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Mentored Quantitative Research Career Award (K25)

Frequently Asked Questions

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The Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award (K25) supports investigators with quantitative scientific and engineering backgrounds outside of biology or medicine who have made a commitment to focus their research endeavors on behavioral and biomedical research (basic or clinical).

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-24-190 (Parent K25 - Independent Clinical Trial Required)PA-24-191 (Parent K25 - Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed), and PA-24-192 (Parent K25 - Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required) and/or contact the Program Director.

NCI-specific guidance on overlap between K25 applications and the mentor’s pending/active grants: The K25 award is intended to  support an intensive mentored research and career development experience of investigators with quantitative scientific and engineering backgrounds that was not primarily focused on biology or medicine thus far, who wishes to enter the biomedical research force and who can establish and sustain a strong, independent cancer research program. It is expected that the Research Plan be based on the candidate’s original ideas and/or hypotheses. The K25 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 K25 and an active or pending research grant that propose substantially the same research.

Applicant Eligibility


At the time of the award, the candidate must be:

  • a citizen of the United States,
  • or a noncitizen 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 needed at the time of award issuance.

Foreign Nationals with Student Visas Not eligible for this award
Career Stage
  • Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Early-Stage Investigators
  • Established Investigators
Effort/Commitment Candidate must commit a minimum of 9 person months (75%) full-time professional effort to the K25 Career Development Award.
Duration of Award 3-5 years; the K25 Award is not renewable


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.
  • 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/ contact Center.

Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule

Receipt Cycle Receipt Date: New Application Receipt Date: Resubmission Initial Review Council Review Earliest Possible 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.

Subcommitee-J, 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 K25 grant mechanism, see Section V. Application Review Information of the Program Announcements.


NCI Staff Contacts

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

  • Dr. Sonia B. Jakowlew
    Program Director
    Phone: 240-276-5630
    Fax: 240-276-5659

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: