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.

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:

  1. Mechanisms of Human Disease
  2. Therapeutic Interventions
  3. Clinical Trials
  4. The Development of New Technologies

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

The K23 award offers clinical investigators an opportunity to develop into independent clinical researchers involved in patient-oriented, rather than basic, research. K23s provide 3 to 5 years of support and are not renewable.

How to Apply

Before applying, read the complete funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the K23, and then contact the appropriate program director at the NIDDK to discuss your eligibility for the award. Providing your specific aims and your NIH biosketch will 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. They also must be available to devote a minimum of 9 calendar months (75 percent of the year) worth of effort to their K23.

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.

Deadlines for Application

New applications: February 12, June 12, and October 12

Resubmissions: March 12, July 12, and November 12

The K23 at the NIDDK

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

Applicants should have completed clinical training and should be board-eligible by the time of award. M.D. applicants who have received training in another country and who are not board-eligible in the United States are not appropriate candidates for NIDDK K23 awards. The NIDDK K01 Award might be an option in this case.

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 will provide up to $100,000 per year for PI salary with appropriate justification from the institution, authorized fringe benefits, and up to $50,000 per year for research support, if justified, for K23 awards. For competing K23 applications submitted prior to February 12th, 2016, and all non-competing awards in FY16, the NIDDK will provide only up to $90,000 per year for PI salary, the appropriate fringe benefits, and up to $50,000 per year for research support. Competing and non-competing applications submitted in FY2017 may request up to $100,000 per year for PI salary in accordance with NOT-16-054.

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

View K23 and other Training and Career Development funding opportunities.

NIH Resources