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Call for Nominations

The National Cancer Institute is now accepting applications for the NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award F99/K00. Only one student from each institution may apply for this opportunity. Because of this, Graduate Division will be accepting nominations from departments to select the institutional nominee. 

The information below was copied from the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number - RFA-CA-20-048, which we urge you to read in its entirety.

About the Award

The objective of the NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) is to identify and encourage outstanding graduate students who are recognized by their institutions as having high potential and a strong interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers, and then to facilitate their successful transition to postdoctoral positions.

The F99/K00 award is intended for individuals who require 1-2 years to complete their Ph.D. dissertation research training (F99 phase) before transitioning to mentored postdoctoral research training (K00 phase). Consequently, applicants are expected to propose an individualized research training plan for the next 1-2 years of dissertation research training and a plan for 3-4 years of mentored postdoctoral research and career development activities that will prepare them for independent cancer-focused research careers.

The F99/K00 award is meant to provide up to 6 years of support in two phases. The initial (F99) phase will provide support for 1-2 years of dissertation research (final experiments, dissertation preparation, and selection of a postdoctoral mentor). The second (K00) phase will provide up to 4 years of mentored postdoctoral research and career development support, contingent upon successful completion of the doctoral degree requirements and securing a cancer-focused postdoctoral position. The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time. A K00 award will be made only to a PD/PI who has successfully completed the F99-supported training secured a cancer-focused postdoctoral appointment and provided NCI with a strong research and career development plan.

Note: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (RFA) does not allow applicants to propose to lead an independent clinical trial but does allow applicants to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor or co-sponsor.

Eligibility Requirements

You must be nominated by your institution.

Career Stage:

At the time of application, you must be:

  • A graduate student in your 3rd or 4th year of a biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research doctoral degree program. This is calculated from the time of enrollment at the institution.
  • Enrolled at a domestic (US) institution.
  • Foreign students are eligible.
  • On track to graduate within 2 years. The F99 phase will not be extended, nor will the K00 phase be postponed, except under rare and unforeseen circumstances.
  • Exceptions:
    • If a 2nd-year student is expected to graduate within 2 years, an exception may be requested. Applicants may check with the Program Official prior to the selection of the nominee. If granted, the exception should be explained in the Nomination Letter.
    • If a 5th-year student took a documented and extended Leave of Absence, an exception may be requested. Applicants may check with the Program Official prior to the selection of the nominee. If granted, the exception should be explained in the Nomination Letter.
  • Be at the dissertation stage at the time of award. This means you have passed all requirements, as set by your institution, for advancement to the Ph.D. candidacy stage.
  • If you complete the Ph.D. degree requirements or begin a postdoctoral position before an award is made, neither the F99 nor the K00 award will be made.

Degree Program

You must be enrolled in a Ph.D. program or other research doctoral program (e.g., DrPH, ScD). Students enrolled in the following programs are NOT eligible for this pilot program:

  • Dual-degree programs, even if the degrees are completed in separate phases.
  • Professional doctorate or clinical practice degree programs.
  • Any degree programs that require an extended internship following the research degree.

Research Area

NCI supports all areas of cancer research.

  • No area of research is given preference.
  • The K00 phase MUST be cancer-focused.
  • The F99 dissertation research must be in a biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research area that prepares you for a future career in cancer research.
  • An applicant may be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States, have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status), or be a non-U.S. citizen with a valid U.S. visa. 
  • Projects proposing clinical trials work will not be accepted.
  • The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree and be currently enrolled as a graduate student in the third or fourth year of a mentored PhD or equivalent research degree program (e.g., DrPH, ScD) in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences at a domestic institution.
    • F99 eligibility is determined from the date of enrollment as a graduate student at the PhD institution and includes the time spent to earn a MS degree
    • The applicant must be at the dissertation research stage of training at the time of award


  • There is no citizenship requirement; you may be a US citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid US visa.
  • The Nomination Letter for an applicant holding a US Visa must provide assurance that the candidate’s visa provides sufficient time to complete the F99 phase of the award at a US institution and that there are no known obstacles (e.g., home country requirement) to the candidate obtaining a visa at the time of the K00 transition.

Additional Information on Eligibility - RFA, Section III. 3

This section is copied from the National Cancer Institute website. 


Please fill out the Google form to submit a formal nomination. 

There is no limit for nominees a department may put forward. Please include the following:

  1. Letter of nomination from the PI, Chair, or program director
  2. Nominee statement.
    • The statement should be no longer than 2 pages, single-spaced, 11 pt. font, 1-inch margins.  References may be added on a separate page.
      • Please include the following:
        • (1 paragraph) Why are you interested in this program? How will this opportunity further your career goals?
        • (3 paragraphs, figures may be included) Provide a brief summary of the research plans for the future (postdoctoral) research, including a description of the synergy between your graduate and postdoctoral projects. 
        • (1 paragraph) Address the broader impacts of your research project in terms of:
          • the medical and scientific communities
          • society as a whole
  3. CV of the nominee.


  • Internal Graduate Division Deadline: October 26, 2021
  • Results Announced: November 2, 2021
  • Agency Deadline: November 18, 2021 at 5 p.m.

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