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K Award Resources

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Below is an overview of many K awards that may be relevant to you. For more information and the most recent application instructions, please visit the Career Development Awards Kiosk and select the appropriate parent or institute-specific Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).


Mentored Research Scientist Development Award

• Purpose: Provides 3 to 5 years of support for a mentored research training experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences. NICHD accepts K01 applications for only three research areas: Rehabilitation Research, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Population Research.

• Eligibility: Those with a research or health professional doctorate


Academic Career Development Award

• Purpose: Provides support for academic researchers and to enhance the educational or research capacity at the sponsoring institution. The K07 supports both development awards for more junior candidates, and leadership awards for more senior individuals with acknowledged scientific expertise and leadership skills.

• Eligibility: Those with a research or clinical doctorate


Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award

• Purpose: Provide support and "protected time" for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research.

• Eligibility: Those with a clinical doctorate


Career Transition Award

• Purpose: Facilitate the transition of investigators to independent, productive research careers. One or two phase award; an initial period of mentored research, followed by a period of independent research at an extramural institution.

• Eligibility: Those with a research or clinical doctorate


Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award

• Purpose: Provide 3 to 5 years of support for a mentored research training experience in patient-oriented research.

• Eligibility: Those with a health professional doctorate. Such degrees include, but are not limited to, the MD, DO, DDS, DMD, OD, DC, PharmD, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research or practice. Individuals with the PhD or other doctoral degree in clinical disciplines such as clinical psychology, nursing, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology or rehabilitation are also eligible.


Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award

• Purpose: Provides 3 to 5 years of mentored research training for investigators with quantitative science and engineering backgrounds to integrate their expertise with NIH-relevant research.

• Eligibility: Applicants must have a research or health professional doctorate and a background in engineering or quantitative sciences (e.g., mathematics, statistics, economics, computer science, imaging science, informatics, physics, or chemistry).



Pathway to Independence

• Purpose: Two-stage award to support the final stages of postdoctoral training and to provide independent funding when the candidate secures a faculty position.

• Eligibility: Those with a clinical or research doctorate and no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of initial application or resubmission. 

• This award aims to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented NIH-supported independent investigators.


Independent Scientist Award

• Purpose: Foster the development of newly independent, outstanding scientists who can demonstrate the need for a period of intensive research, to enable them to expand their potential to make significant contributions to their field of research

• Eligibility: Those with a clinical or research doctorate and peer-reviewed support


Mid-Career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research

• Purpose: Provide 25-50% "protected time" to devote to patient-oriented research and to act as a research mentor in scientific areas related to the NICHD mission.

• Eligibility: Mid-career health professional doctorates or equivalent. Associate professors and full professors are eligible. Eligibility is limited to those who have an active R01 or equivalent grant from NICHD at the time of award. Competing renewal applications are not accepted.

• The K24 research plan may comprise a new research trajectory or an expansion of one or more specific aims of an ongoing grant.

• For additional details, please see the specific requirements in the link below.

Step 1: Develop a game plan

  • Understand grant basics from an NIH perspective (video)
  • NOTE: Always check to make sure you are using the most current version of the instructions
  • Use NIH RePORTER to identify which institute is most appropriate for your submission and to ensure that your idea is original
  • Find a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) specific to your area of interest
  • It is important to understand how to navigate an FOA
  • Identify the best NIH Institute and Scientific Review Group (study section) for your proposal
  • Note: Study section request must be made using the Public Health Services (PHS) Assignment Request Form
  • Make a plan and develop a realistic timeline
  • The deadlines for K applications are February 12, June 12, and October 12
  • Always verify the deadline date - some programs have alternative deadlines; see
  • The FOA will specify if an alternate due date should be used

Step 2: Get the required account access

  • Identify your CHOP Sponsored Projects Officer (SPO) and Research Business Manager (RBM); you may also ask your advisor who serves in these roles for their grants
  • General Contact for CHOP Office of Sponsored Projects and Business Management: [email protected] / 267-426-0122
  • Notify your SPO through CHOP's Electronic Sponsored Projects Administration (eSPA) as soon as you decide you are going to submit a proposal (at the very least, 30 days prior to the planned submission date)
    • New to eSPA? Sign-up for a training session by contacting your SPO
  • You will need to have Principal Investigator (PI) status to apply for a K grant (Usually assigned within 2-3 business days of the request)
  • Your SPO will create your eRA Commons account (Please note this can take up to two weeks for processing through the NIH)
  • Enter information in eSPA with the help of your SPO
    • All K applications are submitted through the eSPA prior to the NIH deadline; the application will then be submitted to the NIH on your behalf

Step 3: Write you draft proposal and have it reviewed

  • Read the instructions for your specific FOA and begin to write the first draft of your research proposal
  • Create/update your Biosketch
  • CHOP Resources for Grant Template Language: Template language about the institution and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) is available
  • Identify internal and external reviewers to review your proposal
    • Give them enough time for a thorough review and allow yourself time to incorporate the changes

Step 4: Revise and submit your proposal through eSPA

  • Be realistic about the time it can take to write and revise the application, incorporate feedback, and submit the application through eSPA
  • Allow time for at least 3 drafts
  • Format attachments and prepare for submission
    • Understand the requirements for preparing the documents you need to attach to your application, including criteria for the PDF files, fonts, margins, headers and footers, paper size, citations, format pages and more
  • Be ready to submit the final version for initial review through eSPA by the internal deadline (which is at least 5 business days before the NIH deadline)
    • All grants must be submitted through the Office of Sponsored Projects and are required to be reviewed by your SPO prior to submission. Please make sure you take this into account and get your final draft submitted internally on time. See CHOP's Policy regarding submitting ALL sponsored project proposals through the Office of Sponsored Projects.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now requires that rigor and reproducibility be addressed in select research grants. In addition, a formal training component will be required for NIH-supported training programs in the near future. To address these new requirements, the CHOP Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs has developed a summary of currently-available resources and information.

The Know Your K/Kangaroo presentations are posted below with permission from Joan M. Lakoski, PhD, and Robert J. Milner, PhD. These slides were presented at a Biomedical Postdoctoral Program (BPP) event on May 5, 2014. All materials are current as of that date.

Know Your K

Know Your Kangaroo

Additional Resources

Please see our @CHOP site to locate successful K Award applications developed by CHOP researchers.

Would you like to share your successful K Award application with other CHOP researchers? Please contact [email protected] for more information.