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Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)
(Non-Independent and Newly Independent Investigators)

The Pathway to Independence (PI) Award is designed to facilitate a timely transition from a mentored postdoctoral research position to a stable independent research position with independent NIH or other independent research support at an earlier stage than is currently the norm. The PI award will provide up to 5 years of support consisting of two phases. The initial phase will provide 1-2 years of mentored support for postdoctoral research scientists. This phase will be followed by up to 3 years of independent support contingent on securing an independent tenure-track or equivalent research position.

Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) Web links:

Pathway to Independence Award (PA-14-042)

Associated Qs&As: "New Investigators Program/Pathway to Independence Award, Questions and Answers"

The NHLBI has developed an additional document, Fact Sheet: K99s Transitioning to R00 which provides application instructions for NHLBI K99 awardees transitioning from the mentored phase of the K99 to the independent research phase of the R00.

Who is eligible? At the time of application submission (or resubmission) candidates for this award must have earned a terminal clinical or research doctorate (including Ph.D., M.D., D. O., D.C., N.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., Sc.D., D.N.S., Pharm. D., or equivalent doctoral degree, or a combined clinical and research doctoral degree); and have no more than 4 years (48 months) of research experience since completing the requirements of the doctoral degree (resubmissions must also comply with this requirement). Applications from ineligible individuals will be returned without review. U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens are eligible. There are additional eligibility criteria detailed in the full K99/R00 Program Announcement; please check carefully before proceeding. See Pathway to Independence Award (PA-14-042).

A typical successful candidate will have an impressive record of research productivity and publications, and will have identified a unique research direction to pursue after the mentored phase of the award.

The opportunities? Both mentored research and independent research support during the early phase of an investigators' career.

Duration of support? As described above, up to 5 years of support consisting of two phases. Award of the independent (R00) phase is not guaranteed.

Where? Domestic for-profit or non-profit institutions/organizations, or public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals and laboratories, eligible agencies of the federal government, and NIH intramural laboratories. All institution/organization types listed above are eligible for both the mentored and independent phase, with one exception: ineligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NIH intramural program, are eligible only for the mentored phase. Foreign institutions are not eligible.

Applications due? New applications are due February 12, June 12, and October 12. Resubmitted applications are due March 12, July 12, and November 12.


Mentored phase (K99): Salary: up to $75,000 plus fringe benefits per year. Research Support: up to $25,000 per year. F&A costs will be provided at 8% of modified direct costs (to extramural sponsoring institutions only).

Independent investigator phase (R00): Total cost may not exceed $249,000 per year. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research support allowance and applicable F&A costs. F&A costs will be reimbursed at the extramural sponsoring institution’s F&A rate. Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are included in the total cost limitation.

How to apply: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through ( using the SF 424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS AgenciesPDF document icon includes Part 1,7. Supplemental Instructions to the SF 424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application ("K" series).

Page Limitations: All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Resources for K99/R00 Candidates:

The NHLBI Website also lists training programs under the category Requests for Applications/Proposals & Program Announcements with the application receipt date.

NHLBI's Division of Blood Diseases and Resources (DBDR) Program Description

NHLBI's Division of Cardiovascular Sciences (DCVS) Program Description

NHLBI's Division of Lung Diseases (DLD) Program Description

Please contact the following NHLBI staff member if you have questions about this award:

Direct your questions about NHLBI intramural programmatic issues to:

Herbert Geller, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Education
Division of Intramural Research
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Building 10, Room 6N248
10 Center Drive, MSC 1754
Bethesda , MD 20892-1754
Phone: (301) 451-9440
FAX: (301) 594-8133

Direct your questions about NHLBI extramural programmatic issues to:

Helena O. Mishoe, Ph.D., MPH
Associate Director for Research Training and Diversity
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive , Room 9180, MSC 7913
Bethesda , MD 20892-7913
Phone: 301-451-5081
FAX: (301) 480-0862

Revised August 2014

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