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Advantages of K23 Awards Vs. R-Type Mechanisms

Posted on July 30, 2014

Kristina Deligiannidis (bio) explains the goals of each grant and what makes them unique.


So the K23 has been an amazing award. This award really allows me to gain the knowledge I need to become a fully independent investigator. It allows me the time that I need to train and really acquire the knowledge to fill in precise vacuums or deficits in my learning, of my knowledge base, to do the research that I have set for a plan for the future. And so I'm allowed to take courses, spend time with key mentors at the NIH. Also, gain additional skills in behavioral endocrinology, neuroimaging, biostatistics, and also that it's a career development — it's a mentored grant that I have a team of NIH-funded or intramurally based researchers, senior researchers, to provide me that monthly mentorship so that this project is successful and that by the end of the five-year grant, I have acquired all of the skills necessary in conducting a clinical, translational clinical study and being able to analyze the data, interpret the data, and publish the data. And then bring the research forward to asking the next scientific question to bring the research further.

That is very different than an R-type mechanism where there's a scientific question, there's a study, and you execute the study. But what is unique is the protected time, the salary support to protect your time to do the research, and the training piece is really — I believe that the award is meant to invest in a particular individual to pursue and complete a particular line of research that is in accordance with the agenda and strategic plan at the NIMH.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2014 Career Development Institute for Psychiatry in Pittsburgh, PA.


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