NIH K Awards: Clarification of Level of Effort and NIH Policy on Compensation and Salary Supplementation

Last updated on September 11, 2019

Supplementation

 

 NIH allows salary supplementation of the effort committed to NIH K Awards as follows:

For the effort directly committed to the NIH K Award, salary supplementation must be from non-Federal sources and must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere with the goals of the NIH K Award.

Example:  Postdoc A devotes 75% effort to an NIH K Award. The department may supplement the NIH K Award salary contribution from non-Federal discretionary funds to bring Postdoc A’s salary up to the union scale.

 

Compensation

 

For most K award programs, the K awardee must commit at the minimum 9 person months, equivalent to 75% full-time professional effort, directly to their research project and career development activities. Prior approval is required to reduce effort below the program minimum.

 The updated policy for compensation of NIH K Awardees follows:

 For effort not directly committed to the NIH K Award, recipients may devote their remaining effort (if available) with compensation from Federal or non-Federal sources as PD/PI, Lead, or another role (e.g. co-investigator) on other supporting grant(s) as long as the specific aims differ from those of the NIH K Award (i.e. no scientific overlap – K Awardee must verify with PO of K Award).

 Example 1-COMPENSATION:  Postdoc B devotes 85% effort to  a K Award and will devote his/her remaining uncommitted 15% effort with salary to PI Z’s R01, performing work that does not support the specific aims of the NIH K Award –must verify this action with PO of respective Awards.

 

 

 

What if the work on PI Z’s R01 supports the specific aims of the NIH K Award (i.e. there is scientific overlap)?

Example-COMPLEMENTARY EFFORT:  If Postdoc B is devoting 85% effort to a NIH K Award and s/he is asked to perform work on another PI’s R01 at 25% that overlaps with the work performed on NIH K Award. Postdoc B’s effort on the R01 is subsumed by their effort on the NIH K Award and Postdoc B will devote 25% to the R01 without compensation. This activity must be verified with the PO of respective Awards. Complementary effort is not tracked as cost sharing.

 

Note: Though there is scientific overlap and the percent effort on the R01 is subsumed within the required effort of the CDA, there should not be significant duplication of the scope of the research supported by the CDA and the related research is consistent with the goals of the CDA (e.g. development of the K awardee into an independent investigator).

 

What if Postdoc B is applying for his/her own R01?

Example 2-COMPENSATION:  Postdoc B devotes 85% effort to an NIH K Award and can commit the remaining 15% available uncommitted effort with salary on his/her own R01 application performing work that does not support the specific aims of the NIH K Award – this action must be  verified with PO of respective Awards.

 

 

Example-CONCURRENT SUPPORT:  If Postdoc B devotes 85% effort to an NIH Mentored K Award and wants to commit 25% effort to their own R01 application, s/he can reduce effort on the K Award (no lower than 50%) during the last 2 years of the K Award to accommodate their effort as PD/PI of the R01. This action must be verified with the PO of respective awards. See NOT-OD-18-157 for updated details on concurrent support.

 

Note: NIH will adjust the total salary support committed to the K award consistent with the adjusted level of effort. NIH will continue to provide full research development support costs as indicated in the original NoA.

Note: Concurrent support of at least $100,000 direct costs may be obtained from non-Federal sources.

 

 What if the K Awardee devotes 85% effort to their NIH K Award and wants commit 25% effort to his/her own R01 but does not want to decrease their effort on their K Award below 75%?

 Example-COMPENSATION & CONCURRENT SUPPORT: Postdoc C can devote 25% to their own R01 during the last 2 years on their NIH Mentored K Award, as long as the work on their R01 does not support the aims of the K Award and the PO of the K Award verifies there is no overlap. Postdoc C can use their remaining uncommitted 15% effort and reduce their effort on the K Award to 75% (no less than 50%) during the last 2 years of the K Award. This action should be verified with the PO of respective awards. See NOT-OD-18-157 for updated details on concurrent support.

 

Note: NIH will adjust the total salary support committed to the K award consistent with the adjusted level of effort. NIH will continue to provide full research development support costs as indicated in the original NoA.

Note: Concurrent support of at least $100,000 direct costs may be obtained from non-Federal sources.

 

RESOURCES:

NIH Grants Policy Statement 12.3.6

NOT-OD-17-094

NOT-OD-18-157

NIH Extramural NEXUS: Clarifying Percent Effort and Support for K Awardees

NIH Research Training and Career Development