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The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00)

Frequently Asked Questions

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The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition (F99/K00) Award supports outstanding Ph.D. and other Research Doctoral candidates complete their dissertation research training (F99 phase) and transition in a timely manner to mentored, cancer-focused postdoctoral career development research positions (K00 phase).

Note: The details on this page are for informational purposes only. Please read and follow all requirements and instructions in the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) and the Table of IC-Specific Information linked therein before applying for an award. Application review information is described in the funding opportunity. If you have any questions before submitting your application, please contact the relevant NCI program staff listed at the end of this page. 

Learn more about the F99/K00 Award by viewing this year’s NCI F99/K00 Predoc to Postdoc Award funding opportunity RFA-CA-23-042 (F99 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award). See also the PDF versions of slides presented in webinars on August 11 and August 18, 2020 with recording under Resources.

Applicants for the F99 should be 3rd - or 4th-year graduate students nominated by their institutions.

The F99 Research Training Plan should be developed in collaboration between the sponsor and F99 candidate. The F99 project can be within the overall scope of the sponsor’s research awards. However, NCI expects the F99 candidate to make significant intellectual contributions to the project and write the Research Training Plan. There should be no text duplication or substantial duplication of the scientific aims, and the candidate ’s application should propose a scientific research question or approach that is distinct from the specific aims of the sponsor’s pending or active research grants.

NCI will not support both a fellowship award and an active or pending research grant that propose substantially the same research.

Applications are due November 18, 2022. Interested applicants should review the Funding Opportunity Announcement, the material under Resources, and/or contact the Program Director.

Applicant Eligibility

Citizens, Foreign Nationals, and U.S. Visa Holders
  • There is no citizenship requirement for F99 applicants. An applicant may be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States, have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status), or be a non-U.S. citizen holding a valid U.S. visa.
  • For applications submitted on behalf of non-U.S. citizens with valid U.S. visas, the visa status during each phase of the F99/K00 Award must allow the PD/PI to conduct the proposed research at the applicant institution.
  • For the F99 phase of the award, the applicant institution is responsible for determining and documenting, in the application, that the candidate’s visa will allow him or her to remain in the U.S. to complete the F99 phase of the award.
  • For the K00 phase of the award, the U.S institution at which the K00 phase of the award will be conducted is responsible for determining and documenting, in the transition application, that the applicant’s visa will allow the PD/PI to remain in the U.S. for the duration of the K00 Award.
Degree/Academic Appointment
  • Predoctoral students in 3rd or 4th year of a health-related Ph.D. program, calculated from the time of enrollment
  • If an applicant begins a postdoctoral position or completes all Ph.D. dissertation requirements before an F99 award is made, neither the F99 award, nor the K00 award, will be issued.
Geographic Location

F99/K00 recipients must reside in and work at U.S.-based institutions for the duration of the award. However, foreign components are allowed.

Effort Level/ Commitment

F99 phase: At least 40 hours per week, full-time effort, to the training program

K00 phase: At least 9 calendar months (75%) full-time professional effort

Duration of the Award
  • F99 phase: Up to 2 years
  • K00 phase: Up to 4 years
  • Up to 6 years of total support


Financial Support

F99 phase: Stipend, Tuition and Fees, and Institutional Allowance

K00 phase: Salary and Fringe Benefits, Tuition and Fees, Research and Career Development Support, and Indirect Costs

  • Salaries (K00 phase): NCI will contribute up to $60,000 in the first year, $63,300 for the second year, $66,600 for the third year, and $69,900 for a fourth year, plus fringe benefits.
Tuition and Fees

NCI will pay 60% of the combined cost of tuition and fees, up to $16,000 (F99 phase) or $4,500 (K00 phase) per year.

Training-Related Expenses and Health Insurance

F99 phase: NCI will provide $1500 in the first year to defray the travel costs to attend a mandatory NCI-sponsored conference, and an Institutional Allowance to help defray the cost of fellowship expenses such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings.

K00 phase: NCI will provide $1500 in the first year to defray the travel costs to attend a mandatory NCI-sponsored conference, and up to $3000 annually to help defray other research training expenses, such as:

  • Research supplies
  • Equipment
  • Travel to scientific meetings
Indirect Costs

F99 phase: NCI does not separately reimburse indirect costs for fellowships. Costs for administering the F99 awards are part of the Institutional Allowance.

K00 phase: Indirect Costs are reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs.

How to Apply

Required Application Instructions

  • Applications must be submitted electronically.
  • It is critical that applicants follow the Fellowship (F) instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

When the Funding Opportunity Announcement instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the instructions in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

  • An institutional nomination letter is required
  • Instructions for the Fellowship Applicant Section
  • Instructions for the Research Training Plan
  • Instructions for Sponsor and Co-Sponsor Statements
  • Instructions for the Institutional Environment and Commitment to Training Section

All applicants must use these two Specific Aims:

Specific Aim 1: The Dissertation Research Project: Provide a detailed description of the research to be completed in the F99 phase.

Specific Aim 2: The Postdoctoral Research Direction: Identify the research direction to be pursued for the K00 phase.

Research Strategy: If the applicant is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as a part of their research training, describe the relationship of the proposed research project to the clinical trial.

Specific Aim 1: Significance

Provide an overview of the dissertation research, including the scientific question being addressed and its potential impact on the dissertation research field.

Specific Aim 1: Approach

Provide an overview of the dissertation research, including the background, goal, rationale and hypotheses of the research project(s). The Approach for this Aim should be organized into two sections:

  1. A progress report on the dissertation research project thus far, including the approaches used, research outcomes obtained, and important methodologies learned;
  2. A detailed research proposal for the work to be completed in the F99 phase, including experimental design, anticipated results, potential problems, alternative strategies, and potential follow-up studies.

Specific Aim 2: Significance

Explain the significance of the K00 research direction.  Describe a specific scientific question or observation that will be investigated. Explain how this question or observation is related to the applicant’s research interests and how this work will help advance this research direction.

Specific Aim 2: Approach

Provide a general description of how the research will be conducted, including approaches and methodologies to be used, anticipated results, challenges that might arise and how to address them.

Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not be accepted for review.

For assistance with application submission, please see the Frequently Asked Questions and/or contact eRA Commons Help Desk/ Contact Center.

Application Receipt Date and Review Schedule

Applications are due on November 18, 2022, at 5 pm local time of the submitting institution. There is only one application due date for this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Review and Selection Process

An appropriate Scientific Review Group (SRG), along with NCI and the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), will evaluate applications for completeness and conformance with eligibility requirements and special provisions and requirements. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. An SRG convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI will determine if applications meet the broad needs of the program and priorities of NCI.

For review criteria for the F99 grant mechanism, see the Section V. Review Information section of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

K00 Transition Application

A postdoctoral position (or equivalent) must be offered and accepted. The K00 phase institution should submit an application on behalf of the candidate for the K00 Award using Career Development (K) instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, as well as any instructions found in Section VI.2 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement.  The NCI strongly encourages institutions  to submit the applications at least 6 months prior to the proposed activation date of the K00 Award to allow adequate time for review of the application.  This will also ensure the transition to the K00 phase takes place without interruption in funding.  The K00 application must include:

  • A new cover page signed by the K00 phase institutional representative;
  • A Final Progress Report for the F99 phase;
  • A final evaluation statement by the F99 primary sponsor;
  • Updated Project Summary and Abstract, Project Narrative, Bibliography & References Cited, Facilities & Other Resources, and Equipment sections;
  • Biographical sketches;
  • Detailed budget pages for a non-modular budget: K00 budgets consist of salary and fringe benefits, tuition and fees, other program-related expenses, and indirect costs, as described in Part II, Section II of this Funding Opportunity Announcement. Other costs are not allowed;
  • Updated sections of the PHS Career Development Award Supplemental Form should include:
    • An updated Research Plan section: The Specific Aims should be updated to reflect current plans for the K00 phase and the updated Research Strategy should be described in less than 3 pages;
    • A new Mentor, Co-Mentor, Consultant, Collaborators Section that also includes a plan for transitioning the candidate to the next stage of his/her career by the end of the project award period. The mentor should describe previous experience as a mentor, including type of mentoring (e.g., graduate students, career development awardees, postdoctoral students), number of persons mentored, and career outcomes. If the primary mentor has limited training experience, a co-mentor with a strong, successful track record as a mentor should be included; 
    • An updated Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate Section
    • An Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career Development: If the candidate is not a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, the sponsoring institution must include information about the candidate’s visa status and an assurance that the candidate’s visa provides sufficient time to complete the K00 phase of the award at a U.S. institution.
    • Updated Other Research Plan Sections (as appropriate), including:
      • Vertebrate Animals
      • Select Agent Research
      • Resource Sharing Plans
      • Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources;
      • Updated Biohazards
  • Updated Protections for Human Subjects and Inclusion of Women, Minorities and Children (as appropriate)


NCI Staff Contacts

For additional information regarding policies and/or guidance in preparing an application for the F99/K00 Award, contact:

  • Updated:

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