Basic Eligibility Criteria
You must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for consideration under an Extramural Loan Repayment Program:
US Citizenship or Permanent Residency
Be a U.S. citizen, a non-national
citizen of the U.S., or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence. The NIH
must confirm citizenship status in order to process applications to the LRP, and
requires that applicants provide documented evidence of their citizenship status
when applying. When you apply, you will be required to complete a form to verify your
citizenship status and you will be required to send, via facsimile to 866-849-4046,
a copy of the document(s) (i.e., U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization,
INS form I-151 or I-551, etc.) that you are using to establish your citizenship
status. The verification of citizenship form, and the source document(s), must
be received and approved by the NIH before any funds can be awarded under the LRP.
Doctoral Level Educational Degree
Applicants must have an M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M.,
or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution.
Non-Profit or Government Research Funding and 50% Commitment to Research
Applicants must be supported by a domestic nonprofit institution, or U.S. Government entity
(Federal, state, or local) and commit 50 percent or more of their total level of effort for a
two-year consecutive period. Participants must conduct qualifying research for an average
of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period. An institution
is considered to be nonprofit if exempt from taxation under 26 USC 501.
Educational Debt Equal To or Greater Than 20% of Base Salary
Have total qualifying educational loan debt that equals or exceeds 20 percent of the applicant's
institutional base salary,
as applicable, on the expected
program eligibility date.
Institutional base salary is the annual amount that the organization pays for the
applicant's appointment, whether the time is spent in research, teaching, patient care,
or other activities. Institutional base salary excludes any income that the applicant may
earn outside the duties of the organization
(Click here for more detailed information on salary and compensation).
Institutional base salary may not include or be comprised of any income (salary or wages)
earned as a Federal employee.
Institutional Assurance of Support
The applicant's funding institution must provide assurance to the NIH that (a) the institution is
a domestic non-profit entity, (b) the applicant will be provided research support for two
years, and (c) the applicant will engage in qualified research for 50 percent or more of
their total level of effort for an average of at least 20 hours per week during each
quarterly service period. The institution also certifies the applicant's
institutional base salary.
The applicant and the institution must assure research support for 2 years from when the LRP contract is awarded.
Research Must Comply With Federal regulations
agree to conduct research for which funding is not prohibited by Federal law, regulation
or DHHS/NIH policy. Recipients of LRP awards must conduct their research in accordance
with applicable Federal, state and local law (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations).
One LRP Application Accepted Per Application Cycle
No individual may
submit more than one LRP application to the NIH in any fiscal year. Individuals who have applied
previously for the NIH Loan Repayment Program but did not receive an award are eligible to submit
a new application if they meet the above eligibility criteria.
- New versus Renewal
You should apply for a New LRP contract if:
- You are applying to the NIH LRP for the first time
- You have applied before but were not awarded the NIH LRP
- You are applying under a different LRP than the one you may have received in the past. Examples:
- You received benefits under the Extramural Clinical Research LRP but you plan to apply under the
Extramural Pediatric Research LRP, or
- You worked for NIH and received benefits under the Intramural Program. You are no
longer working at NIH but continue to pursue qualifying research outside of NIH, you would
apply as an Extramural New applicant.
- It has been more than 5 years since your prior contract ended
- You had a prior new LRP contract that was terminated during its first year
You should apply for a Renewal LRP contract if:
- You received a prior LRP award within the last 5 years and you are applying under the
same LRP program. For example: you received an award under the Extramural Clinical
Research LRP and are again applying under the Extramural Clinical Research LRP
- Your LRP contract was terminated after the first year, however, significant progress was
made in your research (please contact the Help Line for more information)
Deferral of National Research Service Award (NRSA) Service Obligation
A recipient of postdoctoral National Research Service Award support from an individual postdoctoral
fellowship (F32) or an institutional research training grant (T32) will not be eligible for loan
repayment during the second year of NRSA support without a formal deferral of the NRSA service repayment.
Normally, the second year of postdoctoral NRSA support involves repayment of the service obligation
incurred during the first year of NRSA support
Because concurrent repayment of service obligations is prohibited, it will only
be permissible to participate in the LRP by first satisfying the NRSA service obligation by
completing the second year of NRSA support or by requesting a deferral of the NRSA
service repayment. LRP recipients with NRSA obligations will be notified regarding their options and appropriate
procedures for seeking a deferral of their obligation.
(Note: First year NRSA recipients are eligible to apply for and receive NIH loan
repayment. Second year recipients can apply to participant in the NIH loan repayment
programs but can only receive loan repayment during the second year if an extension of time is obtained
to satisfy the NRSA service obligation. LRP payments are NOT retroactive. Loan repayment will commence after a loan repayment contract has been executed.)
For more information on terms and conditions for specific types of grants, grantees, and
activities, see Subpart B, Part II of the NIH Grants Policy Statement
- Full-time Employees of the US Government Are Ineligible
Full-time employees of Federal government agencies are ineligible to apply for LRP benefits.
Part-time Federal employees who engage in qualifying research supported by a domestic
nonprofit institution, as part of their non-Federal duties, for an outside entity for at
least 20 hours per week are eligible to apply for loan repayment if they meet all other
Service Obligations, Federal Liens/Judgements
Applicants with existing service obligations to Federal, State, or other entities will
not be considered for Loan Repayment support unless and until the existing service
obligation is discharged or deferred for the length of LRP participation (NRSA Recipients
should refer to item 9 in this section). Further, individuals who have or had a Federal judgement
lien against their property arising from a Federal debt are barred from receiving an NIH LRP contract even if the judgement is paid in full or satisfied.
Applicants will not be excluded from consideration
under the NIH loan repayment programs on the basis of age, race, culture, religion, gender,
sexual orientation, disability, or other non-merit factors.
Supplemental Eligibility Requirements - Clinical Research LRP for Individuals
from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
Applicants for the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds must satisfy
all of the Basic Eligibility Requirements identified above with the following difference:
Applicants to the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
must demonstrate that they are from a disadvantaged background. An individual from a
disadvantaged background is one who comes from a family with an annual income below a level
based on low-income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of the
Census, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary
for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels in the
Applicants under the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds must demonstrate
their disadvantaged status under the above definition by submitting (1) a written statement from the
individual's former health professions school(s) that he/she qualified for Federal disadvantaged
assistance during attendance; OR (2) documentation that he/she has received any of the following student
loans: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) and Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program; OR (3) individuals
who received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Scholarship for Individuals
with Exceptional Financial Need.
Supplemental Eligibility Requirements - Contraception and Infertility Research LRP
Applicants for the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP must satisfy all of the
Basic Eligibility Requirements identified above with the following difference: Applicants
must be a qualified health and/or allied health professional including, but not limited to,
physicians, Ph.D. level scientists, nurses and physician assistants, as well as graduate
students and postgraduate research fellows training in the health professions.
Click here for more information on the Eligibility Requirements for the Contraception and Infertility Research Loan Repayment Program.
The following individuals are not eligible for participation in the extramural LRPs:
- Persons who are not U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.
- Any individual who has a federal judgment lien against his/her property arising from a federal debt is barred from receiving federal funds even if the judgment is paid in full or satisfied.
- Any individual who owes an obligation of health professional service to the federal government, a state, or other entity, unless deferrals or extensions are granted for the length of their Extramural LRP service obligation. The following are examples of programs with service obligations that disqualify an applicant from consideration, unless a deferral for the length of participation in the LRP is obtained:
Individuals who are employed by the federal government with work schedules of more than 20 hours per week (5/8ths time or more).
- Armed Forces (Army, Navy, or Air Force) Professions Scholarship Program
- Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) Scholarship Program
- Financial Assistance for Disadvantaged Health Professions Students (FADHPS
- Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship Program
- National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program
- National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
- Physicians Shortage Area Scholarship Program
- Primary Care Loan (PCL) Program
- Public Health Service (PHS) Scholarship Program
- Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Program
Individuals who derive any income from any for-profit source or from a private practice.
Current recipients of an NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) or Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA).
Individuals conducting research for which funding is precluded by federal law, regulations or HHS/NIH policy, or that does not comply with applicable federal, state, and local law regarding the conduct of the research (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations).
Individuals with ineligible loans, which include loans that have been consolidated with a loan of another individual (including spouses or children), or loans that are not educational, such as home equity loans.
Individuals who breached a prior LRP contract.
Individuals whose prior LRP contract had been overpaid, were required to remit funds to NIH to resolve the overpayment, but still owe these funds.
Individuals who terminated a prior LRP contract that would have ended after the starting date of the contracts in the current application cycle.
Date Last Updated: July 8, 2015