K99/ R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award

To support both an initial mentored research experience (K99) followed by independent research (R00) for highly qualified, postdoctoral researchers, to secure an independent research position. Award recipients are expected to compete successfully for independent R01 support during the R00 phase.

Program Announcements
NINDS K99/R00 - No Independent Clinical Trials - PA-24-194

NINDS K99/R00 - Clinical Trial Required - PA-24-193

NINDS K99/R00 - Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required - PA-24-195

Due Dates for New/Resubmission Applications
February 12/March 12,  June 12/July 12,  October 12/November 12

PD/PI Eligibility
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or non-U.S. citizens; research or clinical doctorate holders

Institution Eligibility
U.S. domestic institutions

Before applying please see these important documents:

The Importance of Project Originality and Project Ownership by the Candidate(pdf, 126 KB)
Suggestions for a Good Career Development Plan(pdf, 152 KB)

Additional Information
At the application due date, applicants for a NINDS K99/R00 can have no more than 48 months (49 months for resubmission applications) of research experience following the completion of the requirements for their doctorate. Applicants must be in a mentored postdoctoral, non-faculty position to be considered for a K99/R00 award from NINDS. Individuals in a non-clinical instructor position or other similar, junior faculty positions are not eligible and will not be considered for an award. Applicants with a job title other than that typical of a postdoctoral trainee are strongly encouraged to contact the NINDS Office of Training & Workforce Development prior to applying. In general, for an individual to be eligible for the K99/R00, the Institution’s Handbook must define the individual’s position title as a mentored, non-staff, non-independent position. In other words, the position must clearly be equivalent to a mentored, postdoctoral trainee position. 

See more information about eligibility for an NINDS K99/R00

All applications submitted to NINDS are reviewed in-house by the NST 2 study section.

NINDS will only consider applications for research that falls within its mission. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NINDS Office of Training & Workforce Development prior to applying to confirm mission relevance of their proposed project.

Salary and Research Costs 
For mentored (K99 phase) applicants at an extramural institution, NINDS will provide up to $75,000 per year for salary support, plus fringe, and up to $20,000 for research support costs. For applicants with medical degrees who are licensed to practice, NINDS will provide up to $125,000 per year for salary support. Applicants must commit a minimum of 9 person months effort to the K99 research during the mentored phase of the award (Note: Neurosurgeons must commit a minimum of 6 person months effort to the K99 research). 

For independent (R00 phase) candidates at an extramural institution, NINDS will provide up to $249,000 of support per year. This amount includes salary support, fringe, and research costs. Candidates must obtain an offer for a tenure-track or equivalent position by the end of the K99 phase to be eligible for R00 support. Candidates must commit a minimum of 9 person months effort to research during the independent phase of the award (6 person months effort for neurosurgeons). However, the required research effort need not be devoted exclusively to the R00-supported research.

Transition to the Independent (R00) Phase 
To be eligible for the R00 phase of the NINDS K99/R00 award, awardees must spend at least 12 months in the K99 phase from the council date at which their award was approved for funding.

See more information about NINDS requirements for transition to the independent (R00) phase(pdf, 123 KB).

List of Funded Awards
NINDS K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award Recipients

Not sure whether your research qualifies as a clinical trial or basic experimental study with humans? 
Applicants are strongly advised to consult with NINDS program staff prior to submitting an application with human subjects to determine the appropriate funding opportunity. See the NIH definition of a clinical trial and NIH guidance for basic experimental studies with humans (pdf, 212 KB)for more information.

Relevant Policy Notices
NOT-NS-20-007NOT-NS-20-008NOT-NS-20-016 Notice of change to salary allowance for NINDS K99 awardees



Stephen Korn, Ph.D. | Director, Office of Training & Workforce Development 



View BRAIN Initiative Diversity K99/R00 Technical Assistance Webinar

BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision

Suggestions for a Good Career Development Plan

NIH Definition of a Postdoctoral Scholar(pdf, 395 KB)

NIH Definition of a Clinical Trial

Training Outcomes Data

Administrative Supplements to Promote Research Continuity and Retention of NIH Mentored Career Development (K) Award Recipients

NINDS Diversity Career Development (K) Award OPEN Conversations Webinar