NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)

The Pathway to Independence (PI) program, targeted to applicants with no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience who have made a commitment to an academic career but who do not currently have an independent faculty position, provides two phases of support. The first phase provides 1 to 2 years of mentored support for highly promising, postdoctoral researchers in biomedical imaging and bioengineering. The second phase, contingent upon procurement of an independent research position and internal administrative review, will provide up to 3 years of independent research support.

To determine an applicant's status regarding the 4-year eligibility window, NIBIB will calculate the time from the start date of the applicant's first postdoc to the receipt date of the cycle for which the application is submitted. For resubmissions, this will be the resubmission receipt date (i.e.. March 12, not February 12 for cycle I, see Submission Schedule). Extensions to the eligibility window will typically be allowed only for official leave-of-absences due to medical or family reasons, and not for changes in the area of study/research or other employment.

Applicants from medical schools should be aware that the instructor position is not considered equivalent to the assistant professor position required to transition to the independent phase of this award.

All applicants are encouraged to fill out the NIBIB K99 Eligibility Form and forward it along with the requested attachments to to verify eligibility before preparing applications. Please include "K99 Eligibility Inquiry [Your First and Last Name]" in the subject line of your email.

NOTE - there are two FOAs for this mechanism, one for clinical trial required and another for clinical trial not allowed.  See below.

Opportunities and FAQs


NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 Independent Clinical Trial Required)


NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


Notice of Clarification of 4-Year Limit of Postdoctoral Research Eligibility for K99 Applicants


Requirement for ORCID iDs for Individuals Supported by Research Training, Fellowship, Research Education, and Career Development Awards Beginning in FY 2020


NIH Extension Policy for Eligibility Window for Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00)


Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements to Promote Research Continuity and Retention of NIH Mentored Career Development (K) Award Recipients and Scholars


Temporary Extension of Eligibility for the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Reminder – Requesting Extensions for Early Career Scientists Whose Career Trajectories Have Been Significantly Impacted by COVID-19