Request for Applications: Nominations for F99/K00 Award for Training Predoctoral/Postdoctoral Transitions

The National Cancer Institute will be announcing a Request for Applications for the Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition (F99/K00) Award for 2021, to support outstanding PhD candidates as they complete their dissertation research training (F99 phase; 1-2 years) and transition to a mentored, cancer-focused postdoctoral career development research positions (K00 phase – up to 4 years). The F99/K00 award is open to 3rd or 4th year PhD students, including F31 Fellowship applicants and current awardees (note that 3rd or 4th year students would have matriculated in 2018 or 2019). International students may also apply. Students Matriculated in a dual-degree program (e.g.) MD/PhD, DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, or DVM/PhD) are not eligible for the F99/K00 program. Projects must be clearly focused on cancer.

To apply for this award, an applicant must be nominated by their institution. As each institution is allocated only one nomination, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) requires potential applicants to assemble a pre-application, which shall include the following documents: 

  • PI’s (i.e. student’s) NIH biosketch on trainee biosketch form: (Fellowship Only),
  • Mentor’s biosketch
  • A Specific Aims Page structured to address the unique research strategy outlined for the F99/K00. A maximum of 1 page should address the following prompts:
    • Background (1/4 page)
    • Aim 1: The Dissertation Research Project–goals, rationale, hypotheses, approaches, and progress thus far.  (~1/2 page)
    • Aim 2: The Dissertation Research Project–work to be completed to finish the PhD (~1/2 page)
    • Aim 3: The Postdoctoral Research Direction (~1/4 page). 
      • Aim 3 should address: (1) A plan describing the nature of the supervision and mentoring that will occur during the proposed K00 award period, including the candidate’s goals for post-doctoral training and how candidate’s scientific and professional career development will be promoted.  (2) A description of the elements of the planned research training and career development, including any formal course-work that would occur during the post-doc.
    • A statement of goals for the postdoctoral position and ultimate career goals. Maximum 1 page.
    • The nominated individual must also agree to work with Case CCC administration in the development and submission of their proposal.

Send application materials to Damian Junk at


  • Open to 3rd or 4th year PhD students, including F31 Fellowship applicants and current awardees (3rd or 4th-year students would have matriculated in 2015 or 2016).
  • International students may apply.
  • Students in a dual-degree program (e.g. MD/ PhD , DO/ PhD , DDS/ PhD , or DVM/ PhD ) are not eligible.


Internal Competition Deadline: Sunday, September 12, 2021 by midnight.
Anticipated Deadline for NIH Letter of Intent (submitted by institution): November 4, 2021
Anticipated Deadline for Proposal Submission to NIH: December 4, 2021

Related Information

The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) [Overview]
The NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00)(RFA-CA-19-057)


Contact Damian Junk (216.368.3803 or with any questions. 

Keys for Successful F99/K00 Application

The most important attributes or a successful proposal

  • Outstanding candidate, strong record of publications (1st author by time of review) and support letters
  • Outstanding and detailed development plan
  • Smart and multidisciplinary approach

Other important attributes

  • Proposal expands applicant's current repertoire in skills/tools as well as concepts
  • Proposal builds on current project as a basis, not merely continues it
  • Proposal expands translational aspects 
  • Proposal identifies sources and collaborators for K00 phase
  • Proposal has current sponsor's 'blessing' to taking away seed project
  • Proposal has strong career development component (strong mentoring team with expertise in multiple relevant areas including clinical mentorship) 
  • Training plan must be very thoughtful and very detailed

Important things to avoid

  • Applicant is already too long in school
  • Applicant does not have good publication record
  • Descriptive science (e.g. aim to "survey", "characterize")
  • Boring science (e.g. examine more p53 mutations)
  • Poor choice of model systems
  • Insufficient mentor funding for F99 phase