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Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)

The NIH Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) provides up to 5 years of support* to mid-career health-professional doctorates for protected time for patient-oriented research (POR) and mentoring junior clinical investigators pursuing POR research.

*See Additional Information below regarding duration of support

Notices of funding opportunities

PA-20-193  - Parent K24 - Independent Clinical Trial Required
PA-20-186  - Parent K24 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed
PA-20-192  - Parent K24 - Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required

For NIH’s Definition of a Clinical Trial, please visit 

Due dates

New Applications: February 12, June 12, October 12
Resubmissions: March 12, July 12, November 12
AIDS applications: May 7, September 7, January 7

PD/PI eligibility

Applicants for the K24 award must have a health-professional doctoral degree and a record of supervising and mentoring patient-oriented researchers. Applicants are typically midcareer faculty at the associate professor level, have a record of publications, and have active, peer-reviewed, independent NIMH-funded research support at the time of submission. At the time of the K24 award, the K24 project period should overlap by at least two years with the qualifying NIMH research project grant support (excluding any period of no-cost extension). If the K24 project period will exceed the project period of funded, independent research grant support, a plan for continued independent research support should be provided in the K24 application.

NIMH will not accept new or resubmission applications from full professors. To be eligible, the applicant must be one of the named PIs on an active NIMH R01, R37, P01, P20, P30, P50, UM1, U01, U10, U19, or U54 grant. Applicants who are subproject investigators on NIMH P or U series grants, or who are principal investigators on a subcontract of any other grant mechanism, are not eligible.

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

U.S. domestic institutions
Foreign components allowed

Additional information

For the purposes of the K24 award, Patient-Oriented Research (POR) is defined as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes: (1) mechanisms of human disease, (2) therapeutic interventions, (3) clinical trials, and (4) the development of new technologies.

It is expected that K24 recipients will obtain new or additional independent, peer-reviewed funding for POR as PD/PI and establish and assume leadership roles in collaborative POR programs. In addition, it is expected that there will be an increased effort and commitment to act as a mentor to junior clinician investigators in POR to enhance the research productivity of both the K24 investigator and increase the pool of well-trained clinical researchers of the future.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate the need for protected time, 3-6 person months (25-50% of full-time effort) for a period of intensive research focus as a means of augmenting their capabilities in POR and ability to act as a mentor to new clinical investigators in the conduct of POR.

A K24 award may be funded for up to 5 years, so long as the qualifying research project grant remains active (excluding any period of no-cost extension for the qualifying grant).

Scientists who hold a position with committed salary support for research or whose primary responsibility is administrative must demonstrate a compelling need for a K24 award.

Salary and research support

Salary support: The total salary may not exceed the maximum legislative salary cap plus fringe benefits per year, for 25-50% effort.

Research support: Up to $50,000 per year.

The NIMH will support a salary allowance that is commensurate with the actual level of effort, up to the allowable cap for that program, based on a full-time, 12-month position. 

The requested salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members with equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned. The recipient institution may supplement the NIH salary contribution up to a level that is consistent with the institution's salary scale. The total salary may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap 

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to review the funding opportunity 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.


Q: Can I renew my K24?

A: No. NIMH does not support K24 renewal applications.

Q: Does being a PI on a POR mental health or HIV-related grant from another institute or center at NIH make me eligible to apply for a K24 from NIMH?

A: No. The qualifying POR research grant must be funded by NIMH.

Q: What happens if my support on my qualifying POR research grant lapses during my K24?

A: If support for the qualifying NIMH research project grant lapses during the K24 project period, applicants must document in their annual Research Performance Progress Report efforts to replace this support and demonstrate that they continue to meet all other requirements of the career award. The K24 support may be continued for one year after the lapse in funding to allow for a resubmission of the qualifying research application. If the resubmission is unsuccessful, NIMH may terminate the K24 award at that time.

Q: Can I apply for a K24 to support my own new training?

A: Yes. The K24 may be used to augment your own capabilities in POR but must also provide for additional mentoring to junior clinical investigators.

Q: Does the K24 require that I take on new mentoring?

A: Yes. The award may not only be used to support mentoring that is associated with the PI's on-going research project and should enable mentoring activities that are above and beyond the normal expectations for the applicant’s position.

Q: Can I use the K24 to expand my ability or time to mentor graduate students in POR?

A: No. The K24 is intended to enhance mentoring to junior clinical investigators at later career stages, particularly K23 grantees or equivalent.

Q. Can the proposed mentoring activities be limited to mentoring patient-oriented trainees in my lab?

A. No. The proposed mentoring activities should go above and beyond standard mentoring expectations for the applicant’s position. Mentoring activities should extend to department, university, and/or scientific societies.

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

A: You may apply but must be a 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. (NIMH time from application submission to award is typically 8-9 months.)