NCI Pathway to Independence Award for Early-Stage Postdoctoral Researchers (K99/R00 – Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Opportunity Number: PAR-23-286

Deadline: February 14, 2024


The overall goal of the NIH Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation’s biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research needs. NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) support a variety of mentored and non-mentored career development award programs designed to foster the transition of new investigators to research independence and to support established investigators in achieving specific objectives. Candidates should review the different career development (K) award programs to determine the best program to support their goals. More information about Career programs may be found at the NIH Extramural Training Mechanisms website.

The objective of the NCI Pathway to Independence Award for Early-Stage Postdoctoral Researchers (K99/R00) is to help postdoctoral researchers complete needed, mentored training and transition in a timely manner to independent tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions. The K99/R00 award is intended to foster the development of a creative, independent research program that will be competitive for subsequent independent funding and help advance the NCI mission.

This program is designed for postdoctoral fellows with research and/or clinical doctoral degrees who do not require extended periods of mentored research training beyond their original doctoral degrees before transitioning to research independence, which is common for those working in cancer control, cancer prevention and cancer data sciences, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility. Therefore, researchers from these disciplines are particularly encouraged to work with their institutions to apply.

This K99/R00 award is intended to support individuals who require no more than 2 additional years of mentored research training and career development (K99 phase) before transitioning to the independent stage (R00 phase) of the program. Consequently, the strongest applicants will require and will propose, a well-conceived plan for 1-2 years of substantive mentored research training and career development that will help their investigators become competitive candidates for tenure-track faculty positions and prepare them to launch robust, independent research programs.

Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible for support under the K99/R00 program. If an applicant’s candidate achieves independence (any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99 award, nor the R00 award, will be made. The K99/R00 award will provide up to 5 years of support in two phases. The initial (K99) phase will support up to 2 years of mentored postdoctoral research training and career development. The second (R00) phase will provide up to 3 years of independent research support, which is contingent on satisfactory progress during the K99 phase and an approved, independent tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position. The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time. Therefore, although exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances, R00 awards will generally only be made to those applicants’ K99 PDs/PIs who accept independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions by the end of the K99 award period.


For more information please see the funding announcement website.