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January 1998

Not-So-Special K's: Let's Limit K-05 Awards

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55(1):15-16. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.55.1.15

IN THEIR passionate editorial, Holzman et al1 argue strongly against the recent policy change at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Rockville, Md, to limit K-05 awards to a single 5-year nonrenewable period. Before debating the validity of their arguments and the merits of the new policy, let's state the new policy explicitly: 5 years of career support is available through an entry-level K award (K-01 or K-08), 10 years of support is available through the midlevel award (K-02), and 5 years of support is available through the K-05. That's 20 years of support. By contrast, virtually all other institutes at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, have had a long-standing policy of entry-level career awards that offer only 5 years of support—period—after which time funding must be obtained through conventional research grants.