K23: Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award

Most recent NIDDK funding announcement: PA-24-185 (no clinical trials) and PA-24-184 (clinical trials)

The K23 at NIDDK

The purpose of the K23 award is to provide individuals who have a clinical doctoral degree with an intensive, supervised, patient-oriented research experience. The K23 provides support and “protected time” for these individuals considered to be on the path to a productive, independent clinical research career.

The NIDDK does not issue a separate announcement for this program, but accepts applications in response to the NIH parent K23 NOFOs. We encourage K23 applications in all areas of research supported by the NIDDK.

The NIDDK encourages applicants to enroll in programs of study leading to a master’s degree in clinical investigation, as supported by the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award program.

The NIDDK supports a R03 small grant program to provide additional support for our K23 investigators to pursue a project without a mentor and demonstrate their increasing independence.

Award Highlights

  • 3 to 5 years of non-renewable support

  • offers clinical investigators an opportunity to develop into independent clinical researchers involved in patient-oriented, rather than basic, research

  • All applicants are encouraged to take advantage of the mentors available to them at their institutions and have, in addition to a primary mentor, one or more co-mentors, as appropriate


Competing and non-competing applications submitted in FY2017

NIDDK will provide

  • up to $100,000 per year for PI salary in accordance with NOT-OD-16-054 with appropriate justification from the institution
  • authorized fringe benefits
  • up to $50,000 per year for research support, if justified, for K23 awards


Principal Investigator

  • M.D., or comparable clinical degree
  • completed clinical training and should be board-eligible by the time of award
  • can devote a minimum of 9 calendar months (75% of the year) worth of effort to the K23


  • Read the complete notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for the K23
  • NIDDK participates in two K23 Parent NOFOs, “Clinical Trial Required” and “Clinical Trial Not Allowed.” Research projects within the NIDDK’s mission that conform to “Basic Experimental Studies with Humans” as determined by NIH’s clinical trial decision tool (https://grants.nih.gov/ct-decision/index.htm) must come in to the “Clinical Trial Required” NOFO. 
  • contact the appropriate NIDDK program director to discuss your eligibility for the award
    • provide your specific aims and NIH biosketch to expedite this process

Applicants should design a 3, 4, or 5-year program that will enable them to become independent clinical investigators by the end of the K23 award period.


New Applications

  • February 12
  • June 12
  • October 12


  • March 12
  • July 12
  • November 12


For the purposes of this K23 award, patient-oriented research is defined as research conducted with human subjects—or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena—for which an investigator directly interacts. This area of research includes:

  • Mechanisms of Human Disease
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Clinical Trials
  • The Development of New Technologies

Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not included in this definition.

Staff Contact

Contact the appropriate program director from the list of Career Development Staff Contacts.

Last Reviewed November 2023