Research and Funding

Division of Extramural Activities

New salary caps and allowable expenses on career development awards

The NIH/NIA Physician Scientist (PS) Workforce

NIA recognizes the unique perspective of clinically trained research scientists in the development of treatments for diseases and disorders of aging. The demands and emerging health needs posed by the exponential growth in the aging population make it imperative to develop and maintain a workforce of physician scientists to facilitate two-way translational research from bench to bedside and back.

NIA and NIH have examined the issues confronting PS who elect to pursue a research career. Data support the idea that NIH career development (K) award programs play a key role in the training of PS. One key challenge however is the ability of the PS to secure adequate funding for their research through K awards and other support mechanisms.

To mitigate this challenge, effective with applications submitted on February, 12, 2016 NIH provides that ICs allow up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits towards an applicant’s salary to cover the percentage effort requested on NIH K08 and K23 awards. In addition, all continuation (Type 5) applications can request up to $100,000 in salary costs. The NIH Guide Notices NOT-OD-16-032 and NOT-OD-16-054 provide details of the changes to K08 and K23 salary and research cost allowances.

What this means for NIA:

New K08 and K23 applications

Submitted on February 12, 2016 and subsequently);

You can:

  • Request up to $100,000 (at a maximum) plus fringe benefits for your percentage effort which must be at least 75% or nine person-months of your full-time effort at your institution.
  • Request $25,000 in research costs with a maximal allowance of $50,000 to support patient accrual costs.

Continuation K08 and K23

Current K08 and K23 awardees can:

  • Request up to $100,000 (at a maximum) plus fringe benefits for your percentage effort (which must be 75% of your full-time effort or greater. In the final two years of the award if you receive a federal research award you are permitted to maintain 75% total research effort while maintaining a minimum of 50% effort on the career award.)
  • Request $25,000 in research costs with a maximal allowance of $50,000 to support patient accrual costs.

The new salary structure is a $25,000 increase in NIA’s salary of $75,000 salary cap, which had been in place since 1997!

NIA values PS as effective partners with bench-based researchers, who can focus research questions on the areas of greatest clinical need or lead teams that enable translation of science to practice. We look forward to their continued participation in the NIA research workforce.

Please contact Dr. Chyren Hunter, (HunterC@mail.nih.gov) with your questions and comments.

NIA allows the following for salary and research expenses:

Number Salary and Research Expenses
K01 NIA allows a maximum of $75,000 (and appropriate fringe benefits) for a minimum of 75 percent effort in all years of the award. A maximum of $20,000 is provided for research and research development expenses.
K02 NIA allows a maximum of $100,000 (plus fringe benefits) A minimum of 75 percent effort is required. Up to $8000 per year is permitted for tuition and other training related expenses. K02 awardees must have R01 or R01-equivalent independent funding to support research expenses. Please contact NIA staff for further information on allowable independent support.
K07 NIA allows a maximum of $75,000 (plus fringe benefits) for salary support and $25,000 in associated other expenses. Total direct costs are limited to $125,000 per year.
K08, K23 For salary support, NIA allows a maximum of $100,000 (plus fringe benefits) for a minimum of 75 percent effort. A maximum of $25,000 is permitted for research development costs. The K23 award can allow a maximum of $50,000 in exceptional cases.
K24 The allowable costs on the K24 mechanism is set by NIH. For salary support, the cap is based on the current NIH legislative salary cap adjusted for percent effort, for 25 percent to 50 percent effort.  Fringe benefits can be requested. Research support up to $50,000 per year is provided.  Information about the FY 2016 salary cap is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-16-045.html . An additional $25,000 is allowed for research development expenses.
K25 For salary, NIA allows a maximum of $75,000 (plus fringe benefits) is allowed for a minimum of 75 percent effort. An additional $25,000 is allowed for research development costs.