GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A statement of a loan account provided by the lender or servicing agent for the loan.
This document details the current loan balance, interest charges, and other information,
including an account number and payment address. NIH requires this statement for all eligible
student loans before issuing an LRP contract. NIH accepts an account statement received through
the U.S. Mail or a statement printed from a lender or servicing agent's website.
Interest (not penalties) accumulated and due on loans. Accrued interest is considered
part of qualified student debt and is eligible to be repaid by NIH. If your loan is in
repayment status, accrued interest is the amount of interest accumulated since your last
payment. If your loan is not in repayment status, accrued interest is the amount accumulated
since the original disbursement of the loan (or since the beginning of a grace period,
deferment, or forbearance).
ALP (Alternative Loan Program)
Low-interest student loans backed by TERI, The Education Resources Institute, a nonprofit
organization that sponsors loans for both graduate and undergraduate
students. TERI — also called ALP (Alternative Loan Program) — loans are qualified for NIH loan repayment. Please see TERI loans.
Assessment of Research Activities
Please see research supervisor.
A Biosketch is your curriculum vitae presented in a specified NIH format. Your CV is not
acceptable where a Biosketch is requested. The NIH Biosketch form is available online as a
fill-in PDF file or
You will upload the form through your online application
Breach of Contract
LRP participants breach, or violate, their legally binding contract with NIH by leaving
their research before the end of their two- or three-year research commitment without
NIH approval. See service obligation.
Capitalization (capitalized interest)
Unpaid interest added to the principal balance of a loan when a loan enters repayment
(e.g., after periods of school, deferment, or forbearance). This results in an increase in
the size of the loan, and interest is charged on the new balance. Capitalized interest should
not be reported to LRP combined with accrued interest since it is included in
the principal balance reported by the lender.
Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
CSR refers LRP applications to NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) for peer review and scoring based
on a scientific review of the application.
Change of Institution (COI)
Change of institution, or COI, occurs when participants physically move from one institution
to another to continue their research. A change of institution involves providing updated
research information and naming a new supervisor and organizational contact. COIs are reviewed
and subject to approval by the Institute or Center that funded the LRP award.
Patient-oriented research conducted with human subjects, or research on the causes and
consequences of disease in human populations involving material of human origin (such as tissue
specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator or colleague directly interacts with human subjects in an
outpatient or inpatient setting to clarify a problem in human physiology, pathophysiology
or disease, epidemiologic or behavioral studies, outcomes or health services
research, or developing new technologies, therapeutic interventions, or clinical trials.
Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program
A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals as clinical investigators.
Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health
professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds as clinical investigators.
Consolidation of qualified student loans into a single loan. See ineligible loans
to learn what pitfalls to avoid if you are considering consolidating your
loans. See FFEL Consolidation Loan for consolidation of federally guaranteed student loans.
Contraception and Infertility Research Loan Repayment Program
A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health
and/or allied health professionals as contraception and infertility investigators.
This LRP is for health professionals, including those with doctoral degrees, nurses,
physician assistants, graduate students, and postgraduate research fellows conducting
qualified contraception and infertility research at sites designated by the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Research that has the ultimate goal of providing new or improved methods of preventing pregnancy.
The minimum amount of qualified student loan debt allowing an applicant to be eligible
for an NIH Loan Repayment Program. To satisfy the debt threshold, LRP applicants must
have qualified student loans equal to or exceeding 20 percent of their institutional base salary.
A period of time when a lender suspends payments on principal or interest charges, or
both, on a loan. On federally subsidized student loans, the federal government may pay
the interest during a deferment. Deferment may be obtained or extended for a variety of
reasons, including financial hardship or continuing education. Deferments vary by lender and by type of loan.
Delinquent Student Loans
A loan is considered delinquent when payments are late or missed. LRP will exclude all delinquent loans when determining "qualifying debt" and
will not pay late fees for loans that go into delinquent status
An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as 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. Census Bureau, adjusted annually for the changes in the Consumer
Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (Secretary) for use in all health professions programs.
The Secretary periodically publishes these
income levels in the Federal Register.
Provides the borrower with information about the actual cost of the loan, including
the interest rate, origination, insurance and loan fees, and any other kinds of
finance charges. Lenders are required to provide the borrower with a disclosure
statement before issuing a loan. The NIH LRP accepts a copy of this document in lieu of a promissory
note to document qualified student debt.
Individuals with the following doctoral-level degrees are eligible to apply for the
NIH LRPs: 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 an equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution.
The sum of qualified student loans (principal + interest + related expenses) recorded at the start of the NIH LRP contract.
A loan is considered eligible if it is issued by any U.S. federal, state, or local
government, academic institution or commercial lender, and used for school tuition or
other reasonable educational or living expenses (including room and board and transportation)
while attending undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental, or veterinary schools.
Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (also known as the Direct Loan Program) is
a federal program wherein the school becomes the lending agency and manages the funds directly,
with the federal government providing the funds. Similar to the Federal Family Education Loan
Program (FFELP), funds for these loans are provided by the U.S. government directly to students
and their parents through schools. The FDSLP includes the Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized
and Unsubsidized) and the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). These loans,
including PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006,
qualify for LRP repayment. PLUS loans to parents do not qualify.
Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Consolidation Loan
Consolidated, federally-sponsored student loans, FFEL Consolidated Loans are eligible for
repayment. Also see "Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)," "SMART Loans," and "Stafford Loans."
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)
Includes the Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), the Federal Perkins Loan,
and the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). The funds for these loans are provided
by private lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations. These
loans are guaranteed against default by the federal government. These loans, including
PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006,
qualify for LRP repayment. PLUS loans to parents do not qualify.
A period in which a lender suspends regular loan payments. Interest charges accumulate
and are added to the balance at the end of the forbearance period. Forbearance is usually
granted for financial hardship. The NIH LRPs will repay the interest charges that accumulate
while a loan is in forbearance.
A period after graduation/separation from school during which the borrower is not required to
make student loan payments. See forbearance, deferment,and service obligation.
Health Disparities Research
Basic, clinical, or behavioral research on a health disparity population (including
individual members and communities of such populations), including the causes of health
disparities and methods to prevent, diagnose, and treat such disparities.
Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program
A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals
to research careers that focus on minority health or other health disparity issues.
Health Disparity Populations
Groups determined by the Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health
Disparities (NIMHD), in consultation with the Director of the Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality (AHRQ), in which there is significant disparity in the overall
rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival as compared
to the health status of the general population. The following populations have been
designated as health disparity populations: Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos,
Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders,
and the medically underserved (i.e., individuals from the Appalachian region).
Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL)
Student loans sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HEAL loans qualify for repayment.
Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL)
Loans sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HPSL loans qualify
for repayment. Applicants with HPSL loans also meet the disadvantaged background criteria
for the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.
Income Tax Allowance
See Tax Allowance
Loans that do not meet LRP criteria for eligible loans are ineligible
for LRP consideration. This includes non-educational loans, PLUS loans to parents (PLUS
loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006, however,
are qualified for LRP repayment ), loans consolidated with another individual's loan
(including a spouse or child), home equity loans, personal loans, and loans received from family or friends.
Research that has the long-range objectives of evaluating, treating, or ameliorating conditions
that result in the failure of couples to either conceive or bear young. Contraception research is
defined as research that has the ultimate goal to provide new or improved methods of preventing pregnancy.
Institutional Base Salary
The total annual compensation an applicant receives from his/her supporting
institution. Institutional base salary (also called base salary)
includes pay for research, teaching, or other activities. Institutional base salary
excludes fringe payments, administrative or reimbursed expenses, and income earned
outside of duties to the institution.
An individual authorized to act in an official capacity on behalf of an LRP applicant's employer.
The institutional contact is asked to report the applicant's salary and confirm to NIH that (1)
the applicant will be provided time and resources to engage in research for the term of the LRP
contract; (2) the applicant is or will be engaged in qualifying research for at least 50 percent
or more of his/her total level of effort for an average of at least 20 hours per week
during each quarterly service period, and; (3) the employer is a nonprofit organization.
Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
Loans issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. LDS loans qualify for
repayment. Applicants with LDS loans also meet the disadvantaged background criteria for
the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.
LRP Information Center
A one-stop source for answers to questions about the NIH Loan Repayment Programs, including questions about the application, eligibility, and loan payments.
Known formerly as the LRP HelpLine, LRP Information Center staff can be reached toll-free at 866-849-4047 or by e-mail at
Master Promissory Note (MPN)
A contract that borrowers sign when taking out either subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford
Loans. When submitting the MPN to LRP, you are required to include the attachment that
lists loan amounts and dates for all disbursements. For students who attended four-year
or graduate schools, the MPN also covers Stafford
Loans for future enrollment periods at the same school within a 10-year period. See Stafford Loans.
Sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges, this loan is offered to medical
students exclusively for expenses incurred with residency interviews and relocation.
MEDEX Loans qualify for repayment.
A term that refers to individuals who lack access to primary and specialty care either
because they are socioeconomically disadvantaged and may live in areas with high
poverty rates or because they reside in rural areas. The term also refers to
individuals who reside in geographic areas where the Index of Medical Underservice
(IMU) is 62 or less. Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA) criteria designate
a service area with an IMU of 62 or less as a "medically underserved area (MUA)."
The IMU is a weighted score derived from four variables: the ratio of primary medical care
physicians per 1,000 population, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below the
federal poverty level, and percentage of the population age 65 years or over.
A loan program sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and offered
exclusively to medical students. The loans include those under the federally-subsidized
Stafford Loans and Alternative Loan Program (See Alternative Loan Program-ALP).
MEDLOANS qualify for repayment.
Minority Health Conditions
Diseases, disorders, and other conditions (including mental health and substance abuse)
that are unique to, more serious, or more prevalent in racial and ethnic minorities, for
which the medical risk factors or types of medical interventions may be different, or
research involving such populations as subjects
or data on such individuals is insufficient.
Minority Health Disparities Research
Basic, clinical, or behavioral research on minority health conditions, including research to prevent,
diagnose, and treat such conditions.
Applicants must conduct qualifying research supported by a domestic nonprofit
foundation, nonprofit professional association or other nonprofit institution,
or a U.S. federal, state or local government agency. A domestic foundation,
professional association, or institution is considered to be nonprofit if
exempt from federal tax under the provisions of Section 501 of the Internal
Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501).
Nursing Student Loan Program (NSL)
Issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NSL loans qualify for repayment.
When NIH releases a payment to a participant's lender, the participant is required to submit an account
statement from the lender that details the payment amount and resulting account balance.
Research that is directly related to diseases, disorders, and other conditions in children, including pediatric pharmacology.
Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program
A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals as pediatric investigators.
Formerly the National Direct Student Loan Program, Perkins loans are issued by educational institutions and
provide up to $3,000 per year for undergraduate programs, and up to $6,000 per year for graduate school.
Perkins loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education and qualify for repayment.
PLUS Loans (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)
Federally-guaranteed unsubsidized loans issued to parents for educational expenses incurred
by their children. PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after
July 1, 2006, qualify for LRP repayment. PLUS loans to parents do not qualify for repayment.
Program Eligibility Date
The date that the initial LRP contract is executed by the Secretary, or an authorized
designee, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are
disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan,
including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy, and cancellations. The
student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid. The NIH LRP relies on promissory
notes, or disclosure statements, to determine an LRP participant's student debt.
The total educational debt owed by the participant as of the start date of the LRP contract.
Individuals who can comment on the research skills and the abilities of the applicant. This
includes the applicants' research supervisor or most recent mentor.
The amount of debt qualified for LRP participation at beginning of contract. NIH repays 25 percent of a participant's
repayable debt (up to $35,000) for each year of LRP participation during the initial two-year
contract, for a total of 50 percent repayment
(up to $70,000) during the initial contract.
Repayment Start Date
The date when any deferment or grace period ends and a borrower must start repaying student
loans. Most student loans are automatically granted grace status at time of disbursement,
and remain in grace status as long as the borrowers are full-time students.
Research Activities Statement
This statement is part of the LRP application. It describes the current or proposed research
project and the applicant's role in conducting the research. It includes a brief statement
regarding the research environment and colleagues.
The person directly supervising the LRP applicant's research activity. NIH asks each LRP
applicant's research supervisor or mentor to complete two online forms:
an Assessment of Research Activities and a recommendation. The assessment includes
the supervisor's concurrence with the applicant's Research Activities Statement, which outlines
the research environment and training/mentoring plan, and also includes the research supervisor's Biosketch.
In exchange for NIH repaying student loan debt, LRP participants are required to
conduct qualified research for their contract period. This is
their service obligation. Applicants with any remaining outside
service obligations (other than to the LRP contact) must complete those commitments
or gain deferment before they are eligible for the LRPs.
Service verification is completed on a quarterly basis by the participant's supervisor
and is a required step before funds are released to the lender(s). The supervisor must
verify that the participant continues to complete research at the accepted level of
effort and that the research is as described in the LRP application.
Sallie Mae's name for Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) consolidation loans. SMART
Loans qualify for NIH loan repayment programs.
Federal loans that come in two forms: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans
are based on need; unsubsidized loans are not. Interest on subsidized Stafford Loans is
paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the six-month
grace period. The subsidized Stafford Loan was formerly known as the Guaranteed Student
Loan (GSL). These loans are eligible for LRP repayment.
The federal government pays the interest that accrues on subsidized loans during all
in-school, grace period, authorized deferment, and (if applicable) post-deferment
grace period times if the loan meets certain eligibility requirements. Examples
include Stafford (either FFELP or direct), Perkins, Loans for Disadvantaged
Students (LDS), and Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL).
LRP repayments made to lenders are taxable income to participants. To partially offset the increase in income tax liability that result from
the LRP award, NIH makes a federal tax payment equal to 39 percent of the loan payment directly to the participant's IRS tax account each time a
loan payment is made on their behalf(an additional tax payment at the rate of 7.5% of the loan repayment amount is also made to cover social security
and FICA taxes for intramural LRP participants only). Both loan and tax payments are reported after the end of the calendar year and a 1099-G form
(or a W-2 form for NIH employees) is mailed to participants no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.
The Education Resources Institute (TERI) Loans
Low-interest student loans backed by TERI, a nonprofit organization that sponsors loans
for both graduate and undergraduate students. Also called ALP (Alternative Loan Program)
loans, these loans are qualified for NIH loan repayment.
When student loans are unsubsidized, borrowers are responsible for paying all accrued
interest, whether accrued in school or during grace or deferment periods, or during NIH
repayment contract periods. Examples include Federal Unsubsidized Stafford (either FFELP
or direct), Federal SLS, Federal PLUS, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL), private
loans, and some institutional loans. See Capitalization.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
See Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
Date Last Updated: June 3, 2015