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Home > FAQs > NRSA Information

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Obtaining a Deferral of the NRSA Service Obligation

Postdoctoral investigators funded by Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships and training grants can apply for and receive LRP awards but may have to defer their NRSA service payback until the completion of the LRP.

Recipients of postdoctoral NRSA support for individual fellowships (F32 or F33) or institutional research training grants (T32) incur a service obligation in the first year of their fellowship which is then repaid in the second year. Since the LRPs require a service obligation during the entire period of participation, individuals cannot satisfy two service obligations concurrently.

What must you do to resolve the overlapping service obligations?

LRP awardees with an unfulfilled NRSA service obligation should send a written request to defer their NRSA service obligation and will receive uninterrupted LRP payments in their second NRSA year. Guidance on how to defer the NRSA service obligation will be provided with your LRP award notice.

This request to defer your NRSA service obligation will not reduce your NRSA funding

The request to defer the time to satisfy the NRSA service obligation will not impact the funds you receive from either NRSA or LRP. The only impact the deferral will have is to delay the satisfaction of the NRSA service obligation (which is normally fulfilled during the second year of the NRSA). Once the LRP is completed, you are responsible for immediately initiating NRSA service repayment, requesting another extension of time to begin your service, or undertaking financial payback as required by your NRSA agreement.

For additional information regarding the completion of this form please contact the NRSA Payback Service Center at: 1-866-298-9371 or via e-mail at

Date Last Updated: October 22, 2012

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