Fact Sheet: NHLBI K99 Awards (NIH Pathway to Independence, PI, Award) Transitioning to R00 Phase


As indicated in the K99/R00 program announcement, transition from the mentored phase (K99) to the independent scientist phase (R00) is NOT automatic. Transition to the independent phase is subject to NHLBI's review of your research progress and training/career development accomplishments during the K99 award, evaluation of your research plan, and proof of commitment from the sponsoring institution to which you have been recruited. Transition is intended to be continuous in time. An important transition resource can be found on the NIH webpage “New Investigators Program/Pathway to Independence Award, Questions and Answers”. All applicants should be aware that:

  • It is expected that the awardee will complete at least one full year of mentored training under the K99 phase before transitioning to the R00 phase.
  • K99 awardees must submit their R00 transition package to NHLBI by June 1st if they plan to transition to the R00 phase before September 30.
  • R00 transition awards will not be issued in October or November.
  • Unobligated funds may not be carried over from the K99 to the R00.

Before the R00 transition application deadline, you need to (1) find a suitable position as a tenure-track, full-time assistant professor (or equivalent) at an eligible institution, and once that is accomplished, (2) provide us with the required documentation to initiate the R00 phase of the award. When you are ready to prepare the R00 application, please use the following instructions and notify your NHLBI Program Official and Grants Management Specialist of your intentions.

Transition to R00 Instructions:

During the final year of the K99 phase and no later than 3 months before its anticipated end date, the proposed R00 grantee institution should send the application by email in PDF format to the NHLBI Grants Management Specialist listed in the eRA Commons account for your grant, and one copy to your NHLBI Program Official (PO):

  • New NIH Grant application from your proposed R00 grantee institution:
    • Cover Letter: A co-signed Institutional Cover Letter should be included in the application.
    • Face page (PHS 398, Form Page 1) signed by the R00 phase Authorized Organization Representative.
    • Updated Project Summary page (PHS 398, Form Page 2). A new project description page or abstract updated to reflect current plans for the R00 phase.
    • Budget pages: detailed budget page (PHS 398, Form Page 4) required for the first year of the R00 award, and categorical budget (PHS 398, Form Page 5) for the entire project period. The budget may include salary to support your research effort on the R00 award. However, the portion of your base salary provided by the hiring institution must be consistent with that provided routinely to newly appointed, independent faculty members.
    • Allowable Costs: The total cost for the independent phase (R00) may not exceed $249,000 per year. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research costs, and applicable indirect costs. Indirect costs will be reimbursed at the extramural sponsoring institution’s indirect cost rate. Indirect costs requested by consortium participants are included in the total cost limitation.
    • Budget Justification: include your level of effort on the R00 project and the portion of the required 75% research effort to be supported by institutional funds. Also include an explanation for supplies, equipment purchased, and other research-related expenses.
    • Biographical sketches (PHS 398, Format Page): Include updated Biosketch of Candidate, and biosketches for any Key Personnel. Publication citations must show the PMCID numbers when applicable.
    • New Resources Page(s) (PHS 398, Format Page): Also include a detailed explanation of existing equipment purchased during the K99 phase that will transition to the R00 institution. Describe any special facilities used for working with biohazards or other potentially dangerous substances. Note: Information about Select Agents must be described in the Research Plan.
    • New Checklist (PHS 398, Format Page).
    • Final Progress report: Describe the research accomplishments and training and career development during the K99 award. All training and career development goals should be completed. Please describe how the training and career development goals/objectives were met during the K99 award including proposed coursework and training in responsible conduct of research, or if all the goals/objectives were not accomplished, how you plan to meet them during the R00 award.
    • Updated research plan (5 pages or less). Identify any changes from the original research project described in your K99/R00 application, i.e., update specific aims.
    • Human Subjects: If the research will use human subjects, provide:
      • A complete updated Human Subjects section, including an "Inclusion Enrollment Report".
      • Current IRB approval or expected approval date. Award is not made until final IRB approval is granted.
    • Vertebrate Animals: If the research will use vertebrate animals, provide:
      • A complete updated Vertebrate Animals section.
      • Current IACUC approval or expected approval date. Award is not made until final IACUC approval is granted.
    • Data and Safety Monitoring Plan (DSMP) for clinical studies in human subjects that involve more than minimal risk. The DSMP needs to be approved by the IRB; details of the NHLBI requirements are available on the NHLBI website.
    • Copy of a sharing plan for any new model organisms that you propose to generate: All NIH applications and proposals that will produce new, genetically modified variants of model organisms and related resources are expected to include a sharing plan or to state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. Examples of Plans for Sharing of Model Organisms and Related Resources are available on the NIH website.
    • Current Other Support page for the candidate.
  • A copy of the official offer letter (with signed acceptance by the applicant, PI) for a faculty position and any additional correspondence from the Chairperson or Dean of the institution where you have been recruited that addresses the following issues: 
    • Independent position: Your status as a tenure-track, full-time Assistant Professor (or equivalent). The appointment must NOT be contingent on the transition (or continuation) of the R00 award to the sponsoring institution.
    • Institutional Commitment: The institution's plans for providing start-up funding, technical personnel, research resources and facilities, and/or paying your salary. The start-up package and other institutional support must be similar to that which is typically offered to new faculty members at that institution, and the institutional letter should state whether this is the case.
    • Research and Office Space: Describe the laboratory and office space (size and whether you will share equipment with others, be charged for use of equipment, etc.) that will be provided to you for conducting the proposed research.
    • Clinical Space: For patient-oriented research projects, describe the clinical space that will be accessible to you for conducting the proposed research. Include details of other research support services (e.g. core facilities, research coordinators, statistical support, nurse coordinators, etc.). For clinical projects performed within an institutional General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) or Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), submit a letter from the GCRC or CTSA Director indicating support of your R00 research project.
    • Plan to Independence: If the applicant intends to stay at the mentored phase institution during the independent phase, this letter should describe the plan by which the applicant will separate from the postdoctoral mentor and advance to independence.
    • K99 Mentor's Final Evaluation Statement.
    • Timeline to Submit R01: Include a plan and timeline for submitting an independent research grant application in a research area relevant to the mission of an NIH awarding component.
    • Level of effort: Documentation that you will have a minimum of 9 person-months/year (75% full-time professional effort) devoted to research as required by the R00 award for its entire duration, and a description of your level of effort spent on teaching, clinical and/or administrative duties. Teaching, clinical and/or administrative duties should be minimal during the R00 phase. Please specify the amount of hours per week in preparation and contact time for teaching duties.
    • Copy of Current F & A Rate Agreement.
    • JIT information for R00 Phase: It is not required at the time of NHLBI review, but is required before any funding can be released.
      • Updated other support
      • IRB approvals
      • IACUC approval
  • The following information is needed from the K99 grantee institution for those R00 grants transferring to a new institution:
    • Final Invention Statement and Certification (Form HHS 568). See NIH Grant Forms, Grant Close Out.
    • Final Financial Status Report, Form SF- 425 (within 90 days of terminating the K99 grant). See NIH Grant Forms, Grant Close Out: SF 425 - Federal Financial Report.

Updated June 2015