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NIH career development grants (K series)

Need assistance with NIH career development grants?

NIH career development grants (K series) are intended to provide support for trainees and early to mid-career scientists as a path toward conducting their research independently and being competitive for major grant support. 

Applicants for K series grants should follow the most current NIH SF424 guidance, as well as any specific instructions in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Additionally, access Duke guidance on K awards to ensure compliance with NIH requirements, including minimum effort needed. 

Also review additional NIH proposal guidance:

Note: The FOA instructions always supersede the SF424 guidance.

Support for NIH proposal development

Included below are grant writing toolkits developed by the SoM Office of Research Development and the Office of Campus Research Development (OCRD). 

Templates and examples

See below for templates and examples for commonly required sections of career development grants. Consult the FOA for specific section requirements that apply to that funding mechanism.
NIH K grants toolkit
NIH K grants Human Subjects and Clinical Trials attachments
NIH K grant examples

Explore examples of common career development grant sections. Please note that the examples are from previously awarded applications and the exact requirements and formatting may have changed.

The NIH RePORTER tool can be used to find other investigators at Duke who have been awarded a similar mechanism and may be able to provide additional examples or advice. 

NIH K award toolkit

Access the NIH K award toolkit for guidance and templates to write a Parent mentored K Award proposal. For example, Activity Codes K01, K08, K23, K25. It is revised annually to conform to any updates in the SF424 guidelines.

NIH K99/NIH MOSAIC K99 toolkits

Access the NIH K99 award toolkit for guidance and templates to write a K99/R00 proposal. Access the NIH MOSAIC K99 Award toolkit for guidance and templates to write a MOSAIC K99 proposal. The K99 or MOSAIC K99 are tailored for the K99 Activity Code, and only postdocs can apply. MOSAIC K99 is intended for postdocs from underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences.

It is revised annually to conform to any updates in the SF424 guidelines.


K22 Activity Code is usually for IC-specific K opportunities that may or may not have mentoring components. There is currently 1 NIH NCI K22 toolkit opportunity.

Deadline: NIH Standard deadlines apply.