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FAQ Pages – K99/R00 Grants

Q: For the K99 awards, is it common to change institutions for the R00 phase (assuming you get an assistant professor position somewhere other than where you did your postdoc)?
A: Although it's not a requirement for a K99 awardee to change institutions for the R00 phase, the awardee is encouraged to do so. Most of NLM's K99 awardees do change institutions for their R00 phases.

Q: Do I have to have a faculty position when I apply for K99?
A: No, you don't have to have a faculty position when you apply for a K99. The initial 1 -2 year K99 phase is a mentored phase and doesn't require a faculty position.

Q: As an intramural post doc in NLM, if I get K99 award, do I have to transfer to a different institution for R00 phase?
A: Yes, you'll have to secure an independent research position, preferably a tenure-track assistant professor position (or equivalent) at an eligible extramural institution, to activate the R00 phase. You may choose to apply for independent phase position within the NIH intramural research program (IRP). However, should you accept such a position in the IRP, the independent phase of the award will not be activated. This is because NIH intramural scientists are supported directly by NIH intramural funds and are not eligible for NIH extramural grant awards.

Q: For the K99 award, is the 4-year postdoc training limit counted till the day when the application is submitted or is it the day when the award is made?
A: From the funding opportunity announcement: "no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of application". Thus, it is till the day the application is submitted.

Q: Which study section reviews NLM K99/R00 applications?
A: All K99 applications assigned to NLM are reviewed by an NLM study section. The members of NLM's study section, the Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC), encompass the areas of expertise needed to review most of the grant applications received by NLM. The Scientific Review Officer, who manages the BLIRC, may add ad hoc reviewers if there's a need for further expertise. The BLIRC membership is listed at

Q: How much support has NLM been committed to K99 awards?
A: We don't have a set commitment for each of our grant programs. See NLM's FY Funding Plan at /ep/Payplan.html.

"NLM supports as many meritorious competing grant applications as possible, across the array of grant programs it offers. General funding guidelines are established each year based on appropriated funds available. Final award decisions reflect considerations of program relevance, portfolio balance, recommendations of the NLM Board of Regents, and availability of funds."

On average, NLM has funded about 3 new K99/R00 awards per year over the last few years.

Q: Will K99/R00 award recipients be considered "new investigators" when applying for their first NIH R01 support?
A: Yes, K99/R00 awardees remain eligible to be considered "new investigators" when applying for their first NIH R01 support.

Q: My teaching and clinical responsibilities take up 50% of my time. Can I apply for K99 support to cover the rest of my salary?
A: No. Recipients of this award must devote a minimum of 75 percent effort to the proposed research program. The remaining 25 percent effort can be divided among other clinical and teaching activities only if they are consistent with the program goals, i.e. the candidate's development into a research informatician. Under unusual and pressing circumstances, an awardee may submit a written request to the awarding component, requesting a reduction in professional effort below 75 percent. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis during the award period. In no case will it be permissible to work at a rate of less than 50 percent effort.

Q: What can I use the K99 research and development funds for?
A: Up to $20,000 per year will be provided to cover the expenses of starting up a research program, including: (a) tuition and fees related to career development activities; (b) salaries for technical support, consultant costs, equipment, supplies; (c) travel to scientific meetings and training; (d) statistical services (including personnel and computing resources); and (e) other research-related expenses. Restrictions: Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistance, etc. is NOT allowed.

Q: I work for a company now. Can I apply?
A: No, only domestic nonprofit, public or private institutions, such as medical, dental or nursing schools or other institutions of higher education may apply.

Q: Can I have co-mentors for a K99 award?
A: Yes, if your career development plan and/or project require mentors with complementary expertise, you can have co-mentors. You should usually have one primary mentor and then one or more co-mentors as appropriate.

Q: Do my years as a T15 fellow count against not more than 4 years related postdoctoral research training mentioned in the K99/R00 funding opportunity announcement?
A: That depends on whether you are a prepoctoral or a postdoctoral fellow in a T15 program. Your years as a predoctoral fellow would not count. Your years as a postdoctoral fellow would count.

Q: Can I get one-on-one feedback before applying?
A: Yes, you can send one of the program officers an email, with a one page description/Specific Aims page (see funding opportunity announcement). Check our website for the program officer listed for the particular program, and in the research area you are interested in. The program officer will read your description/Specific Aims page and tell you if it is a good idea and in scope for the program, or may need further work. Please note that this will not be an in-depth evaluation of the scientific merit of the proposed project. We can only tell you if it is in scope; the scientific review will be carried out by the study section.

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