A K99 awardee can ask for a no-cost extension on the K99 for an additional year. If the awardee does not secure a job within the year of the no-cost extension, then this third year represents the terminal year for the K99. As stated on the Q & A  page for the “Pathway to Independence" (K99/R00) program: “The application for the extramural independent scientist R00 phase of the award must be submitted no later than 2 months prior to the proposed activation date of the R00 award by the R00 phase grantee organization. However, to avoid potential problems in activation, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH program officials as soon as plans to assume an independent position develop, and not later than 6 months prior to the termination of the K99 phase of the award, to discuss plans for transition to and the application for the R00 phase. This is especially important if the applicant has any question about the acceptability of a specific independent position for the R00 phase of the award. As part of the application, the K99 awardee must submit an offer letter from the organization supporting his/her tenure track appointment.” The goal of the K99/R00 program is to provide an uninterrupted level of research support from the K99 to R00 for the newly independent investigator.