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NCI CCT K Awards Evaluation

NCI’s career development (K) program shows positive impact on scientists’ careers

NCI’s career development (K) awards program provides support for early-career scientists and clinicians  to develop independent careers in cancer research.  A recent evaluation of the K awards program administered by NCI’s Center for Cancer Training tracked participants’ subsequent outcomes and demonstrated the program had a positive influence on their research careers.  Outcomes included subsequent grant funding, publication activity, service on Federal advisory committees, and membership in scientifically-oriented professional societies, among other measures. 

Report highlights

  • Gender equity exists in K funding success: Men and women were equally successful in receiving K awards.  Any gender disparities in the K portfolio were due to differences in application rates rather than success rates.
  • Time to first R01 is unaffected:  Time spent participating in the K program generally did not prolong time to receipt of first R01 grant.
  • K awardees have improved odds of subsequent NIH research funding:  Proportionately more K awardees had NIH and NCI grants than non-awardees. 
  • K awardees are highly published:  A greater proportion of K awardees had subsequent research publications, and the average and median number of publications per person was higher than for non-awardees. 
  • K awardees are more involved in the scientific community:  Proportionately more K awardees were active members of scientific professional societies and were more likely to serve on Federal advisory committees and NIH review panels. 
  • K awardees are more likely to remain involved in the scientific enterprise: K awardees had improved odds of continuing as funded researchers and greater odds of remaining engaged in the broader scientific research enterprise. 

See our evaluation key findings, published in the Journal of Cancer Education.

Read the evaluation report (PDF -1.82MB) in its entirety.