NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)

Note to PIs: The following program summary is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It does not replace the sponsor’s actual funding opportunity announcement. Always review the most recent version of the sponsor’s full announcement to verify that the deadline has not changed and to identify the most current program requirements.

About the program

The purpose of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers with a research and/or clinical doctorate degree from mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions. The program will provide independent NIH research support during this transition in order to help awardees to launch competitive, independent research careers.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary clinical trial. Applicants to this FOA are permitted to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a mentor or co-mentor. Applicants proposing a clinical trial or an ancillary clinical trial as lead investigator, should apply to the companion FOA (PA-19-129).


Award recipients must be enrolled in a Masters or Ph.D. program or their equivalent. Fourth-year degrees or B.S. with honors are not eligible for grants. Students are eligible to win twice during the duration of their graduate studies. The AAPG Foundation must adhere to sanctions and regulations as set forth by the U.S. Department of Treasury. If you are a non-U.S. student and are unsure as to whether sanctions have been placed on your country of residence, please review the list of sanctioned countries to determine if you are eligible for a Grants-in-Aid award at this time.

Award amount and award period

Award budgets are composed of salary and other program-related expenses, as described below.


Salary and research costs may be requested to the level provided by the awarding Institute or Center. Candidates should consult the following table for IC-specific, programmatic and budgetary information (see Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts).

Intramural: Mentored candidates in the NIH intramural program will be supported by intramural funds provided by the NIH Institute/Center intramural laboratory in which they are conducting their research. Budget details for the mentored phase will be negotiated with the sponsoring intramural laboratory. Salary will be consistent with that offered scientists in similar, intramural NIH positions.

Extramural: Mentored candidates at an extramural sponsoring institution/organization will be supported by NIH extramural funds. The requested salary must be consistent both with the established salary structure at the institution and with salaries actually provided by the institution from its own funds to other staff members with equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities in the department concerned. Further guidance on budgeting for career development salaries is provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

The total salary may not exceed the legislatively mandated salary cap. See:

Independent Phase (R00): 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.

Other program-related expences:

Research expenses may include: (a) tuition and fees related to career development; (b) research expenses, such as supplies, equipment and technical personnel; (c) travel to research meetings or training; and (d) statistical services including personnel and computer time.

Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistants, etc. is not allowed.

    Application deadline

    February 12, June 12, and October 12.

    Learn more


    Last updated: August 1, 2019.