February 4, 2022
PA-20-187 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)
PA-20-188 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
PA-20-189 - NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
NOT-OD-20-158 - Temporary Extension of Eligibility for the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award During the COVID-19 Pandemic
NOT-OD-21-106 - Continuation of Temporary Extension of Eligibility for the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
By way of this Notice, NIH announces the continued extension of eligibility for prospective K99/R00 applicants. Under normal circumstances, individuals must have no more than four years (i.e., 48 months) of postdoctoral research experience to be eligible to apply for a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award. However, due to ongoing disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NIH will be providing the following extensions in eligibility for prospective candidates:
Individuals who have previously received the two-cycle automatic COVID-based eligibility extension for K99 submission are not eligible for an additional extension.
The two-receipt cycle extension in eligibility under this Notice applies only to applicants for a K99/R00 award under one of the parent Funding Opportunity Announcements (PA-20-187, PA-20-188, and PA-20-189).
For eligible applicants submitting new or resubmission applications, the two-receipt cycle extension will be automatically accepted by the NIH; no additional documentation is required. However, prospective K99 applicants who wish to receive non-COVID-related extensions (such as those for childbirth, adoption, family, etc.) must continue to provide relevant documentation.
To aid potential applicants in determining whether they are eligible for the extension, the following examples are provided:
Example 1: For individuals whose eligibility would normally end with the February/March 2022 due dates, the temporary extension would allow them to apply for the K99/R00 in June/July 2022 or October/November 2022.
Example 2: For individuals whose eligibility would normally end with June/July 2022 due dates, the temporary extension would allow them to apply in October/November 2022.
Example 3: For individuals whose eligibility would normally end with October/November 2021 due dates, the temporary extension allows them to apply in February/March 2022 or June/July 2022. They are not eligible for an additional 2 cycle extension to October/November 2022 or February/March 2023.
This policy may be subject to future updates. Please note that this eligibility extension applies to AIDS and non-AIDS applications.
Prospective applicants should direct inquiries related to their specific circumstances to the NIH Institute or Center to which their application will be submitted.
General inquiries about this policy should be directed to: