Career "K" Award Guidance Including Salary Supplementation and Compensation

The NIH issued NOT-OD-17-094 to provide guidance and updates on salary supplementation and compensation for recipients of Career (“K”) Awards. Salary supplementation refers to the effort committed to the K Award whereas salary compensation refers to effort not committed to the K Award. Salary supplementation for the effort directly committed can be provided by the recipient institutions of the K Award to be consistent with the institutions salary scale. However, this can only be supported by non-federal funds and not require extra duties or responsibilities that interfere with the goals of the K Award. Compensation can be provided for the effort not directly committed to the K Award from both federal and non-federal sources. It may only be received for work that does not support the aims of the K Award and can support any role (e.g., PD/PI, co-investigator, etc.).

K Awards allow for changes in effort during the last two years of the K award. Effort may never be reduced below 50% on the K Award. The two circumstances may include:

  1. Where a mentored K awardee competes for a NIH/federal award or is named as Project Lead on another Principal Investigator’s federal award (whether related or unrelated to the aims of the K Award), they can reduce effort on the K (no lower than 50%) to work on the new award/project. This is concurrent support and applies to the following mentored K Awards: K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, and K25 as well as individuals mentored through institutional K12 or KL2 awards (see NOT-OD-08-065 or NIH GPS 12.3.6.2).
  2. Where the K awardee competes for a federal award that is unrelated to the K Award, they can combine both effort not committed to the K Award with the effort committed to the K Award.

These situations must be discussed with NIH Program Officer over the specific K Award to discuss using any of these options to determine if there is scientific overlap.

Look for more information on this topic from the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) in early 2018.  If you have questions about a K Award, contact OSR or CGA Compliance.