FAQs for Graduate StudentsDoes NIDDK have scholarships to pay for my graduate school? No. We support graduate students via predoctoral training grants. We support individual predoctoral fellowships (F31s) only for students from underrepresented (definition) racial or ethnic groups, students with disabilities (definition), and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The NIGMS (definition) , a more ‘generic’ Institute of the NIH, supports over 10,000 graduate students on predoctoral training grants. Look at their website to see if your graduate program is NIH-supported.
Will NIDDK pay for my master’s degree? Not usually. We only support predoctoral training, not graduate work leading to a master’s degree. The exception would be for a physician or a PhD supported by a grant (like an F32 or K-award) which would allow tuition payment for a master’s degree or, for minority students, a diversity supplement.
FAQs for Trainees/Fellows
Do I need a green card to apply? You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to RECEIVE funding from a training grant, individual fellowship, or career development award, with the exception of the K99/R00. You may APPLY for an F32 or K award while you are in the process of becoming a permanent resident or citizen, if your institution allows it. R-series grants do not have this restriction.
How do I find a post doc position in my area of research?
- Look at our list of funded training programs or
- do a key word search using the NIH RePORT system to see who is funded to do research by the NIDDK and contact the Principal investigators. You can limit your search by STATE and should limit it to ‘Research Grants’, also. If you are interested in a postdoctoral position in our intramural (definition) program, see our intramural training page.
What does ‘payback’ really mean?
It really means that you should stay on a postdoctoral training grant or individual fellowship, or any combination of the two, for two full years. See also payback
Can I apply for Loan Repayment while on a training grant?
Yes, as long as at the time the loan repayment contract would be issued
you have 2 years of research time left, supported by either the training grant or some other means. In other words, if you are appointed to a training grant in July, apply for loan repayment in December of that year, you should have 2 years of research training remaining as of July of the following year. For new LRP applications, loan repayment contracts are for 2 years, not 1. Also, you may need to request a deferral of your payback obligation while receiving funds from the LRP. See the LRP FAQ
site for details.
FAQs for K-Awards/K-Awardees
For which K award should I apply?
If you are an MD, and are doing basic research: K08
. If you are an MD, doing clinical research where you interact directly with patients for your research (not just to fulfill your commitment to your department): K23
. If you are a PhD, or a non-board eligible MD: K01
. If you are a non-biomedically trained PhD (mathematics, organic chemistry, etc.) moving into biomedical research: K25
. The NIDDK does not support the K02 award for more senior scientists, but as a clinical investigator you should consider the K24
, once your career is established. Our overview
of all the K awards offered by the NIDDK gives you the conditions of each award in abbreviated form.
What about maternity leave?
The NIH allows you to receive the same benefits as anyone employed by your institution. If your local policy is to allow 8 weeks of paid maternity leave, then you may draw salary from your K award during that 8 week period. If you wish to take more time off, then we can allow you to take an unpaid leave of absence if your institution and mentor will concur, and your project will still be viable after the break. Discuss this with your program director
, who will be the one responsible for approving, or disapproving, your request. The time you are gone will effectively be added to the end of your funding period so that you will not lose anything. For example, should you decide to take an additional 6 months leave (with your institution’s and mentor’s concurrence), the end date of the final year of your K award can be extended by 6 months by your business office.
My mentor is moving and I want to move with him/her. Is that possible?
Yes, as long as your project does not change substantially, the new institution will accept your grant, and the new institution can provide an environment, resources, and career development activities comparable to your current institution. You must contact your program director
prior to submitting the paperwork to discuss the move and to be assured that it will, or will not, be approved.
My mentor is moving but I want to stay here. Is that possible?
Yes, as long as you can identify a new mentor, your project does not change, and your department/division indicates they will still support you. You can keep your current mentor as a long distance co-mentor as well. Be sure to discuss this with your program director
, who will be the one to approve or disapprove the request.
I would like to move to Europe for a few years. Can I take my K award with me?
No. We do not support K awards outside of the U.S.
Am I still considered a ‘New Investigator’ when I submit my R01 application if I have a K award?
Yes. ‘New Investigator’ refers to your R01 status. NIH does not consider K-awards as ‘independent’ grants since you have a mentor, therefore you are still a ‘new investigator’ when you apply for your first R01.
Am I still considered a 'New Investigator' when I submit my R01 application if I have a K99/R00 award?
I have had a family emergency and must leave my institution for several months. Can I keep my K award?
Yes, under the following circumstances: (1) you intend to return; (2) your institution agrees to grant you a leave of absence; (3) your mentor concurs; (4) your research project can be put on hold for that period of time. We will leave your grant in place and when you return you can begin to draw down funds from the grant. Your business office will track the finances and request carryover of funds each year as necessary. In the final year of funding, before the end date, your business office can extend the project period so that you are then able to use up the funds you have remaining.
I have a K-award and just found out that my R01 will be funded. Can I keep my K award?
Yes. Whether or not you can draw salary from both the K and R depends upon how many years are left on your K award. If you are
If I am currently funded by a K12 program, can I still apply for a K08/K23/K01 from NIDDK? Yes, but the NIDDK will only award an individual K award for the number of years that will give you a total of 6 years of support on the K12 and the individual K.
in the final two years of your K, you can not only keep both awards but you can take salary from both, if it makes sense to do so. If your salary is more than $100k, and therefore the amount we award on the K does not equal a ‘true’ 75% of your salary, we can reduce your effort on the K without reducing the amount of the award so that you can make up the difference with an appropriate %effort WITH salary on the R. The total of your effort on the K and the R must not fall below 75%, with the K %effort remaining at least 50%. This policy can be found in a Guide notice
My salary is covered by my department so can I use the salary money for supplies or a technician?
No. If you do not need the salary support to protect your time for your research, you should not apply for a K award.
FAQs for Mentors
Does DK offer a K award for PhDs?
Yes. Our K01
is designed for transitioning PhD scientists from post-doc to their first R grant.I am making a presentation to our fellows, is there concise information on all the K types that DK offers?
Yes. See our K awards table
What does NIDDK expect from a mentor on a K award?
The mentor on a K award serves to advise the candidate on both scientific and career issues and is his/her advocate at the institutional level. Since often a K award does not pay the full cost of salary and research support, the mentor, in conjunction with the department/institution, is expected to ensure that the K-awardee has the protected time and the resources to complete the research project and career development plans as outlined in the funded application. The project for the K-awardee should be one that will allow the candidate to distinguish his/her career from yours, e.g. it cannot be one of the aims from you own R01 grant. The K-awardee should be free to take the project with him/her should he/she leave the institution. FAQs for T32 Directors
A trainee has decided to leave the program after only six months. Can I use the remaining funds to support a new trainee?
No. The NIDDK has a one person-one slot rule. When a trainee signs a Statement of Appointment form (PHS 2271) and the appointment is confirmed by the NIH, twelve months of funds from the T32 are obligated to support that trainee. If the trainee leaves before twelve months has passed, the remaining funds are reported in the Financial Status Report and returned to the NIDDK. If the trainee leaves before completing three months of training, contact your DK program director.What stipend level does the trainee receive?
A trainee must complete a full year of postdoctoral training in order to receive the next higher stipend level. For example, if a trainee has received 18 months of training he/she would receive the level 1 stipend and remain at that level for the whole year. Upon reappointment the individual would receive the level 2 stipend.
A PhD fellow approached me and wants to apply for support on the T32. She received her PhD seven years ago. Is she eligible?
Postdoctoral trainees with no clinical responsibilities (e.g. PhD degree, MD degree with no U.S. board certification) and more than 5 years of postdoctoral research experience (i.e. stipend level 6 or higher) must receive prior approval from the NIDDK before being appointed to an NIDDK training grant. Only in unusual cases will such approval be given. Advanced postdoctoral fellows working in NIDDK-relevant research areas should consider applying for the NIDDK Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01).There are four months remaining on the last year of my T32 and an exceptional trainee has expressed interest in joining the program. Should I consider this?
Maybe. If you have a slot available, you can use the 12 months of that slot to appoint the individual as long as the trainee understands that the second (i.e. 'payback') year is not currently available. If you are sure that departmental funds are available to support the trainee for his/her second year of research training, in case your renewal application is not funded, then you may use the slot for that trainee. Of course, if your program is strong and favorably peer-reviewed, your application should be funded for another five years and the trainee's second year appointment can be made. NIDDK generally discourages appointing new trainees to the last year of a training grant, however.
One of my colleagues has a trainee to consider for our T32. He received his MD degree overseas and has been engaged in research activities in the U.S. since he came here six years ago. Is he eligible for an appointment to the T32?
Possibly. First of all, a candidate for any NRSA position must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Second, postdoctoral trainees with no clinical responsibilities (e.g. PhD degree, MD degree with no U.S. board ceritifcation) and more than 5 years of postdoctoral research experience (i.e. stipend level 6 or higher) must receive prior approval from the NIDDK before being appointed to an NIDDK training grant. We recommend that you send the trainee's biosketch to your NIDDK program official for consideration.
I am the director of an NIDDK T32 postdoctoral research training program. A very talented predoctoral student wants to apply for a trainee slot. Can I sign him up?
No. If the T32 was awarded for postdoctoral training, it is not possible to appoint a predoctoral fellow. The next time you submit a competing renewal application, however, you may propose a predoctoral training program. This addition will then be subject to the usual peer-review evaluation.I would like to add a new training faculty member to my T32 program. How do I request this?
You may send a request at any time, co-signed by your business office, requesting the addition of training faculty. Please include a current biosketch in the NIH-format for the new training faculty member. Alternatively, at the time of your non-competing renewal (i.e. progress report) you may add new faculty. Your progress report is submitted by your institution so it constitutes an official request. A very talented underrepresented minority candidate would like to be appointed to the training grant, but all the slots are filled. What should I do?
Applications for diversity supplemental slots are accepted at any time until June 15 in the year in which the slot would be awarded. Please visit http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/Funding/TrainingCareerDev/T32Supplslot
for more information on the application process.