About the K Mechanism

Eligibility Information

Always check the eligibility criteria in the funding opportunity announcement for specific requirements. General requirements are:

  • The application must be submitted on behalf of the candidate by a domestic for-profit or non-profit public or private institution/organization (e.g., FSU); foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.
  • Candidates (called the PD/PI for purposes of eRA Commons account type) are generally required to hold a research or health-professional doctoral degree, or its equivalent; eligibility for some awards is limited to applicants with health professional doctoral degrees.
  • For programs other than the K99/R00 program, only U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time an award is made are eligible. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible to apply for a career development award unless they have begun the process of becoming a permanent resident and expect to be admitted as a permanent resident by the earliest possible award date.
  • Current and former PDs/PIs on NIH research project (R01), program project (P01), center grants (P50), sub-projects of program project (P01), sub-projects of center grants (P50), other major individual career development awards (e.g., K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, K25, K76, K99/R00), or the equivalent are not eligible.

Note: If the eligibility criteria in the funding opportunity announcement is unclear, verify your eligibility with the Scientific Program Contact associated with the Institute to which you’ll submit your application. See, for example, the Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts for the Parent K01.

Why Apply for a K?

 Most recently, Open Mike has noted that K awards afford recipients protected time for research, publishing, and developing new ideas -- thereby helping to launch independent research careers.

 The applicant pool is small relative to that of the R01. K applicants compete against their peers (as opposed to competing against established and senior investigators in R01 competitions).

 The K mechanism success rate is higher than the R01 mechanism success rate. The higher success rates for securing a K award versus a R01 are discussed specifically in NIH Career Development Awards: conversion to research grants and regional distribution (2018). A 2011 analysis indicated that K01, K08, and K23 awardees had higher R01 award success and R01 renewal rates than individuals with no prior career development support.

A 2018 analysis shows that between 1990 and 2016, K funded researchers were approximately 1.5 times more likely to receive a first R01 or equivalent (37.3% vs. 22.9%) or research project grant (e.g., NSF standard grant; 47.0% vs. 31.5%) than those unfunded. K awardees also had a higher number of R01 or equivalent (0.69 vs. 0.33) and research project grant awards (1.1 vs. 0.42) and a higher likelihood of second R01s or equivalents (17.0% vs. 9.8%) or research project grants (26.7% vs. 16.4%).

In addition to similar findings as above, NCI’s 2013 outcome evaluation of its career development awards program, across all mechanisms combined, a significantly larger proportion of awardees had subsequent research publications than non-awardees (89% versus 59 %, respectively). In addition to awardees being more likely to publish, among those who published, the average and median number of publications per awardee were significantly higher than non-awardees in the K01, K07, and K23 mechanisms. The other K mechanisms showed similar trends, but the data did not reach statistical significance.

KL2 Program Leadership

Florida State University

Henna Budhwani, PhD, MPH

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University of Florida

Faheem Guirgis, MD, FACEP

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University of Florida

Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, PhD

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FSU's K2R Scholar Listserv

FSU has a K2R Scholar Listserv made up (mostly) of K eligible early career investigators. Please contact Jennifer Gerson if you'd like to join the list, be removed from the list, or post something to the list.

K Awardees at FSU

Elizabeth Brown
Assistant Professor, College of Biological Sciences
K99/R00 from NIA
The neural basis for aging-dependent decline in taste function, 2023

Laura Reid Marks
Assistant Professor, College of Education
K23 from NIAAA
Translating Behavioral Economics Strategies to Culturally Tailor a Mobile Health Mindfulness Intervention to Reduce Risky Drinking Behaviors in Black College Student Men, 2022

Henna Budhwani
Professor, Institute on Digital Health and Innovation (IDHI), College of Nursing
K01 from NIMH
Pilot Testing a Behavioral Intervention to Incorporate Advances in HIV Prevention for Black Young MSM in Alabama, 2019

Alexandria Meyer
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
K01 from NIMH
An intervention of a parent/child psycho-social computerized intervention targeting error-related negativity in young children, 2019

Justin LaFavor
Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, Food & Exercise Sciences, College of Human Sciences
K01 from NIDDK
Role of hydrogen sulfide depletion in Western diet-induced erectile dysfunction, 2017

Lisa Hightow-Weidman
Distinguished and Endowed Professor, Institute on Digital Health and Innovation (IDHI), College of Nursing
K23 from NIMH
Internet Based HIV Prevention for Young Black MSM, 2006-2011

Zuoxin Wang
Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
K02 from NIDA
Dopamine regulates drug and social reward interactions, 2007

Anke Meyer-Baese
Professor, Department of Scientific Computing, College of Arts and Sciences
K25 from NCI
CAD in breast MRI based on biological neural network, 2005

Elaine Hull
Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
K02 from NIMH
Hormone-neurotransmitter interactions in the brain, 1996

K Award Presentations and Articles

How to Write a Successful NIH Career Development Award (K Award) (slides from 2017 OPD-sponsored workshop)

2018 NIH Regional Seminar Presentation Materials (see specifically Writing an Effective “K” Application presentation)

NIAID Advice for Applicants NIAID Quick Facts on Career Development Awards

Writing a Successful NIH Mentored Career Development Grant (K Award): Hints for the Junior Faculty Surgeon

Last Updated: Monday, July 8, 2024 at 10:36 AM