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:
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 postdoctoral research experience since completing the requirements of the doctoral degree (resubmissions must also comply with this requirement). Parental leave or other well-justified leave for pressing personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration (e.g., family care responsibilities, disability or illness, active military duty) is not included in the 4-year eligibility limit. In addition, time spent conducting postgraduate clinical training that does not involve research is not considered as part of the 4-year research training eligibility limit. Only time dedicated to research activities would count toward the 4-year limit.
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-16-193).
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 investigator’s 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: eligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NIH intramural program, are eligible only for the mentored phase (K99). 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):
- Extramural: Salary: up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits per year. Research Support: up to $25,000 per year. Facilities & Administrative (F&A) costs will be provided at 8% of modified direct costs (to extramural sponsoring institutions only). See additional salary information in NOT-HL-16-309.
- NIH Intramural: Mentored candidates in the NIH intramural program will be supported by intramural funds provided by the NHLBI intramural laboratory in which they are conducting their research. Budget details for the mentored phase will be negotiated with the sponsoring NHLBI intramural laboratory. Salary will be consistent with that offered scientists in similar, intramural NIH positions.
Independent investigator phase (R00): Total cost may not exceed $249,000 per year. This amount includes salary, fringe benefits, research costs 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. Eligible agencies of the Federal government, such as the NIH intramural program, are eligible only for the mentored phase (K99).
How to apply: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (other applications can also be found on Grants.gov) using the SF 424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide.
All instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide including Supplemental Instructions to the SF 424 (R&R) for Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application ("K" series), must be followed, with the following additional instruction.
The SF 424 R&R form must reflect both the K99 and R00 phases in the project period and total funds requested fields.
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:
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:
Li-Shin Huang, Ph.D.
Office of Research Training and Career Development
Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, NHLBI, NIH
Rockledge II, Room 8143
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7940
Bethesda, MD 20892-7940
Phone: (301) 435-0535