The Mid-career Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) builds human resources in patient-oriented research and increases patient-oriented research. At NIA, the K24 applies to clinical researchers who are generally at the Associate Professor level at the time of initial application or who can otherwise demonstrate both a record of accomplishment in research and in mentoring junior investigators and a need for protected time to advance their careers further in patient-oriented research on aging. These mid-career investigators are expected to:
Although the award requires the investigator to describe a research plan, the research plan can be a description of the investigator's currently funded research. Reviewers will examine such a plan to determine whether the research is a suitable vehicle for demonstrating skills and capabilities in patient-oriented research to junior clinicians. The investigator may propose new research. Up to $50,000 per year is allowed in research development costs, but this funding also must be used to support mentoring activities (see below). Consequently, the additional research proposed in this application cannot be resource intensive.
The investigator is required to propose mentoring activities to increase the numbers of clinicians who can conduct patient-oriented research on aging and who can translate basic biomedical research findings into clinical settings. The research development expenses can be used to support research expenses of the junior clinicians and travel to scientific meetings or training.
Investigators may seek one renewal of a K24 mid-career investigator award. An important part of the review of the competing renewal is progress on the prior award. The extent to which the awardee has progressed as a leader in patient-oriented research through further independent research funding and similar evidence of scholarship and the degree to which junior investigators who are being mentored by the awardee are advancing in their own research programs are both part of this review. Although there is no expectation that the awardee will continue to mentor junior clinicians indefinitely, the competing continuation application should describe what plans exist at the institution to further the careers of junior clinicians pursuing patient-oriented research on aging following termination of the competing continuation award.