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General Research - ACGME Fellows



Legislative Authority

In June 1993, Public Law (Pub. L.) 103-43 authorized Section 487C of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 USC 288-3), establishing a program of educational loan repayment to attract highly qualified health professionals, particularly physicians, to conduct research at NIH.

Program Announcement

See Intramural Loan Repayment Program for General Research (GR-LRP) guide notice in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for program and policy guidance.

Additional Program Information

Fellows who are offered employment by the NIH in subspecialty and residency training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) may be eligible for loan repayment.

Participation in this program requires: (1) Fellowship program approval via the recommendation form and the employment materials listed therein submitted by your Fellowship Program Director or program representative to the Division of Loan Repayment (DLR), and (2) Submission of the LRP application through the Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system.

When applying to the General Research LRP for ACGME Fellows, please note the following:

  • An active eRA Commons account is required to start, prepare, and submit your LRP application. Contact your Intramural LRP Coordinator if you do not have one.
  • To start your LRP application, access the ASSIST system.
  • DLR will receive your reference letters through the NIH ACGME fellowship office - ASSIST will not require or accept reference letters for ACGME applications.
  • Submit your application as early as possible as there is a limited number of slots for ACGME fellows.


Applicants to the General Research LRP for ACGME Fellows must have an offer of employment in a 3-year ACGME fellowship program offered by the Graduate Medical Education office at NIH. Contact your fellowship program coordinator for more information.

See the Eligibility & Programs section for information regarding general eligibility requirements for the NIH LRPs.

Review Process

Non-Competitive Application Process

The General Research LRP for ACGME Fellows is a non-competitive program, so there is no review process. ACGME fellows should contact their supervisor (program director) for additional information and guidance on how to begin the application process.

Key Dates

Online Application Period
Colleague & Institutional
Documentation Period
Financial Review Period
Notification Period

Application Components

Individuals applying to the Intramural LRPs are automatically considered mentored research scientists and will need to enter the name of their Intramural research supervisor/mentor.

There are many attachments requested during the online application process. The table below lists the required attachments, organized by type of document and who needs to submit it.

In addition, applicants must have a minimum of three reference letters, but no more than five will be accepted. For guidance on selecting referees, please see the Referees/Recommenders section of this website.

Document or Form Mentored Research Scientist Independent Researcher

NIH Biosketch (Applicant)

Submitted by:

Applicant Applicant
Instructions: Submit a Biosketch in a specified NIH format. It is not necessary to have a well-established career to apply to the LRP, but the Biosketch should include a list of significant honors and grants. An NIH Biosketch cannot exceed five (5) pages.

NIH Biosketch (Mentor)

Submitted by:

Not Applicable Not Applicable
Instructions: Submit a Biosketch in a specified NIH format. An NIH Biosketch cannot exceed five (5) pages.

NIH Biosketch (Additional)

Submitted by:

Not Applicable Not Applicable
Instructions:If another laboratory staff member will be involved in the mentoring program, this staff member’s Biosketch should be provided by the mentor. The Biosketch must be in a specified NIH format and cannot exceed five (5) pages.  Only one additional Biosketch may be attached to an application.

Personal Statement

Submitted by:

Applicant Applicant
Instructions:Use one (1) page to describe your previous research training experience and short-term academic and research objectives.

Career Development Plan

Submitted by:

Not Applicable Not Applicable
Instructions: Use two (2) pages or less to describe your career development plan and explain how this plan will foster the development of your career in research.  Specify the types of research methods and scientific techniques to be learned, memberships in journal clubs or groups, and conferences and seminars to be attended.

Recommendation for LRP Funding

Submitted by:

ACGME Program Representative ACGME Program Representative
Instructions: Complete all information in Section A about the applicant and attach a copy of the applicant’s offer of employment letter from the ACGME Training Program Director. The letter must state a minimum 3-year employment period. Also attach a copy of the SF-50 or SF-52, if available.

Research Activities

Submitted by:

Not Applicable Not Applicable
Instructions: Use eight (8) pages or less to describe the research activities you will pursue over the next two years and your specific role and responsibilities in the research project(s). Literature citations are included in the character count and should be listed on the last page. Include your name, employer, title of research project, and date in the document header.

Research Environment

Submitted by:

Not Applicable Not Applicable
Instructions: Use one (1) page to describe the research to be conducted during the course of the LRP award and the facilities that will be available to execute the project.  The description should include the branch/laboratory/section/department of the applicant and the appropriate scientific colleagues, institutional research, and facilities available.  Include a brief description of the funding source for your research. Also, if this is a mentored application, a brief description of the mentor's research should be included.

Training/Mentoring Plan

Submitted by:

Not Applicable Not Applicable
Instructions: Use two (2) pages or less to describe your research training program and mentoring plan. Specify the types of training interactions, training mechanisms to be used, research methods, and scientific techniques to be learned, and involvement in activities such as journal clubs, professional groups, conferences, and seminars. Describe how your mentor will contribute to your training program and his/her prior experience as a mentor of other investigators. Additionally, the nature and extent of supervision should be discussed as they will occur during the award period. If another laboratory staff member will be involved in your mentoring program, provide his/her name and describe his/her degree of involvement.

Certification for Online Application

Submitted by:

Applicant Applicant
Instructions: Read all statements listed in the Certifications for Online Applications section and check the box next to each statement to signify your consent. You will enter your electronic signature in lieu of printing, signing, and returning the form to the NIH LRPs.


Submitted by:

Applicant Applicant
Instructions: Read the NIH Loan Repayment Programs Contract in its entirety and check the box next to the statement to signify your consent. You will enter your electronic signature in lieu of printing, signing, and mailing in a signed copy of the contract to the NIH LRPs.

Loan Documents

Submitted by:

Applicant Applicant
Instructions: It can take months to obtain the LRP-required documentation from lenders and servicers, so you are strongly advised to collect those documents well in advance. Provide specified documentation to demonstrate that educational loans listed in the application are eligible for loan repayment.  Loans will be considered ineligible if appropriate documentation is not provided in a timely manner. See additional details about loan documents. You will be notified by DLR when to submit those documents any time between May and August.

Award Calculations

All Intramural General Research for ACGME Fellows LRP new awards are three years. Repayments for a new award are calculated by using the eligible educational debt at the contract start date. The amount awarded is equal to one-quarter of the total eligible debt, up to $20,000, for each year of the award. To receive the maximum amount of $60,000 for a three-year award, you must have at least $80,000 in eligible educational debt at the contract start date.

Payments are made on a quarterly basis, starting with the loan with the highest priority per NIH guidelines. If a loan is paid-in-full before the end of a contract, subsequent quarterly payments will be directed to the loan with the next highest priority.

See a full list of the loan priority order

Use our repayment calculator to get an estimate on the amount of your LRP award.

Repayment Calculator

Loan Eligibility

Qualifying Lenders

Qualified lenders: Any U.S. government (Federal, State, or local) entity, accredited U.S. academic institution, and/or U.S. commercial educational lender that is subject to examination and supervision in their capacity as a lending institution by an agency of the United States or of the State in which the lender has its principal place of business.

Unqualified lenders: Entities that are not U.S. government (Federal, State, or local), U.S. academic, or U.S. commercial educational lenders. Loans from friends, relatives, or other individuals are also not qualified.

Loan Eligibility

Most U.S.-based educational loans made by a qualified lender for educational purposes are eligible for repayment, including U.S.-based educational loans made for the following purposes:

  • Undergraduate, graduate, and health professional school tuition and expenses;
  • Other reasonable educational expenses required by the school(s) attended, including fees, books, supplies, educational equipment and materials, and laboratory expenses;
  • Reasonable living expenses, including the cost of room and board, transportation and commuting costs, and other living expenses as determined by the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services.

A consolidated loan is eligible as long as all loans in the consolidation are eligible for repayment.

Existing principal and capitalized interest on eligible loans and related expenses, such as the required insurance premiums on the unpaid balances of some loans, from qualifying lenders are also eligible for repayment.

Ineligible Loans

The following loans are not eligible for repayment through the LRPs:

  • Consolidated loans that include at least one of the following loans are not eligible for repayment;
    • Loans obtained from an unqualified lender;
    • Loans obtained by the applicant for an individual other than the applicant, such as a spouse or child;
    • Loans obtained by an individual other than the applicant, such as a spouse or parent;
    • Non-educational loans, such as a home-equity loan;
  • Loans for which eligibility documentation is not provided;
  • Loans or portions of loans obtained for educational or living expenses which exceed a reasonable level as determined by the standard school budget for the year in which the loan was made;
  • Loans, financial debts, or service obligations incurred under a program where an incurred service obligation converts to a loan upon failure to satisfy the service obligation;
  • Loans that are delinquent, in default, or not current in their repayment schedule;
  • Parent PLUS loans;
  • Loans that are paid-in-full;
  • Loans that are obtained after the start date of the initial NIH Loan Repayment Program Contract.

Additionally, late fees, penalty fees, additional interest charges, or collections costs will not be repaid by the LRP.

Register to Start Your Application View Detailed Loan Information

Contractual Obligations

Contract Length

A General Research LRP new award is a three-year contract that starts on the date of NIH employment. Awardees are required to meet the terms and conditions of the LRP award for the entire contract period.

An LRP award cannot be transferred from an Intramural LRP to an Extramural LRP. If an awardee terminates employment with NIH, the LRP award will be terminated as well. Depending on the circumstances of the change in employment, breach of contract may be considered by the NIH Institute or Center (IC) that funded the award.

Change of Institution

If an awardee transfers to another IC within the NIH, the awardee may continue to participate in the NIH LRP as long as the IC to which the awardee is transferring also participates in the NIH Intramural LRPs. The awardee must continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

It is the responsibility of the Intramural award recipient to notify DLR immediately if there is a pending change in NIH IC. The awardee must provide a copy of the SF-50 for the new position at the new IC as soon as it becomes available. This information will be reviewed by the Director, Intramural Loan Repayment Programs and the awardee may be asked to provide additional information during the review.

If the Intramural awardee obtains employment outside of the NIH, the awardee will no longer be eligible to participate in the Intramural LRPs and the award will be terminated immediately. This may also constitute a breach of contract and the awardee may be subjected to the financial penalties described in the contract.

Family Leave

Family leave can include maternity, paternity, parental, and adoption leave. Paid family leave can be taken during an LRP award. Any unpaid leave, even if covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), may result in a reduced quarterly payment. Awardees must make payments to lenders on their own behalf for periods of Leave Without Pay (LWOP).

Breach of Contract

Failure to complete the terms of an LRP contract, including the research service requirement, is considered a breach of contract. The penalty for breaching the LRP contract is $7,500 for each month the contract terms are not met, with the minimum penalty set at $31,000. Please read the LRP contract in its entirety before applying to the LRP.

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