NIH K Series Proposals

Reference for: NIH Career Development Grant applications

NIH Application Guide

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Policies and available FOAs — Review the NIH FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) for specific instructions related to your proposal. All applications proposing clinical trials must be submitted through an FOA designated specifically for clinical trials.

Instructions for letters of reference — Required for K01, some K07s, K08, K18, K22, K23, K25, K99/R00. See FOA.

NIH Roundup of Research Career Development (K) Award Resources

Required attachments 

Upload in Attachments section, Personnel tab:

Biosketch for PI (Candidate), Mentor (if applicable), and all senior/key personnel and Other Significant Contributors — blank form, instructions and samples

Upload in Attachments section, Proposal tab:

Candidate Information and GoalsPHSCareer_CandidateInformationAndGoals

Training in the Responsible Conduct of ResearchPHS_Career_Training_Resp_Conduct_Research

Letters of Support — PHS_Career_SupportLtrs — Letters of support from collaborators, contributors, and consultants will be required for any such person who will contribute to the scientific development or execution of CDA application’s proposed project. Follow the requirements for letters of support as listed in the FOA.

Description of Institutional EnvironmentPHS_Career_Inst_Environment

Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career DevelopmentPHS_Career_Inst_Commitment

Project Summary/AbstractProject_Summary - limited to 30 lines of text

Project NarrativeNarrative - relevance of this research to public health in, at most, three sentences

Bibliography & References CitedBibliography — required unless otherwise specified in the FOA. If applicable, include any references cited in the in the Human Subject Study Record or its attachments.

Facilities & Other ResourcesFacilities — required unless otherwise specified in the FOA


Budget JustificationBudget_Justification

Specific AimsPHS_Career_SpecificAims - required unless otherwise specified in the FOA

Research StrategyPHS_Career_ResearchStrategy

Required (if applicable) attachments 

Human Subjects forms - upload in Compliance section as part of a compliance entry
Upload in Attachments section, Personnel tab:

Current and Pending Support — required for Mentored Career Development applications, provide for the Mentor and Co-Mentors only. See FOA and NIH application guide for instructions

Upload in Attachments section, Proposal tab; see NIH application guide for details on applicability:

Cover LetterRRSF424_Cover_Letter: include application title and Funding Opportunity (PA or RFA) title of the NIH initiative. Follow the NIH application guide and FOA instructions.

  • Required for Mentored Career Development applications — provide list of Referees (including name, departmental affiliation, and institution)
  • Encouraged but not required for non-mentored Career Development applications. The cover letter should include a list of referees (including name, departmental affiliation, and institution).
  • Required for LATE applications or for changed/corrected applications submitted after the due date — include specific information about the timing and nature of the cause of the delay. Related NIH policy information
  • Required to explain any subaward budget components that are not active for all periods of the proposed grant
  • Required to certify that any required approval of the application is included, such as approval for applications $500,000 or more. Include the official communication from an NIH official as part of your cover letter PDF
  • Required when intending to submit a video as part of the application; the cover letter must include information about the intent to submit it. See section on "non-traditional application materials"
  • Required if proposed studies will generate large-scale human or non-human genomic data
  • DO NOT include assignment request information; all such requests MUST be transmitted using the Assignment Request Form (optional form)

Candidate’s Plan to Provide MentoringPHS_Career_Mentoring_Plan — Include only when required by the specific FOA, e.g., K24 and K05)

Plans and Statements of Mentor and Co-Mentor(s)PHS_Career_Mentor_Statements_Letters — required for Mentored Career Development applications; see FOA and NIH application guide for instructions

Consortium/Contractual Arrangements — PHS_Career_Consortium_Contract — required for applications that include a subrecipient

Vertebrate AnimalsPHS_Career_VertebrateAnimals — required if vertebrate animals are involved

Human Specimens and/or Data — PHS_HumanSubjectsAndCT_InvolveHumanSpecimensExp — required if there are NO human subjects, but you respond YES on the Questionnaire to the question: "Does the proposed research involve human specimens and/or data?" - review NIH guidance here and here.

Human Subjects, Other Requested Information — PHS_HumanSubjectsAndCT_OtherRequestedInfo — May be required you answered YES to ALL four questions in section 1.4 of the Human Subject Study Record. Content is limited to what is described in your FOA or in the NIH instructions. Do not use the "Other Requested Information" attachment to include any other information. If a specific file name is not given in the FOA, use a meaningful file name since it will become a bookmark in the assembled application image.

NOTE: To be clear, if you have a Compliance entry for Human Subjects, the only human subjects-related file uploaded on the Attachments tab would be the Other Requested Information attachment, and it is uploaded only if required by the FOA.

Select Agent ResearchPHS_Career_SelectAgentResearch — required if applicable

Resource Sharing Plan(s)PHS_Career_Resource_Sharing_Plan — required if applicable for sharing model organisms and/or research tools

Data Management and Sharing Plan PHS_CareerDevelopmentAwardSupplement_Other_Plans —  required if applicable (required for most career development proposals).  DMS Plan information

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources — PHSCareer_KeyBioAndOrChemResources — required if applicable

Introduction to Application — PHS_Career_IntroductionToApplication — required for RESUBMISSIONS only (an A1 application submitted within 37 months after the original submission)

Progress Report Publication List — PHS_Career_ProgressReport_PubList — required for RENEWAL applications only. “Renewal” applications are accepted only for a few K programs; check the specific FOA to determine whether Renewals are accepted.

Description of Candidate’s Contribution to Program Goals PHS_Career_Candidate_Contribution — required for applicants to diversity-related FOAs (e.g., diversity-related K01 and diversity-related K22s)

Optional attachments 

When appropriate, upload this optional attachment in the Attachments section, Proposal tab:

AppendixPHS_Career_Appendix – maximum of 10 PDF attachments; follow NIH and FOA instructions on what may and may not be included.

NOT-OD-17-098:  Updated Appendix Policy Eliminates Clinical Trial-Related Materials for NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Applications Submitted to Due Dates on or After January 25, 2018

NOTE: Applications will be withdrawn and not reviewed if they do not follow the appendix requirements in these instructions or in your FOA.

When needed, upload this optional attachment as a User attached form (Basics > S2S Opportunity Search > User Attached Forms tab):

PHS Assignment Request Form‌ – may be used to communicate specific application assignment and review requests. Is not provided to program staff or reviewers.