I didn't immediately find the 4-year death-clock on the K99/R00 grant. I just want to know, is that the only major NIH activity code that restricts eligibility based on time since graduation?

I realize that individual institutes vary a lot in their policies, but I'm trying to get at least a rough idea of which activity codes to filter out before I go through in more detail through the RFAs that remain.


The rules seems to be institute and FOA dependent. There are definitely other FOAs that have timelimits. The one I am most familiar with is the NIDCD Early Career Research (ECR) Award (R21) which has a 7 year time limit from graduation. The NIDCD K22 only allows 2 years of research experience (which is not quite a graduation based time limit).

The NIH also gives preference to Early Stage Investigators for some grants which has a 10 year time limit. That page lists a number of early stage grants which may have time limits. You could also look at the NIH Research and Career Development pages for individual FOAs. Finally, the individual institutes that are relevant to your field probably have the most detailed information.


I'm not sure about the rules on how long since graduating NIH grants begin to be restricted, but there is a general rule that the NIH will only fund postdocs for 5 years total--so if you have already received 5 years funding as a postdoc trainee, you are likely to be excluded from more. I think it depends on the particular grant though.

  • Some documentation on this would be helpful. I am pretty sure the limit is only on NRSA funding and not R01 based funding. – StrongBad Apr 7 '16 at 23:14

There is one additional example I am aware of, which is institute-dependent: the standard NRSA F32 award is often issued for "3 years minus any time that the fellow has already spent in the sponsor's laboratory at the time of the award." (At least at NIGMS: https://www.nigms.nih.gov/training/indivpostdoc/Pages/PostdocFellowshipDescription.aspx)

  • That is not a time limit from graduation, but rather a time limit from joining a lab. – StrongBad Sep 6 '16 at 15:48

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