Release Date:  March 7, 2001 
PA NUMBER:  PAR-01-065 (This PA has been reissued, see PAR-05-109)
                       (See update, NOT-MH-05-008)
                       (See addendum NOT-MH-03-001)

National Institute of Mental Health

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  June 18
Application Receipt Date:       July 18


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) invites applications from 
intramural and extramural scientists for the “NIMH Research Career Award for 
Transition to Independence” program.  This initiative is designed to attract 
and train outstanding physician scientists and senior postdoctoral 
investigators (with at least 2-3 years of postgraduate research experience), 
who wish to further their basic or clinical career development experience by 
initially training within the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs 
(intramural phase), and then transitioning to an independent research program 
at a domestic U.S. extramural institution (extramural phase).  As such, the 
program is intended to provide support for highly motivated and qualified 
candidates to focus on gaining significant experience in interdisciplinary 
mental health research fields in an NIMH intramural laboratory for a period 
of up to 3 years, followed by continued research support for up to 2 years 
for an independent research project at an extramural institution.  The 
aggregate period of NIMH support under this award cannot exceed 5 years.  
During the extramural phase of this award, the NIMH expects K22 awardees to 
apply for investigator initiated research grants (e.g., R01, R03, or R21). 


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Program Announcement 
(PA), NIMH Career Award for Transition to Independence is related to numerous 
priority areas in this initiative.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of 
"Healthy People 2010" at


The candidate must have a (normally limited to health professionals) doctoral 
degree such as Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent, and at least 2, but no more than 5 
years of postdoctoral training (exclusive of clinical training) at the time 
of application. Individuals who have been principal investigators on NIH 
research project grants, program projects and center grants, or career 
development (K) awards are NOT eligible.  Former principal investigators of 
an NIMH Small Grant (R03), Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA)(R15), 
or Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21) remain eligible.  Physician 
scientists and postdoctoral candidates for the NIMH K22 may not have pending 
Federal career development or research awards or concurrently apply for any 
other of these types of awards, and must terminate or transfer any active 
extramural support prior to activation of the K22 award.  A candidate for the 
NIMH Research Career Award for Transition to Independence may neither 
concurrently apply for any other PHS award that duplicates the provisions of 
this award, nor have another application pending award by the PHS.  Fellows 
who meet the requirements and are currently working at the NIMH Division of 
Intramural Research Programs are eligible to apply, provided that the 
research experience proposed promotes new areas of professional growth and 
development.  Physician scientists and postdoctoral fellows supported by an 
NIMH Institutional NRSA training grant (T32) or an NIMH Individual NRSA 
postdoctoral fellowship (F32) are encouraged to apply; however, applicants 
should request start dates that allow for the completion of the NRSA training 

The candidate must be an outstanding clinical or basic science investigator, 
with demonstrated potential for a highly productive research career.  During 
the intramural phase of the award, the candidate will devote 100 percent 
effort to research activities.  During the extramural phase, the candidate 
must spend a minimum of 75 percent effort on research and career development 
activities.  (See section on “Mechanism of Support” for more on the 2 phases 
of the award.)

Minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  
Candidates must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or must have been 
lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration 
Card (I-151 or I-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a 
permanent U.S. resident, at the time of the award.  


The NIMH Career Award for Transition to Independence will use the career 
transition award (K22) mechanism.  The entire project period for this award 
is five years, and consists of an intramural phase and an extramural phase.  
The intramural phase will provide support for 3 years, and upon 
recommendation for continued funding based on a formal NIMH progress review, 
the extramural phase will provide support for up to an additional two years. 
K22 awards are not renewable and NIMH general policy on career awards limits 
one mentored career award per individual.  Further information about NIMH 
career awards can be found at:


The NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs provides a unique and rich 
environment for research training and career development for senior 
postdoctoral fellows and beginning investigators.  Intramural basic and 
clinical scientists are among the leaders in the mental health research 
fields. The NIMH Research Career Award for Transition to Independence is 
intended to provide an opportunity for the most promising and exceptionally 
talented new investigators, early in their career; to develop an independent 
research career, with funds available for both salary and research expenses. 
Each awardee, along with their intramural mentor, will be responsible for all 
aspects of their research program, including the design and execution of the 
research and the management of research funds.  In addition to working in 
his/her mentor’s laboratory, the investigator has ample opportunity to 
interact with and seek guidance from other intramural and extramural 
scientists during his/her tenure at the NIMH.

Transition from the intramural phase of support to the extramural phase is 
NOT automatic and is subject to review of the success of the awardees 
research accomplishments and the evaluation of a research plan to be carried 
out at the extramural institution.  The review will be conducted by a formal 
NIMH scientific progress review committee, and will take place during the 
last (normally the third) year of the intramural phase.  Individuals approved 
for the extramural phase will receive support through the K22 award 
mechanism.  It is essential to document the extramural institution’s 
commitment to the retention, development, and advancement of the candidate 
during the period of the award.  The extramural institution must be a 
domestic U.S. institution that demonstrates a commitment to the candidate by 
providing protected research time (minimum of 75% effort), space and other 
support needed to perform the proposed research.  The extramural institution 
must describe the candidate’s academic appointment, bearing in mind that it 
must be tenure-track or equivalent, and that the appointment not be 
contingent on the transfer of the award to the institution.  K22 awardees are 
expected to apply for an investigator-initiated research grant (R01, R03, 
and/or R21), in a research area relevant to the mission of the NIMH, during 
their tenure as a K22 awardee.  It is expected that such an application will 
be submitted at the early stages of the final year of the K22 award in order 
to ensure continued support and a smooth transition to independence. 

Important Note: Acceptance into the NIMH Career Award for Transition to 
Independence Program does not imply a commitment on the part of the Institute 
to consider the awardee for a tenure-track position at the NIMH Division of 
Intramural Research Programs.  The primary intent of this program is to 
develop outstanding mental health researchers who will pursue extramural 
research careers.  However, awardees may wish to apply for available tenure-
track position at the NIMH or another NIH Institute.  The K22 award will be 
terminated if the candidate is offered and accepts such a position.


The Division of Intramural Research Programs at NIMH conducts a broad array 
of research activities that range from basic neuroscience and behavioral 
investigations conducted at the systems, cellular and molecular levels, to 
clinical investigations conducted into the diagnosis, treatment and 
prevention of mental illness.  Major disease entities studied throughout the 
lifespan include mood disorders and anxiety, schizophrenia, obsessive-
compulsive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and pediatric 
autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders.  Detailed information about these 
program investigators and their research projects can be obtained at:


Intramural Phase:

Funds for this phase of the award will be derived from the NIMH Division of 
Intramural Research Programs, and will include a full-time salary (12 month 
employment), technical support and research expenses (supplies, travel, 
equipment, and health care).  There are no indirect costs associated with 
this phase, and total costs will not exceed $140,000 per year. 

Extramural Phase:

Funds for the extramural phase will be provided through the non-competing 
K22, awarded to the domestic extramural institution to which the awardee is 
recruited.  The NIMH will contribute up to 100 percent of the awardee's 
annual institutional base salary (based on a full time 12-month appointment) 
up to a maximum of $90,000.  Note that these awards require a commitment of a 
minimum of 75 percent of full time professional effort, and the salary 
allowance will be commensurate with the actual level of effort directed to 
research and career development activities up to $90,000, plus applicable 
fringe benefits.  This salary must be consistent both with the established 
salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by 
the institution from its own funds to other staff members of equivalent 
qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned.  In 
addition, NIMH will provide up to $50,000 for research costs including 
technical personnel, equipment, supplies, travel to research meetings or 
training, statistical services, including personnel and computer time, and 
other expenses.  Salary for ancillary personnel support (secretarial and/or 
administrative assistance) is NOT allowed.  Facilities and administrative 
costs (formerly called indirect costs) will be reimbursed at 8 percent of 
modified total direct costs.  The 2 years of extramural support are NOT 
transferable to another institution.  Salary supplementation using Federal 
funds is NOT allowed, and any institutional salary supplementation using non-
Federal funds must NOT require responsibilities that may interfere with the 
awardees research and career development activities.

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and 
their subpopulations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED “NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities 
as Subjects in Clinical Research” published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts on August 2, 2000 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are 
available at:  The 
revisions relates to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols to provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; 
and b) all investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 


It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them.  
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
“NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects” that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from the program staff 
or contact person listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide 
additional relevant information concerning the policy.


All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. 


Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a 
descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, address, and telephone 
number of the Principal Investigator, the identity of the proposed mentor, as 
well as other key personnel (if applicable), and the number and title of the 
PA in response to which this application may be submitted.  Although a letter 
of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review 
of the subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NIMH 
staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent should be sent to Barry B. Kaplan, Ph.D., at the address 
listed under INQUIRIES, by the letter of intent receipt date shown in the 
heading of this PA.


Prospective applicants should contact Barry B. Kaplan, Ph.D. at the NIMH 
Division of Intramural Research Programs at the address indicted under the 
INQUIRIES section, in order to initiate the process of identifying a mentor 
(if one has not already been selected), with whom the candidate can consult 
in preparing and submitting an application for the intramural phase of the 
award.  Candidates from outside institutions or other NIH Institutes may 
obtain information about the NIMH Intramural Research Programs from the 
following Website:  Fellows working at an 
NIMH laboratory may work with their current mentor, or with another 
intramural investigator, provided the research experience proposed in this 
application is in a fundamentally new area of research that will enhance the 
candidate’s scientific career.  In any case, both the candidate and mentor 
must collaborate closely in completing the application and follow the 
appropriate instructions for current NIMH fellows.

Applications for the intramural phase of the program must be submitted using 
form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98).  Application kits are available at most 
institutional offices of sponsored research and from the Division of 
Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301) 710-0267; FAX (301) 480-0525, Email:  Forms are also 
available on the NIH Website at: 

Identify the application as a response to this PAR.  The title and number of 
the program announcement “PAR-01-065, NIMH Research Career Award for 
Transition to Independence” must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the 
application form and the YES box must be marked. 

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application and 3 signed 
photocopies in one package to:

6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 – MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

Receipt, Review, and Funding Schedule for K22 Awards:

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:          June 18
Application Receipt Date:               July 18
Initial Scientific Review:              October/November 
Second Level of Review by NIH Council:  January 
Approximate Start Date:                 April 1

At the time of submission of the PHS 398 for the intramural phase of this 
program, 2 additional copies of the application should be sent to Jean G. 
Noronha, Ph.D., NIMH Referral Officer, at the following address.  (These 
copies are used in planning the review process.)

Jean G. Noronha, Ph.D.
NIMH Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6154, MSC 9609
Bethesda, MD  20892-9609
Telephone: (301) 443-3367
FAX:  (301) 443-4720



o  Describe the candidate’s commitment to a career in biomedical or 
behavioral research field relevant to the mission of NIMH.

o  Describe the candidate’s potential to develop into a successful 
independent investigator.

o  Describe the candidate’s current as well as long-term research and career 

o  Include 3 sealed letters of recommendation detailing the candidate’s 
potential for a productive research career.

Career Development Plan

o Describe the career development plan incorporating consideration of the 
candidate’s goals and prior experience.  A systematic plan should be 
presented for obtaining the necessary basic biomedical or behavioral science 
background and research experience to launch an independent research career.  
The career development plan must be specifically tailored to the needs of the 
candidate and the ultimate goal of achieving independence as a researcher. 

o  Candidates must justify the need for a 3-year period of mentored research 
experience and must be able to provide a convincing case that the proposed 
period of support will substantially enhance his/her career and/or will allow 
the pursuit of a novel or promising approach to a particular research 

o  Plans for research training activities including any course work that will 
promote the candidate’s scientific independence.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

o  Candidates must describe plans to receive instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research.  These plans must detail the proposed subject matter, 
format, frequency, and duration of instruction.  No award will be made if an 
application lacks this component. 

Research Plan

o  The research plan should follow instructions outlined in form PHS 398 
including sections on Specific Aim, Background and Significance, Progress 
Report/Preliminary Studies, Research Design and Methods.

Mentor’s Statement (Intramural Phase)

o  The mentor must describe the elements of research training planned for the 
candidate, including any formal course-work, and specify how the candidate’s 
scientific and professional independence will be promoted.

o  The application must also include information describing the mentor’s 
research as it relates to the candidate’s research plan. 

o  The mentor’s statement must include information regarding his or her 
research qualifications and previous experience as a research supervisor and 

o  If more than one mentor is proposed, the respective areas of expertise and 
responsibility should be described.


o  The applicant should work with the potential NIMH mentor to devise a 
budget for the Intramural Phase.  Budget information for TOTAL DIRECT COST 
and cost justifications should be developed in accordance with the Budget 
instructions in form PHS 398.  For candidates who receive approval for 
transition to the extramural phase, a budget will be submitted at that time 
as part of the form PHS 2590 non-competing application - see EVALUATION 
PROCEDURES, Extramural Phase (below).


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the Center 
for Scientific Review (CSR) and responsiveness to the PAR by the appropriate 
NIMH staff.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be returned 
to the applicant without further consideration.  Applications that are 
complete and responsiveness to the PAR will be evaluated for scientific and 
technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the NIMH in 
accordance with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the initial 
merit review, all applicants will receive a written critique and undergo a 
process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, 
will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a secondary review 
by the National Advisory Mental Health Council.

Review Criteria


o  Potential for carrying out independent research, based on experience level 
and training received leading up to the current application.

o  Potential to become an outstanding scientist who will contribute 
significantly to a mental health research field.

o  Evidence of research productivity, including quality of peer-reviewed 
scientific publications. 

o  Ability to propose and carry out a significant, hypothesis-driven research 

o  Ability to work within the highly interactive scientific environment of 
the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs, and to collaborate with 
other scientists.

Career Development Plan

o  Appropriateness of the career development plan, and the likelihood that 
the award will enhance the scientific development of the candidate.

o  Appropriateness of the content and duration of the proposed didactic and 
research phases of the award. 

o  Consistency of the career development plan with the candidate’s career 
goals and prior research experience. 

o  Quality of the proposed training in responsible conduct of research. 

Research Plan

o  Significance and innovativeness of the hypothesis-driven research plan, 
and appropriateness and rigor of the experimental design and methodology.

o  Appropriateness of the proposed specific aims for the intramural phase of 
research, and evidence of long-term viability of the proposed research for 
the extramural phase.

o  Clear potential of the proposed research to contribute significantly to 
the mental health scientific literature.

o  Where appropriate, adequacy of plans for the inclusion (recruitment and 
retention) of both genders, minorities, and children in the research plan.


o  Research qualifications, scientific stature, experience and track record 
as a research mentor.

o  Adequacy and extent of proposed supervision that will occur during the 
intramural award period, and the commitment of the mentor to the applicant’s 
continued career development.

o  Appropriateness of the mentor’s research interests and qualifications to 
the career development needs of the applicant.

o  Previous experience in fostering the development of new investigators. 


o  Appropriateness and adequacy of the justification for the requested budget 
in relation to the research plan and career development goals.


Intramural Phase

Following peer review, a NIMH selection committee, comprised of senior 
intramural scientists and extramural program staff, will be convened by the 
NIMH Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science to evaluate the 
applications, taking into account the priority score and recommendation of 
the IRG, the program priorities of the Institute, and availability of funds.  
Funding decisions will be made based on the recommendations of the selection 
committee and secondary review by the National Advisory Mental Health 


Intramural Phase

The awardee is expected to prepare an annual progress report, which will be 
evaluated by the mentor and the laboratory or branch chief (if not the same 
person), as well as the Scientific and Training Directors, NIMH Division of 
Intramural Research Programs. 

Extramural Phase

During the last (normally the third) year of the intramural phase, the 
candidate must submit a non-competing application (PHS 2590) for the K22 
award, through the institution in which he/she is (or will be) employed as an 
independent researcher.  The NIMH selection committee will determine whether 
or not the candidate will be recommended for the extramural phase of support.  
The application must include a progress report with specific aims achieved to 
date, resultant publications, current research grant support, and any pending 
grant applications.  In addition, the application must include a research 
plan for the extramural phase, including new specific aims, significance, 
research plan, continued career development plan, and available resources.  
Further, both the awardee and the new mentor must submit a statement of 
research and career development plans for the extramural phase.  There should 
also be a description of the extramural institution’s commitment to the 
development of the awardee’s career.   Candidates able to successfully enter 
the extramural phase of the award at the end of their second year will 
forfeit their third year of intramural support.

Following are general criteria for selection into the extramural phase:

o  Successful completion of the intramural phase of career development as 
evidenced by specific aims achieved to date, resultant publications, etc.

o  Continued qualifications and clear potential of the awardee to make a 
significant contribution to the NIMH mission.

o  Quality of the proposed research project, and its scientific merit as 
determined by formal review.

o NIMH Program priorities, and availability of funds.


Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NIMH staff 
listed below for consultation throughout the application process.  These 
consultations are critical, especially during the initial planning phase of 
the application, and after initiating negotiations with the prospective NIMH 
scientific mentor. 

Inquiries regarding the Intramural Phase should be directed to:

Barry B. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Division of Intramural Research
National Institute of Mental Health 
Building 10, Room 4N-222, MSC 1381
Bethesda, MD 20892-1381
Telephone:  (301) 496-4183
FAX:  (301) 480-8438

Inquiries regarding the Extramural Phase of this initiative should be 
directed to:

Mark Chavez, Ph.D.
Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7197, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD  20892-9645
Telephone:  (301) 443-3563
FAX:  (301) 443-1731

Fred Altman, Ph.D.
Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research and AIDS
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6217, MSC 9621
Bethesda, MD  20892-9621
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  20892-9635
Telephone:  (301) 443-3599
FAX:  (301) 594-6784

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  20892-9605
Telephone:  (301) 443-2805
FAX:  (301) 443-6885


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.281.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health Service 
Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 
USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health
Systems Agency review.  Awards will be administered under PHS grants policy 
as stated in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (October 1, 1998).

PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In addition,
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.

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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
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