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Mentored Career Transition Award for NIMH Intramural Fellows (K22)

This award supports research training for postdoctoral fellows in the NIMH Division of Intramural Research Programs (IRP) as they transition from intramural postdoctoral research positions to extramural, academic tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The award is two-phased, supporting the trainee for 1-2 years at the end of the intramural postdoctoral fellowship and up to 3 years at the beginning of the faculty appointment.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

PAR-23-149  - K22 for NIMH Intramural Fellows - Clinical Trials Not Allowed
PAR-23-150  - K22 for NIMH Intramural Fellows - Clinical Trials Required

For NIH’s Definition of a Clinical Trial, please visit https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/definition.htm 

Due Dates

New Applications: February 12, June 12, October 12
Resubmissions: March 12, July 12, November 12

PD/PI Eligibility

NIMH IRP postdoctoral fellows (i.e., clinical fellow, research fellow, IRTA postdoctoral fellow) currently conducting research are eligible to apply. K22 applicants should have no more than 6 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or resubmission application. Postdoctoral research is defined as any time spent conducting research or publishing research results following completion of all degree requirements, which may not correspond with the date of the graduation ceremony. This includes any time spent at the institution where the doctoral degree was completed prior to starting an official postdoctoral position.

By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).

Institution Eligibility

Only NIMH intramural laboratories are eligible to apply for the intramural phase of the K22 on behalf of intramural applicants. NIH intramural programs are not eligible to apply for the extramural phase.

U.S. domestic institutions
Foreign components allowed

Additional Information

Award recipients will receive a maximum of 5 years of support for mentored research career development (1-2 years of intramural support and a maximum of 3 years of extramural support). The extramural phase of the award is contingent upon the awardee obtaining a tenure-track or equivalent faculty position at an academic institution, with strong institutional commitment to their development as independent investigators and with appropriate faculty to serve as the extramural mentors. Both the research and mentorship plan must span both phases of the award.

Applicants are required to commit a minimum of 75% of full-time professional effort to their program of career development. Applicants may engage in other duties as part of the professional effort not covered by this award, as long as such duties do not interfere with, or detract from, the proposed career development program.

Salary and Research Support

Extramural Phase:

Salary Support: Up to $90,000 plus fringe benefits per year for PhDs, $100,000 plus fringe benefits per year for MDs.

Research Support: Up to $50,000.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to review the FOA and the FAQs below prior to contacting the appropriate NIMH Research Training and Career Development representative for additional information.

To compare across K mechanisms (i.e., salary support, effort, etc.), see the Table of K Parameters.

FAQs

Q: Can I apply if I’m an intramural fellow in another institute at NIH?

A: No. Only individuals currently conducting research as a postdoctoral fellow (i.e., clinical fellow, research fellow, IRTA postdoctoral fellow) in NIMH intramural laboratories/programs are eligible to apply.

Q: How many years into my NIMH IRP postdoc position should I apply?

A: Applicants should apply when scientific independence from their mentors can be achieved within 1-2 years from the time of award, as evidenced by publications, prior research interests and experience, and reference letters. Applicants can have no more than 6 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of submission or resubmission.

Q: Do I need to have a faculty position secured to apply?

A: No. At the time of submission, applicants are not required to have secured a faculty position. However, applicants should be working with their mentors to prepare application materials for extramural, academic tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions.

Q: Can I apply if I am on a temporary visa?

A: You may apply but must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status) at the time of the award. Check the U.S. State Department website for current guidance on waiting times.

Q: Can I resubmit my K22 application if I've completed the 6th year of my intramural postdoc?

A: No. Applicants must have less than 6 years of postdoctoral research training at the time of the initial submission and subsequent resubmission applications.

Q: Is it possible to request a waiver to the 6-year eligibility window?

A: NIMH will grant an eligibility waiver on a case-by-case basis. An exception may be considered when a significant break in training has occurred as a result of family responsibilities, medical leave, or military service, or when a significant change in fields of study has occurred, such as moving from physical science to life science research. Investigators are expected to contact NIMH staff to discuss issues regarding eligibility prior to applying and to learn if their circumstance warrants an exception (see K Award Eligibility Extension page).

Q: I am a NIMH IRP postdoctoral fellow. How do I decide between applying for the K99/R00 vs. the K22 award?

A: There are both eligibility and mechanistic differences to consider between the K22 and K99.

  • The eligibility criteria for time spent in postdoctoral research differs between funding opportunities. At the time of initial submissions and subsequent resubmissions, the K99 requires that applicants have less than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience while the K22 requires less than 6 years of postdoctoral research experience.
  • There is no citizenship requirement for the K99/R00. However, the K22 requires the applicant be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status) at the time of the award.
  • Both the intramural and extramural phases of the K22 are mentored, while the R00 phase of the K99 is considered independent and does not include a formal mentorship plan.
  • During the K22 extramural phase, NIMH will contribute up to $90,000 for PhDs or $100,000 for MDs per year toward salary and up to $50,000 per year toward research development costs. In the extramural phase (R00) of the K99, NIMH will contribute up $249,000 per year to include salary, fringe benefits, research costs, and applicable indirect costs.

This list is not exhaustive. See K99/R00 program announcement  for more information on the K99/R00 award.