emphasize that these awards require 
a commitment of a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort to research 
and career development activities for the period of the award.

Salary for K24 Awards:

Please note that the K24 award is different from the other mechanisms covered 
under this policy announcement.  Therefore, the applicant is referred to the 
NIH-wide K24 program announcement for information about salary and research 

Research Development Support for K01, K08, and K23 Awards:

The NIMH allows for funds up to $50,000 per year for expenses outlined in 
each program announcement (note that $50,000 is the upper limit allowed for 
the first year AND each subsequent year).  Applicants must clearly justify 
any requested costs.

Research Support for K02, K05:

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 announcement (note that $25,000 is the upper limit allowed for 
the first year AND each subsequent year).

Change of Institution:

NIMH career award grantees must follow the instructions in each K program 
announcement when planning a change of institution.  In addition, it should 
be noted that NO transfers will be allowed for awards with less than six 
months remaining neither in the project period, nor during a period of 
administrative extension or after a project has terminated.


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 

Walter Goldschmidts, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 7200, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 443-3563
FAX: (301) 443-1731  

Della Hann, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 6217, MSC 9621 
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-9700
FAX:  (301) 480-6000

Enid Light, Ph.D.
Division of Services and Intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard 
Room 7160, MSC 9635
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 443-1185
FAX: (301) 443-4045

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Diana S. Trunnell
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6115, MSC 9605
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
Fax:  (301) 443-6885

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