>I got an email from a fellow newbie PI asking a good question. I know it is good because I once had the same question and no one seemed to have any information. Here goes:
"I am starting my second year of a K99/R00 this summer at OHSU and have a job offer from a R1, large state university on the East Coast. I realize that you are busy with your own work and transition and life, but was hoping that you could share with me your experience and/or tips on the negotiations and transition between the two phases of the K99/R00. My NIH PO is about as communicative as a sea anemone, my mentors are as helpful as they can be having no expertise with the K99 and I don't know of any other awardees."
I have found that even though K99 awards have been around a while, there haven't been that many that have transitioned to the R00 phase. You can always to to the RePorter to find the folks that have them, which is probably a good idea. I was lucky that my PO is actually pretty awesome and not at all anemone-like. Anywho, this is how my transition (in progress) has gone so far (DISCLAIMER: I'm sure this is different for every institute, etc., I don't work at NIH blah blah, grain of salt, I'm not responsible for lost or stolen items and all that, my experience is n=1 and may not be representative).
I started my transition process by calling my PO after I was starting to get offers. When I had decided where I was going to land, I talk to PO about the offer to make sure it didn't set off any red flags. In the end, the NIH can decline to transition if they feel like you are getting screwed by your new Dept. chair. Apparently it happens, not a problem for me. So, about 3 months before I wanted to start the R00 phase I sent in my packet. Basically, this included a final research progress report from the mentored phase, a final letter of evaluation from the mentor and a description of the R00 phase research plan (NOTE: I basically cut-and-paste this from my original application, based on advice from my PO). The important parts were a letter from my new chair that verified I had been offered and accepted an independent, tenure-track position and demonstrated an institutional commitment to helping my career advancement. This letter was REALLY important (I was led to believe) and it had to document that there was adequate space and resources, minimum 75% protected research time, that the R00 funds were not being used to offset a typical start up, and that the appointment was not contingent on the R00 being activated.
There is some information in Section 4 “Activating the Independent Phase of the Pathway to Independence Award”that is also useful. I think these are the official rules. Just like the original writing, this took me longer than expected. In part because I kept having to find information from a place that I wasn't that familiar with.
If you are not going to wait for your K99 phase to end before transitioning it is even more important that you coordinate with your PO to make sure they have money in the correct fiscal year for you. You will have to submit this entire package through your new Grants office. I had to jump through some extra hoops since they hadn't done this before and also no one is familiar with you yet. Give yourself some extra time though, as PhysioProf noted in earlier comments, if the timeline gets tight the Grants office should be able to get it done. It is overhead for them, after all.
One final thing (if you aren't done negotiating): I know someone that got their new Dept. to NOT take overhead from the R00 (you get total 249K, not 249+indirect!). Especially in some places with >80% F&A that is HUGE.