Mentored Awards to individuals - Primarily for researchers at the beginning of their careers; provide a transition to full independent research awards.
Independent or Non-Mentored K Awards - Designed to provide protected research time for mid career or even senior faculty to enhance their research potential.
Institutional Awards - Intended to provide mentored experiences for multiple individuals.
Effort on K Awards
K Awards require the candidate to maintain a minimum level of effort. The PI, administrator and chair must discuss and agree to the level of committed effort required by the K Award. Once an award is accepted, a commitment has been made to the sponsor and the faculty member must be able to follow through on that commitment.
- Mentored K-awards require a high level of commitment, normally 75% of the researcher’s total effort, the equivalent of 9 person months of professional activity. Salary support funding is limited to $75,000 but may be funded at a higher level depending on the NIH Institute. This level of funding should be confirmed with the Institute.
- Because salary funding is limited, cost share may be necessary to satisfy the 75% effort requirement.
- The effort commitment on a K-award may not be reduced by any amount without prior sponsor approval.
- A K-award candidate's remaining effort (typically 25%) may be devoted to other University activities; however, most K Award programs require that all supplemental pursuits (clinical, teaching or other research pursuits beyond the K Award required percentage of effort) be consistent with the objectives of the K-award - development into an independent researcher. (Determining full time professional effort).
- For mentored awards, salary supplementation cannot be from federal funds unless specifically authorized in advance by the awarding Institute.
- Normally K Awards are granted for three, four or five years. There may be no-cost time extensions, however, unless negotiated with the sponsor at the time of the request, all terms and conditions of the original award apply - i.e. the negotiated level of effort is required.
- The minimum percentage of the applicant’s commitment required for the proposed K-award experience must be covered by the appointment.
- Responsibilities outside of the UW appointment are unrestricted, however, cannot be used to meet any minimum effort requirement.
The goal of K Awards is to encourage development of the applicant into an independent researcher and it is expected that recipients apply for additional sponsored projects. It is, therefore, allowable to use K Award funds to support effort in preparing proposals.
Complementary Effort on Other Research Grants
In certain circumstances, the recipient may be working on another grant while the K Award supports the employee's salary. In this case, it is expected that the goals of the second grant support the goals of the K Award. In cases where there is scientific overlap, the effort on the second grant is included in the K Award effort.
Concurrent Support on Mentored Awards
- When named Principal Investigator on a competing NIH research project grant (R01, R03, R15, R21, R34, etc.).
- When the recipient becomes the sub-project director on a competing multi-component research or center grant, or a cooperative agreement.
- Recipients are allowed to reduce their effort on the K Award to no less than 6 person months or 50% and must remain in a mentoring relationship.
- Total research effort must remain at 75%.
- Written prior approval is required for reduction of effort. Do NOT
- Include the reduction in the progress report only.
- Reduce effort independently.
- Contact NIH directly.
Note: The request must include a concurrence signature by the UW Office of Sponsored Programs.
- The minimum percentage of the K-award (typically 75%) must be covered by the appointment at the University. This appointment is assumed to be, at a minimum, no less than 35 hours.
- Faculty may not use any of their VA time to satisfy the requirements of the K-award, even with VA approval.
- The VA appointment should be no more than, or be reduced to no more than, 2/8ths upon receipt of the K-award.
- Up to 5/8ths may be permitted with Chair and SOM Dean’s Office approval.
When a faculty member has an appointment at the VA and is included on a UW proposal, he/she must disclose the VA appointment and salary in the narrative of the proposal's budget justification.