The Graduate College at the University of Illinois

Fellowship Finder

NIH National Cancer Institute - Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00)

Deadline: Anticipated 10/2021 ( Previous deadline 10/1/2020 )

NCI has a national deadline of November 18, 2020 for full applications from institutional nominees, and each institution will have its own internal deadline for selecting their nominee.  Students should contact their university's graduate school for details on internal deadlines.  

For the University of Illinois, the following deadlines apply: 



The National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health offers the Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award (F99/K00) to help outstanding graduate students pursue careers as independent cancer researchers. The award will facilitate the transition of talented graduate students into successful cancer research postdoctoral appointments and provide opportunities for career development activities relevant to their long-term goals of becoming independent cancer researchers. 

The F99/K00 award provides up to 6 years of support in two phases.  The initial (K99) phase will provide support for 1-2 years of dissertation research (final experiments, dissertation preparation, and selection of postdoctoral mentor).  The transition (K00) phase will provide up to 4 years of mentored postdoctoral research career development support, contingent upon successful completion of the doctoral degree requirements and on securing a postdoctoral position for further research training and career development leading to research independence.  The two award phases are intended to be continuous in time. 

This is a limited submission competition, which means that students do not apply directly to NCI.  Instead, universities conduct internal competitions, and each university may submit one nomination to NCI for consideration in the national competition. 


Award Amount



UIUC Awardee!


Students must apply through their departments, and each department may submit one nomination for consideration in the campus-wide competition.

Applicants and their recommenders should each submit their respective materials to the department's contact person (check with the Director of Graduate Studies to ascertain the appropriate contact person and the department's internal deadline).  The department must then scan materials into a single pdf file, and the file should be named as follows: LastName, FirstName - DeptAbbreviation - NCI2021 (for example: Smith, Jane - Chem - NCI2021).  The pdf should then be uploaded through this online Box folder.  

The pdf must contain the following documents, arranged in the following order:

1. Nomination Form (completed by the department).
2. Student's CV.
3. Statement of Training Goals and Objectives. 
This statement must be one page max, single-spaced, in Times New Roman, with 12 point font and one-inch margins.  In this statement, describe the long-term career goal and explain how the F99/K00 will enable attainment of that goal.  For each phase, describe how the proposed research training and career development plan will enhance the applicant's knowledge, technical expertise, and professional skills, keeping in mind existing strengths as well as any gaps in existing skills.  If the K00 research direction proposed will be markedly different from the F99 research area, describe efforts and/or plans during the F99 phase that will provide preparation for the K00 research.  Include a strategy for identifying a K00 mentor.
4.  Research Statement.  This statement must be six pages max, single-spaced, in Times New Roman, with 12 point font and one-inch margins.  
          The statement must be structured as follows:
           I.  Dissertation Research:
                  A. Introduction. Summarize the research to be completed in the F99 phase.  Clarify
                       the project's central research question, hypothesis, or engineering goal.
                  B. Significance. Explain the project's background and its potential impact on
                       the dissertation research field.
                  C. Approach. This should be organized in two sections:
                               1.  Current Status. Present a progress report on the dissertation research
                                    project thus far, including the approaches used, outcomes obtained,
                                    and important methodologies learned.
                               2. Proposed Research.  Present a detailed research proposal for the work
                                    to be completed in the F99 phase, including experimental design, 
                                   anticipated results, potential problems, alternative strategies, and 
                                   potential follow-up studies.
          II.  Postdoctoral Research:
                   A. Introduction. Identify the research direction to be pursued for the K00 phase.
                   B. Significance. Explain the significance of the K00 research direction.  Describe a
                        specific scientific question or observation that will be investigated. Explain how 
                       this question or observation is related to the applicant’s research interests and 
                       how this work will help advance this research direction.
                   C. Approach. Provide a general description of how the research will be
                       conducted, including approaches and methodologies to be used, anticipated
                       results, challenges that might arise and how to address them.
5. Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from the student's advisor.

A panel convened by the Graduate College will review nominations and select the finalist to represent the university in the national competition.  The Graduate College will notify NCI of the selection no later than October 18, then NCI will invite the finalist to prepare and submit a full application.  AT THAT POINT, THE FINALIST WILL HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER 18, 2020 TO PREPARE A FULL APPLICATION.  NOTE THAT THE FULL F99/K00 APPLICATION IS EXTENSIVE (COMPARABLE TO AN NIH-NRSA APPLICATION) AND WILL REQUIRE A SIGNIFICANT TIME COMMITMENT BY THE APPLICANT AND THE APPLICANT'S ADVISOR.  STUDENTS UNABLE TO PREPARE A FULL APPLICATION IN THIS LIMITED TIME FRAME SHOULD NOT APPLY FOR THE CAMPUS COMPETITION.  VISIT THE  F99/K00 PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT AND THE WEBINAR SLIDES (see links at the bottom of this page) FOR GUIDELINES ON THE FULL APPLICATION.   

UIUC Contact:
Ken Vickery, PhD
Director of Fellowships
Graduate College

NCI Contact:
Mariam Eljanne, PhD
Program Director
NIH NCI Center for Cancer Training

Program Announcement:
Slides from 8/11/20 NCI Webinar:


Categories: Annual stipend of at least $10,000; Sciences/Engineering/Math; US Citizens, Nationals, or Permanent Residents; International Students; Dissertation Research; Dissertation Write-Up; Postdoctoral/Post-graduate; Fellowship/Grant; Unrestricted

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