Eligibility and Experience
Q. What degree(s) are required for this funding opportunity?
A. Applicants must have a health-professional doctoral degree or a clinically-oriented research doctoral degree. Such degrees include but are not limited to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., O.D., D.C., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research or practice. Candidates with Ph.D. degrees are eligible for this award if the degree is clinically-oriented and they usually perform as part of a team with clinical duties.
Q. What career stage is targeted with the K23 award?
A. The K23 is an early career stage award. The usual applicant would be an instructor or assistant professor level, pre-tenure, prior to receiving a first R01 or equivalent award. It is intended for an individual who is not yet completely independent and requires mentorship to develop into a researcher capable of earning research grant support. The announcement emphasizes cross-training, not career changing.
Q. What if an applicant is more advanced in his/her career position (e.g., Associate Professor level)?
A. In this situation, another K award program could be appropriate. Refer to the NIH K Kiosk for more information: http://grants.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm; see also the visual at http://grants.nih.gov/training/kawardhp.htm. There are also advanced F programs; see the Kirschstein NRSA for Individual Senior Fellows (F33, PA-11-114) at the NIH F Kiosk http://grants.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm. Alternatively, the applicant may be ready to apply for an R01 or another independent research grant such as the R03, R21, or DP2 award.
Q. What if an applicant is more advanced in his/her experience (e.g., has some prior cross-training or a number of publications in the field)?
A. If an applicant has considerable research experience, including a significant publication record, he/she may be relatively advanced even if still a junior faculty member. Such individuals should consider requesting a shorter duration of support, as long as they still require a mentored experience in order to become completely cross-trained. Those with substantial preliminary data should consider applying directly for an independent grant mechanism.
Q. What is the definition of a patient-oriented research project?
A. Patient-oriented research is defined by NIH as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena), for which an investigator interacts directly with human subjects. This research project includes all of the following:
- mechanisms of human disease,
- therapeutic interventions,
- clinical trials, and
- the development of new technologies.
Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not included in this definition.
Q. Is a basic research project that has clinical implications permitted?
A. No. There must be patient contact and/or interaction with human subjects.
Q. Are multiple PIs allowed?
A. No. Multiple PIs are not allowed because this award is focused on an individual’s career development.
Q. Can an applicant who has another K award switch into this program?
A. No. The announcement states that principal investigators holding (or who have held) any of the following awards are not eligible: research project R01, program project P01, center grants, FIRST Awards R29, sub-projects of program projects P01 or center grants P50, other K01, K07, K08, K22, K23 or K25 grants.
Q. What is the citizenship and residency status requirement?
A. An applicant has to be a US resident or a permanent resident (green card holder) at the time that the award is made. This language is taken directly from the PA: Only U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals, or individuals lawfully admitted for permanent residence who have a currently valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551), or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident prior to the time of award, are eligible for this award. Non-citizen nationals, although not U.S. citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the U.S. They are usually born in lands that are not states but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
Q. What amount of effort is required?
A. K23 awardees must spend a minimum of 9 person-months (75 % of full-time professional effort) conducting health-related research. They may use the remaining time on clinical, teaching or other research pursuits and activities consistent with objectives of the award.
CTSA and PGRN Mentors
Q. How are the CTSA and a PGRN mentors identified?
A. Each applicant should
- Identify both a CTSA and a PGRN mentor from awards active at the time of application. Typically, the two mentors will be at the same location, but this is not required.
- Propose a way to ensure adequate project oversight and appropriate mentoring by both mentors.
- Provide letters of support from the principal investigator of the CTSA award and from the principal investigator of the PGRN award. These letters should verify that the proposed mentors are members of and funded by the CTSA and PGRN awards, respectively.
Q. Are Affiliate PGRN members eligible?
A. Affiliate members of the PGRN are not eligible to serve as mentors.
Referral and Assignment
Q. How will applications be assigned to the NIH institutes and reviewed?
A. Applications will be assigned to NIH institutes or centers based on established Public Health Service referral guidelines. They will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by appropriate scientific review groups in accordance with NIH peer review procedures. Because the NIH institutes differ in their established practices, some applications could be reviewed by initial review groups (study sections) at NIH’s Center for Scientific Review, while others could be reviewed in individual NIH institutes by committees assembled by that institute’s Office of Scientific Review.