NIBIB Update on Policies and Procedures for the K-Series Career Development Awards

Notice Number: NOT-EB-07-004

Key Dates
Release Date:  May 4, 2007

Issued by
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), (http://www.nibib.nih.gov/)

This notice provides guidance on the NIBIB policies for the K-series career development awards.  It updates and replaces the previous notice, NOT-EB-03-009: “UPDATE ON NIBIB POLICIES ON THE K-SERIES CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARDS” which was published in the NIH Guide, August 21, 2003.

Policy

A primary objective of the NIBIB career development award program is to support the career development of basic and clinical scientists in biomedical imaging and bioengineering.  To this end, the NIBIB supports a limited number of K-series career development awards to support highly qualified applicants who are pursuing, or are poised to pursue, interdisciplinary research at the interface between the biomedical and the computational, physical, or engineering sciences.  Although the K series awards can support investigators at any level of experience, from the postdoctoral level to senior faculty level, the NIBIB places a higher priority on supporting (1) early-career investigators, (2) investigators transitioning from the quantitative to the biological sciences, (3) clinical investigators pursuing biomedical imaging and (4) mid-career clinical investigators with significant experience mentoring younger investigators. In selecting a limited number of candidates for award, program balance is a significant factor in selecting from among outstanding applicants.

The NIBIB is interested in career development applications where the science is focused on the discovery, development, and translation of new or existing technologies.  NIBIB also is interested in technological studies that enable fundamental biomedical discoveries across a broad spectrum of biological processes, disorders, and diseases that have significant potential for direct medical application.  The specific aims of an application for NIBIB, therefore, should involve a preponderance of technological effort or the translation of technology to the clinical arena.  In most instances, technology development will not occur in a vacuum, but will have a target medical application.  However, in some instances, a technology-based application is so closely aligned to a specific disease or organ system that assignment to another NIH Institute will better serve the applicant.  The scientific program areas currently supported by the NIBIB can be found on the following website: http://www.nibib.nih.gov/Research/ProgramAreas.  For an overview of the most recent K-series program announcements, applicants are invited to look at the following website: http://www.nibib1.nih.gov/Training/CareerLevel.   

Career Transition Programs

Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00):
The NIBIB is committed to increasing the number of new investigators in biomedical imaging and bioengineering and to facilitating the transition of new investigators to research independence.  To this end, the NIBIB will make a limited number of Pathway to Independence awards to highly motivated and qualified individuals who have made a commitment to a research career in biomedical imaging or bioengineering but who currently do not have an independent faculty position.

The Pathway to Independence program, targeted to applicants with no more than five years of postdoctoral research experience, provides up to five years of support in two phases.  The first phase provides one to two years of mentored support for highly promising, postdoctoral researchers in biomedical imaging and bioengineering. The second phase, contingent upon the procurement of an independent research position (tenure-track or equivalent) at an eligible extramural sponsoring institution and an internal administrative review, provides up to three years of independent research support.

Basic Career Development Programs

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01):
The NIBIB is committed to increasing the number of basic scientists in bioimaging and bioengineering and to helping scientists who need additional mentored experiences or protected time to establish their research career. It will therefore make a limited number of K01 career development awards to highly motivated and qualified individuals who have made a commitment to a research career in biomedical imaging or bioengineering.  Applicants must demonstrate the potential for highly productive independent research and demonstrate a clear need for an additional period of mentored research and career development activities. The K01 program is intended to support investigators at any level of experience, from the postdoctoral level to senior faculty level.  However, the NIBIB places a higher priority on supporting individuals early in their careers who are beyond postdoctoral training. The NIBIB also uses the K01 to support faculty at minority serving institutions or faculty from underrepresented populations who can demonstrate a need to enhance their knowledge and research skills through a period of supervised training at a research center.

Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25):
The NIBIB is strongly committed to increasing the number of scientists who are pursuing, or are poised to pursue, interdisciplinary research at the interface between the biomedical and the computational, physical, or engineering sciences.  It therefore invites applications from highly motivated and qualified individuals who have made a commitment to a career in biomedical imaging or bioengineering research. As stated in the NIH program announcement, the K25 mechanism is meant to attract to biomedical research those investigators whose quantitative science and engineering research has thus far not been focused primarily on questions of health and disease.  The K25 program is intended to support investigators at any level of experience, from the postdoctoral level to senior faculty level. However, the NIBIB places a higher priority on supporting individuals early in their careers who can demonstrate a clear potential for transitioning from the quantitative to the biological sciences.

Clinical Career Development Programs

Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08):
The NIBIB is committed to increasing the number of clinician scientists in biomedical research and to supporting the career development of clinician scientists who have made a commitment to a career in clinical research. The K08 career award mechanism provides specialized study for individuals with a health professional doctoral degree who are committed to a career in laboratory or clinically-based research in biomedical imaging and bioengineering.  Applicants must demonstrate the potential for highly productive independent research and demonstrate a clear need for an additional period of mentored research and career development activities. Because some individuals may need additional formal coursework during the career transition period, the K08 will also support a supervised research experience that integrates didactic studies with clinical or laboratory-based research.  The K08 program is intended to support investigators at any level of experience, from the postdoctoral level to senior faculty level.  However, the NIBIB places a higher priority on supporting individuals early in their careers who are beyond residency and fellowship training and who can demonstrate a clear potential for transitioning from the quantitative to the biological sciences.

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23):
The NIBIB is committed to increasing the number of clinician scientists in biomedical research and to supporting the career development of clinician scientists who have made a commitment to a career in patient-oriented research (for definition, see full program announcement).  Through its support of the K23, the NIBIB intends to encourage clinicians to develop independent research skills and gain experience in advanced methods and experimental approaches in order to increase the numbers of clinical researchers who can conduct patient-oriented studies, capitalizing on the discoveries of biomedical imaging and bioengineering research and translating them to clinical settings. The K23 program is intended to support investigators at any level of experience, from the postdoctoral level to senior faculty level. However, the NIBIB places a higher priority on supporting individuals early in their careers who are beyond residency and fellowship training and who can demonstrate a clear potential for transitioning from the quantitative to the biological sciences.

Mid-career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24):
As with the K23 program, the NIBIB is committed to supporting mid-career clinical investigators conducting patient-oriented research, and who are devoted to mentoring clinical residents, clinical fellows, or junior clinical faculty. Prospective applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements outlined in the program announcement.  The NIBIB places a higher priority on supporting individuals who can demonstrate both the ability and commitment to serving as mentors to more junior clinicians interested in pursuing a career in patient-oriented research. 
For the purposes of the NIBIB, a mid-career investigator is considered to be an applicant who currently holds the position of associate professor in a domestic academic institution, and who has independent peer-reviewed funding, preferably from the NIH.

Annual Allowable Costs

Salary limits and research development support on career development awards are not uniform throughout the NIH and are determined independently by each NIH component.  A brief summary of these costs for the NIBIB K-series awards is summarized below (see full program announcements for details):

See the individual program announcements for other specific information  on allowable costs: http://www.nibib1.nih.gov/Training/CareerLevel.

Inquiries

Applicants seeking NIBIB funding opportunities are strongly encouraged to contact the NIBIB staff listed below and to provide a letter of intent which briefly describes the specific aims of the proposed project.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information contained will allow NIBIB staff to evaluate the program relevance of the proposed mentored research and to provide feedback to the applicant.  This feedback is intended to help the applicant in the decision to submit an application to NIBIB. Inquiries regarding this policy should be directed to:

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic and scientific issues to:

Richard A. Baird, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Interdisciplinary Training
Natl Inst of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD    20892-5477
Voice: (301) 496-7671 
Fax: (301) 480-1614 
Email: bairdri@mail.nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding review matters to:

David T. George, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6707 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 920, MSC 5469
Bethesda, MD  20892-5469 (20817 for FedEx, UPS, and other courier services)
Voice: (301) 496-8633
Fax: (301) 480-0675
Email: GeorgeD@nih.gov  

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Florence Turska
Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
National Institutes of Health/DHHS
6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 900, MSC 5469
Bethesda, MD  20892 (20817 for FedEx, UPS, and other courier services
Voice:  (301) 496-9314
Fax:  (301) 451-5735
Email:  ft7p@nih.gov


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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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