Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Choose the Right Postdoc-to-Faculty Transition Award from NIA

NIA offers several different career development (K) awards to postdocs who intend to transition into a faculty position. The K99 is for postdocs seeking 1-2 additional years of postdoctoral training before moving into a tenure-track position. The K22 is for postdocs who are nearly ready to transition to a tenure-track faculty position, with no additional postdoctoral training needed. The K01 is typically a career development award for faculty members, but if you’re a postdoc who has already negotiated a faculty position, the K01 might be a good fit for you as well.

The table below highlights the differences between these three awards, you should visit the individual award page as well to read more details about each award. When considering the timeline of your transition to a faculty position, remember that it takes about 9 months from the application due date to issuance of an award or letter of approval.

Differences Between NIA's Career Development (K) Awards
  K99 K22 K01
Years of postdoctoral experience Up to 4 2 to 8 Any
Citizenship or residency requirement? No; open to temporary visas* Yes; U.S. citizenship or permanent residency required Yes; U.S. citizenship or permanent residency required
Postdoctoral funding 1-2 years ($100K) None None
Faculty funding 3 years ($249K) 3 years ($150K) 5 years ($95K)
Faculty position type Tenure-track or equivalent Tenure-track or equivalent Any
When should you transition to a faculty position? 12-24 months post award  0-12 months post approval letter  by time of award
Open to current faculty? No (some exceptions for clinical faculty) No (some exceptions for clinical faculty) Yes
Faculty institution Not known at time of application Not known at time of application Known at time of application
Who submits the application? Postdoctoral institution Postdoctoral institution Faculty institution
Mentor team  At postdoctoral institution None At faculty institution

*NIA participates in several different K99 funding announcements, only the parent K99 and the NIA Translational AD/ADRD do not require citizenship or permanent residency.


Which K Award is Right for Me? Examples by Career Level

Here are some typical profiles of aging research postdocs, and the best award for them:

Profiles of Aging Research Postdocs
I am … I should apply for… 
A postdoc with a vision for research in my own lab, but I still have quite a bit to learn before I’m ready to embark on that research independently! K99
A postdoc with a strong plan for independent research in my own lab, I’m ready to enter the tenure-track faculty job market! K22
Still a postdoc right now, but I’ve accepted a faculty job offer. Or, I’m in negotiation stages and expect to start a faculty job in less than a year. K01
A postdoc who just got promoted to research scientist / instructor / another non-tenure track faculty position, and I want to continue mentored career development at my current institution. K01
An international postdoc, but I am too late to apply for the K99/R00. Research Funding for Early Career Investigators

For questions about these awards, please explore the linked websites or reach out to

An official website of the National Institutes of Health