Principal Investigators Association

From K to R: How the NIH Review Criteria Can Help Shape Your Career in the Long Run

From the K Award to the R Grant: How the NIH Judges Your Potential for Independence

Transitioning from a Mentored Career Award to Independent Investigator—Considering NIH Review Criteria

Webinar Title: From K to R: How the NIH Review Criteria Can Help Shape Your Career in the Long Run
Presenter: Christopher Dant, PhD
Webinar Format:

Available in CD-Rom, MP4 and PDF Transcript
All formats include the PDF presentation handouts.

Length: 90 minutes
Early-stage and New Investigators often start their research careers applying for a mentored NIH Career (K) Award. While writing the K award has NIH-defined criteria, investigators don’t often think long term about their career direction and what they should be considering in their research. The transition from a mentored career to independent investigator can best be illustrated by the review criteria by which the NIH judges the K award and then the R grant. In these criteria are several keys to success to reaching independence and how investigators should think about their research.
During this career-oriented webinar, you will look at the key review criteria that NIH uses to judge a K award and tie them to the K application, which is then tied to the R grant and a different set of review criteria. Understanding each of these will provide early investigators with tools to not only writing their K and R grants but more importantly, how they should be thinking about their careers long term.

5 Key Take-Aways:

  • A clear understanding of how PIs transition
    from mentored careers to independent
  • How the NIH judges whether a candidate
    has the potential for independence.
  • How the transition from mentored work to
    independence should happen.
  • What are the most important criteria you
    should consider before you write the
    K award.
  • Where the NIH looks to find evidence of
    your potential for independence.

Who Should Attend:

  • Any new and early-stage investigator who is considering a mentored career award from the NIH.








Christopher Dant

Christopher Dant is a faculty instructor at Dartmouth Medical School. His PhD work was concentrated in cellular and molecular biology. Early in his postgraduate career, he apprenticed with a Senior Editor at JAMA, and went on to work as a biomedical writer for life sciences investigators in academia, private industry, and government agencies. Before coming to Dartmouth, Dr. Dant was a Projects Director at the Stanford Medical School for grants and manuscripts and served as the Director of Medical Publications at Genentech in California. At Dartmouth, he works with investigators in developing grant proposals and programmatic initiatives, and educates faculty in grant and manuscript writing skills. He has worked through investigators at the NIH, NSF, NASA, DOE, and other federal agencies.


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This Webinar presentation is brought to you as a training tool by the Principal Investigators Association, which is an independent organization. The presentation, tools presented and their contents are not connected with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nor are they endorsed by this agency. All views expressed are those personally held by the presenter and are not official government policies or opinions.



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