Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) (K99/R00 and UE5)

The Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program is part of NIH’s efforts to enhance diversity within the academic biomedical research workforce, and is designed to facilitate the transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds, for example individuals from groups underrepresented in the biomedical research workforce at the faculty level, into independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions. The program has two components: an institutionally-focused research education cooperative agreement (UE5) and an individual postdoctoral career transition award (K99/R00) to enhance diversity. The objective of the MOSAIC Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00) is to enhance workforce diversity by facilitating a timely transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds (e.g., see Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity) from their mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions.

MOSAIC Institutionally-Focused Research Education Award (UE5)

MOSAIC UE5 Funding Opportunity Announcement, PAR-21-277

The MOSAIC UE5 program supports awards to independent organizations (e.g., scientific societies). MOSAIC UE5 awardees will support educational activities that equip MOSAIC K99/R00 scholars with professional skills and provide them with the appropriate mentoring and professional networks to allow them to transition into, advance, and succeed in independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions. MOSAIC UE5 awardees will:

  • Develop cohorts of MOSAIC K99/R00 scholars based on scientific areas;
  • Provide opportunities for MOSAIC scholars to engage in career development activities that will foster their progression to and success in independent academic research careers (e.g. courses for skills development);
  • Enhance the scientific and professional networks of MOSAIC scholars beyond their local institutions;
  • Identify and connect scholars with additional mentors who can facilitate appropriate career advancement;
  • Organize regular meetings that provide appropriate leaders at the institutions where MOSAIC scholars conduct research (e.g., postdoctoral research advisors or postdoctoral affairs deans during the mentored research phase; department chairs, deans, or provosts during the independent phase) a forum to exchange ideas, and share evidence-informed approaches to improve mentoring relationships, promote inclusion and equity in the biomedical research enterprise, and enhance diversity;
  • Enhance institutional accountability for the scholars' career advancement; and
  • Track and publicize outcomes (e.g., publicly available websites).

Current MOSAIC UE5 Awardees are The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), and The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Awardee organizations must provide career development and mentoring activities aligned with and appropriate for the disciplinary backgrounds of scholars supported through the MOSAIC K99/R00 program. Areas of programmatic need will be indicated through Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) released annually by NIH. Applications that do not address the program areas of need specified in the NOSI will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

The NOSI for the November 2021 receipt date is NOT-GM-21-051.

MOSAIC Postdoctoral Career Transition Award to Promote Diversity (K99/R00)

MOSAIC K99/R00 Funding Opportunity Announcements

The MOSAIC K99/R00 program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of promising postdoctoral researchers from diverse backgrounds (e.g., see NIH’s Interest in Diversity) from their mentored, postdoctoral research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent research-intensive faculty positions. The MOSAIC K99/R00 program will provide independent NIH research support before and after this transition to help awardees launch successful, independent research careers. Additionally, MOSAIC K99/R00 scholars will be part of organized scientific cohorts and will be expected to participate in mentoring, networking, and professional development activities coordinated by MOSAIC Institutionally-Focused Research Education Award to Promote Diversity (UE5) grantees.

MOSAIC K99/R00 Program Goals and Considerations

The MOSAIC K99/R00 program is intended to foster the development of creative, innovative, independent researchers who will be competitive for subsequent independent biomedical research funding, and who will enhance diversity in the biomedical research workforce. Additionally, it is widely recognized that scientists from underrepresented groups often assume disproportionate academic service and outreach loads, even during their training, and that these contributions to the research environment are generally not appropriately recognized and rewarded in the measures of career advancement (i.e., "the diversity tax"). The MOSAIC K99/R00 program seeks to support early career scientists with demonstrated and compelling commitments and contributions to enhancing diversity in the biomedical sciences..

Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. The K99 is not intended to extend time in the postdoctoral lab while an individual is on the job market. If an applicant achieves independence (any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99, nor the R00 award, will be made.

The K99/R00 award will provide up to 5 years of support in two phases. The initial (K99) phase will provide support for up to 2 years of mentored postdoctoral career development. The second (R00) phase will provide up to 3 years of independent research support, which is contingent on satisfactory progress during the K99 phase and an approved, independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty position. The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time. Although exceptions may be possible in limited circumstances, R00 awards will generally only be made to those K99 PDs/PIs who accept independent, tenure-track (or equivalent) faculty positions by the end of the K99 award period.

Applicants must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience at the time of the initial or the subsequent Resubmission application. Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply no later than the third year of their postdoctoral training to ensure awardees receive maximum benefit from both the K99 phase of the award, and to facilitate a timely transition to independence. Because the program aims to support the career development of scholars early in their postdoctoral training, candidates who have not yet published a first-author manuscript during their postdoctoral training, but whose previous and current studies and future plans are likely to support a successful independent research career are encouraged to apply.

The K99/R00 award is intended for individuals who require at least 12 months of mentored career development (K99 phase) before transitioning to the R00 award phase of the program. Consequently, the strongest applicants will require and propose a well-conceived plan for 1–2 years of substantive mentored career development that will help them become competitive candidates for tenure-track faculty positions and prepare them to launch robust, independent research programs. An individual who cannot provide a compelling rationale for at least one year of additional mentored career development at the time of award is not a strong candidate for this award. If an applicant achieves independence (any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99, nor the R00 award, will be made.

MOSAIC K99/R00 Applicant Eligibility

Candidates for the K99/R00 award must have a clinical or research doctorate (including PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DMD, DVM, ScD, DNS, PharmD or equivalent doctoral degrees). Clinicians (including those with MD, DDS, DVM and other licensed health professionals) in a clinical faculty position that denotes independence in clinical responsibilities but not in research may also be eligible for the K99/R00 award.

By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or 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). K99/R00 applicants must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research experience as of the relevant application due date regardless of whether it is a New or Resubmission application. Individuals must be in mentored, postdoctoral training positions to be eligible to apply to the K99/R00 program. If an applicant achieves independence (i.e., any faculty or non-mentored research position) before a K99 award is made, neither the K99 award, nor the R00 award, will be issued.

Consistent with the NIH Extension Policy for Early Stage Investigator Status (ESI), NIH will approve an extension of one year for childbirth within the 4-year K99 eligibility window. Applicants who will be PD/PIs on a K99 application must provide the child's date of birth in the extension request justification submitted to IC program officials and/or scientific/research contacts listed in the FOA at least 12 weeks before submitting an application.

Parental, medical, or other well-justified leave for personal or family situations is not included in the 4-year eligibility limit, nor is clinical training with no research involvement (e.g., full-time residency training). Part-time postdoctoral research training, related to personal or family situations or occurring during a research residency or fellowship, will be pro-rated accordingly. In addition, time spent conducting postgraduate clinical training that does not involve research is not considered as part of the 4-year research training eligibility limit. Only time dedicated to research activities counts toward the 4-year limit. Please refer to the NIH Extension Policy for Eligibility Window for Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00).

For more information about the MOSAIC UE5 and K99/R00 Programs, please read the FOAs, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and contact Dr. Kenneth Gibbs.