National Cancer InstituteNIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) has issued a request for applications (RFA) for a new program that will bridge predoctoral and postdoctoral training. Its aim “is to encourage and retain outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers.”

Similar to NIH’s Pathway to Independence Award (which bridges postdoctoral training and an independent research position), the NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award will have two phases:

  • F99 phase will provide support for 1–2 years of dissertation research training to complete those last few experiments, prepare the dissertation, and select a postdoctoral mentor
  • K00 phase will provide up to 4 years of mentored postdoctoral research career development support upon completing the PhD and securing a postdoc position.

Allowable expenses include stipend support, tuition and fees, and an institutional allowance to help defray fellowship expenses and career development. The K00 phase may also include indirect reimbursement to the institution at 8% of direct costs.

Institutions may only submit only one F99 application per due date, but there is no limit on the number of K00 awardees an organization may sponsor. Applicants must be currently enrolled in the third or fourth year of a mentored PhD (or similar) program at a U.S. institution. Applications may be submitted on behalf of non-U.S. citizens as long as they have the appropriate visa status.

NCI is requesting a brief letter of intent to help plan the review, but this letter is not required nor does it enter into the review itself. Specific instructions for submitting the intent letter are included in the RFA.

The review process will consider the applicant, sponsor(s)/mentors, research training program, training potential/development plan, and the institutional environment.


Adam Fagen was formerly Executive Director of the Genetics Society of America.

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