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NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about your NCI application or award for training in cancer research or education? Make the NCI Frequently Asked Questions your first stop to getting answers!

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The NCI only uses the parent K01 funding opportunities to support the early career-stage researchers in cancer control and population sciences and cancer prevention. Candidates must have completed at least two, but usually not more than five years of research training/experience beyond a doctoral degree at the time of submitting a K01 application. Early career-stage faculty, including assistant professors (or equivalent), may apply if within the eligibility window. Exceptions will be considered by the program contacts on a case-by-case basis.

NCI-Specific Information

NCI accepts K01 applications from eligible individuals in only the following two subject areas, cancer control and population sciences and cancer prevention, as defined below. Applications on other research topics will be withdrawn without review.

Research Areas of Interest: NCI will only accept K01 applications that are submitted in response to one of the following Notices:

  • NOT-CA-24-022: Notice of Special Interest: National Cancer Institute Supports Applications for the Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards (K01) Within the Mission of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.
  • NOT-CA-24-023: Notice of Special Interest: National Cancer Institute Supports Applications for the Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards (K01) Within the Mission of the Division of Cancer Prevention.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with the NCI scientific program contact before preparing an application.

Cancer Control and Population Sciences:

Cancer Control science is defined as basic and applied research in the behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity, and mortality, and improve quality of life. Several broad areas of interest include: development and validation of methods, technologies, and tools in surveillance, statistics, epidemiology, health care delivery, and the behavioral sciences; identification of modifiable risk factors or host susceptibility factors associated with cancer etiology, cancer prevention, behaviors, health communication, and treatment outcomes; and clinical and translational science to reduce risk, incidence, and death from cancer, as well as enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. Other areas of interest include cross-cutting themes, health disparities and health equity, implementation science, and cancer survivorship. More information about potentially relevant research areas can be found by examining the mission and scientific scope of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.

For application acceptance in the subject area of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, applicants must include “NOT-CA-24-022” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. NCI K01 applications without this information in box 4B will not be accepted and withdrawn.

Cancer Prevention:

The focus of this research area is early translational research aimed at advancing the application of the mechanistic and scientific understanding of carcinogenesis and human biology towards interventions focused on cancer prevention, interception, screening, and early detection.  These mechanistic understandings can be informed by research conducted across basic science, epidemiology, behavioral, or clinical studies and by varied scientific disciplines. Early translational research spans preclinical (e.g., cell and tissue culture, animal models) to clinical (e.g., small early phase clinical trials) research and may include areas such as development and testing of interception agents (including small molecules, vaccines, and biologics), novel and precision methods for screening, early detection, and management of average- and high-risk cohorts, and early diagnostic biomarker development.  This research could draw upon areas such as molecular and systems biology, diagnostics, vaccine and drug development, pharmacology, and biomedical engineering, along with many other related disciplines. The ultimate objective of this research would be to develop novel human interventions and human-centered adaptation of current interventions with the potential to reduce cancer risk, incidence, and mortality, and improve quality of life. More information about potentially relevant research areas can be found by examining the mission and scientific scope of the Division of Cancer Prevention.

For application acceptance in the subject area of Cancer Prevention, applicants must include “NOT-CA-24-023” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. NCI K01 applications without this information in box 4B will not be accepted and withdrawn.

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.

For more complete information, reference the Program Announcements PA-20-176 (Parent K01 Independent Clinical Trial Required), PA-20-190 (Parent K01 Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed), and PA-20-191 (Parent K01 Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required) and/or contact the Program Director.

Candidates still within postdoctoral non-independent, mentored positions are strongly encouraged to apply for a K99/R00 award if within the K99/R00 eligibility window.

NCI-specific guidance on overlap between K01 applications and the mentor’s pending/active grants: The K01 award provides support for an intensive, mentored research career development experience in cancer control and population sciences and cancer prevention research. It is expected that the Research Plan be based on the candidate’s original ideas and/or hypotheses. The K01 project can be within the overall scope of the mentor’s research awards. However, there should be no text duplication or duplication of the scientific aims, and the candidate’s application should propose a scientific research question that is distinct from the mentor’s pending or active research grants.

NCI will not support both a K01 and an active or pending research grant that propose substantially the same research.

Additional Information:

  • All NCI K01 applicants must justify the need for additional mentored training and explain how the training will facilitate their ability to conduct cutting-edge research in one of these topic areas.
  • Applicants must appropriately justify the duration of support, taking into consideration prior research experience and the proposed mentored career development goals that are essential for developing an independent, NCI-funded research program.
  • An application must include a strong and credible plan for the candidate’s transition to research independence, including milestones, and evidence of significant institutional commitment to the continued development of the K01 candidate as an independent researcher at the applicant institution. Applicants are expected to plan to apply for independent research support during the later years of their mentored career award.
  • Award project period: Up to 5 years with justification for a mentored training award for the requested duration.
  • Salary Support: Up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits per year.
  • Research support: Up to $50,000 per year.

Applicant Eligibility

Citizenship

At the time of the award the candidate must be:

  • a United States citizen,
  • or a non-citizen national,
  • or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (1-151 or 1-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.

Citizenship or green card is not needed to apply. Citizenship or green card is required at the time of award issuance.

Foreign Nationals with Student Visas Not eligible for this award
Career Stage
  • Postdoctoral Fellows with 2-5 years of postdoctoral research experience
  • Early-Stage Investigators with 2-5 years of postdoctoral research experience 
Effort Level/ Commitment

Candidate must commit a minimum of 9 person months (75%) full-time professional effort to the K25 Career Development Award.

Duration of the Award up to 5 years; the K01 Award is not renewable

Budget

Financial Support

Salary  Up to $100K/year + fringe benefits
Research Development Support: Tuition/Fees, Supplies/Equipment, Travel, and Statistical Services Up to $50K/year
F&A Costs/Indirect Costs

8%

Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for Mentors, Secretarial and Administrative Assistance, etc.

Not allowed

How to Apply

  • Applications must be submitted electronically.
  • Applicants must follow the instructions in the SF424(R&R) Application Guide, as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. of the Program Announcement.
  • For application acceptance in the subject area of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, applicants must include “NOT-CA-24-022” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. NCI K01 applications without this information in box 4B will not be accepted and withdrawn.
  • For application acceptance in the subject area of Cancer Prevention, applicants must include “NOT-CA-24-023” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. NCI K01 applications without this information in box 4B will not be accepted and withdrawn.
  • When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions in Program Announcement.
  • 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/Grant.gov contact Center.

Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule

Receipt Cycle Receipt Date: New Application Receipt Date: Resubmission  Initial Review Council Review Earliest Possible Project Start Date*
1 February 12 March 12 June/July September/
October
December
2 June 12 July 12 October/
November
January/
February
April
3 October 12 November 12 February/March May/June July

*Start dates are determined by the availability of NCI funds and may not occur until well after the earliest possible start date.

Applications are due by 5 pm local time.

When a standard submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Review and Selection Process

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) review applications for completeness and for conformance to all eligibility requirements and special provisions and requirements. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

A Special Emphasis Panel (SEP), convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI, evaluates applications according to the review criteria listed in the Program Announcements. Before an award is made, the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) conducts a second level of review and ensures that an application meets the broad program needs and priorities of the NCI and the National Cancer Program.

For review criteria for the K01 grant mechanism, see Section V. Application Review Information of the Program Announcements.

Resources

NCI Staff Contacts

For additional information regarding policies and/or guidance in preparing an application for the K25 Award, contact:

For information regarding fiscal and/or budget issues, contact:

For information regarding review issues, contact:

  • Referral Officer
    Division of Extramural Activities
    Phone: 240-276-6390
    Fax: 240-276-7682
  • Updated:

If you would like to reproduce some or all of this content, see Reuse of NCI Information for guidance about copyright and permissions. In the case of permitted digital reproduction, please credit the National Cancer Institute as the source and link to the original NCI product using the original product's title; e.g., “NCI Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”

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