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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the NIH Loan Repayment Programs that I can apply to?

There are two LRPs, one for researchers not employed by NIH (Extramural) and another for researchers employed by NIH (Intramural). Research funding from NIH is not required to participate in the Extramural LRP, and Extramural and Intramural LRP awardees may apply for subsequent, competitive renewal awards as long as they meet Program eligibility. Although organized around broad research areas, the LRPs were never intended to fund research projects. Rather, LRP awards are based on an applicant's potential to build and sustain a research career.

What is qualified clinical research?

Clinical research is defined as 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.

Please note: The definition of Clinical Research for the LRPs is derived from LRP-related legislation and may differ from other published Clinical Research definitions.

What is qualified pediatric research?

Research that is directly related to diseases, disorders, and other conditions in children, including pediatric pharmacology.

What is qualified 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.

What is qualified contraception and infertility research?

Infertility research that has the long-range objective to evaluate, treat, or ameliorate conditions which result in the failure of couples to either conceive or bear young. Contraception research that has the ultimate goal to provide new or improved methods of preventing pregnancy.

What is the definition of “disadvantaged background”?

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.

To meet this low-income requirement applicants must demonstrate disadvantaged status by submitting (1) A written statement from the applicant's health professions school(s) indicating qualification for Federal disadvantaged assistance during matriculation, (2) Documentation of Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) or Loans for Disadvantaged Students, or (3) Documentation of a scholarship from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under the Scholarship for Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need

What does NIH require of awardees?

In return for loan repayments, LRP awardees are legally bound to a service obligation to conduct qualifying research supported by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. government (federal, state, or local) entity for an average of at least 20 hours per week for two years. NIH makes quarterly loan repayments concurrent with the awardees’ satisfaction of their service obligation.

How can I apply to the LRPs?

The Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system is used to prepare and submit applications electronically to NIH and other Public Health Service agencies, including applications for the LRPs.

Can I apply based on research already completed?

No. The LRPs are not retroactive.

How do I know if my LRP application should be for a new or renewal contract?

Use the below guidelines to determine if the application is for a new or renewal contract. Please call the NIH Division of Loan Repayment (DLR) Information Center at (866) 849-4047 with further questions.

Apply for a new award if:

  • This is the first application submitted to the NIH LRPs.
  • Prior applications have been submitted but not awarded an LRP contract.
  • This application is for a different LRP than a prior award (note: Extramural and Intramural are different LRPs).
  • An application was submitted and awarded, but terminated before benefits were received.

Apply for a renewal award if:

  • An application was submitted and awarded, and benefits were received for at least one prior award in the same LRP (e.g., Extramural or Intramural),
  • The end date of the most recent LRP award is less than 37 months from the start date of your next anticipated LRP award, and
  • Sufficient eligible educational debt remains.
How are LRP payments calculated? What will my payments be?

Payment projections are based on eligible educational debt at the start date of the LRP contract. The NIH will repay 25 percent of the eligible education debt, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year. Payments will be made on a quarterly basis during the LRP contract period. To estimate how much student loan debt can be repaid, review more information about the loan repayment process and/or use the LRP Repayment Calculator tool.

How are LRP payments made?

NIH issues quarterly payments directly to lenders to repay principal, interest, and qualified related expenses. NIH prioritizes the order in which loans are repaid. See the Loan Repayment Process for more information.

Are LRP payments taxable?

Yes. Loan payments are considered taxable income. To address that tax liability, NIH makes tax payments directly to awardees' IRS tax accounts at the rate of 39 percent of the loan repayment amounts (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 awardees only).

How are applicants selected for LRP awards?

The NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) each convene peer review groups of scientists from outside NIH to review the applications most closely aligned with the IC’s Mission and Priorities. Reviewers are asked to consider 1) the potential of the applicant to pursue a career in research and 2) the quality of the applicant’s overall research environment as preparation for a research career. This is a competitive review.

How many applicants will actually be funded?

The number of LRP awards varies each year. The average number of new and renewal awards in past years has been approximately 1,300. Visit the Data and Reports section for additional information about trends in LRP applications and awards.

When will applicants be notified about their awards?

LRP applicants will receive notice of award funding by August following the application deadline.

Will the Loan Repayment Program be offered next year?

Yes, NIH plans to continue the LRPs in the next fiscal year. NIH is dependent upon the receipt of an appropriation from Congress for all of its programs.

If my research will likely qualify me for more than one LRP subcategory, how do I decide which one to pursue?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the LRP liaison at the NIH IC most closely affiliated with the applicant's research. Refer to the list of LRP Liaisons, which also includes descriptions of each IC’s mission and research priorities, for more information. Ask for advice from research supervisors, mentors, or other colleagues who best understand the applicant's research and career goals.

Is it possible to change employers, research projects, or laboratories during the LRP award?

Yes. See please see the Research Service Changes section on the Award page for more information.

Where can I get more information?

For additional assistance, contact the LRP Information Center at (866) 849-4047 or

Who is eligible to apply for the LRPs?

Basic requirements include:

  • 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-level degree from an accredited institution.
  • Qualifying educational debt. The sum of your educational debt must equal at least 20 percent of your base salary from the institution supporting your research.
  • Conducting research funded by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. government (Federal, State or local) entity. 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).
  • Conducting qualifying research that represents 50 percent or more of total level of effort and consumes an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period.
  • United States citizenship (or U.S. national or permanent resident status).
Who is not eligible to apply?

The following individuals are not eligible for the NIH Loan Repayment Programs:

  • Persons who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S.;
  • Anyone who has a federal judgment lien against his/her property arising from a federal debt, even if the judgment is paid-in-full or satisfied;
  • Anyone who owes an obligation of health professional service to a federal or state agency, or other entity during the proposed two-year LRP contract period, unless deferrals are granted for the length of LRP service obligation;
  • Full-time (and some part-time) federal employees [NOTE: Part-time federal employees (20 hours per week or less) engaged in research supported by a non-federal entity for at least 20 hours per week may be eligible];
  • Individuals conducting research for which funding is precluded by federal law, regulations, or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or NIH policy;
  • Individuals who lack qualifying support for their research from a domestic nonprofit or U.S. government (federal, state, or local) entity;
  • Individuals with insufficient educational debt relative to income (i.e., debt less than 20 percent of institutional base salary);
  • 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.

See the Eligibility section of the website for more information.

Can I be in the process of obtaining Citizenship, or status as a U.S. National or Permanent Resident of the U.S. and still apply?

All eligibility requirements must be met by the contract start date.

Does my research qualify for the LRPs?

Each LRP subcategory has a definition of qualified research, so first check the web pages specific to those subcategories. Information about each subcategory can be found on the Eligibility & Programs page. If you remain uncertain, consult your research supervisor or mentor. If you are still unsure, please e-mail or call the LRP liaison of the NIH Institute or Center (IC) most closely affiliated with your research using the information on the Contact & Engage page.

Can I work for a for-profit entity or have a private practice if it is separate from my nonprofit research?

LRP awardees are prohibited from receiving any financial support from a for-profit source during their LRP contract period. A violation of the terms and conditions of the LRP contract may result in the termination of an LRP award with penalties. However, depending on the level of involvement, it may be permissible to participate in a for-profit supported study while participating in the LRP. In addition, activities outside of regular working hours (e.g., consulting, clinical services, etc.) are generally permissible. All LRP awardees are encouraged to immediately inquire about any potential involvement with for-profit activities to ensure compliance with the LRP contract by emailing

Can I work for more than one nonprofit entity and still qualify?

Generally as long as your research is affiliated with your primary employer, your research is funded by a qualified domestic nonprofit entity, and you are conducting qualified research for a minimum of 20 hours per week averaged over the quarter. For example: You are an associate professor working 40 hours per week with 75% protected time for research. If in addition, you work 10 hours per week for a nonprofit, you would be eligible. However if you are an associate professor working 35 hours per week not engaged in research at the university and working for another nonprofit where you are engaged in 20 hours of research per week, you would not be eligible.

Can I conduct my research outside of the United States?

You may conduct your research anywhere in the world as long as you meet all eligibility criteria described above and your research is supported entirely by domestic U.S. nonprofit funds, U.S. government grants, or a combination of the two.

Do I need to have my qualifying degree before I apply?

As long as you will receive your qualifying degree before the contract date of July 1, you may apply. You will be required to submit a letter from your school verifying that you will defend your dissertation and receive your degree by the contract date.

I have a pending application for a grant. Can I apply for LRP payments?

Applicants with pending grants will be considered. However, if the pending grant is your only source of funding, it must be funded before an LRP contract can be awarded, or some other funding must be documented.

Can I receive loan repayments for more than two years?

Yes. If you continue to conduct qualified research and continue to receive funding from a qualified source, you may apply to renew your LRP contract in one- or two- year increments, for as long as it takes to repay all of your educational loan debt.

Like new applications, renewals are competitive and are reviewed using the same criteria as applied to initial awards, plus two additional criteria. Renewals are also reviewed on (1) your research accomplishments and (2) your development as an independent investigator.

How do I find out if I have an outstanding service obligation?

You need to contact the institution that awarded you a grant, award, or scholarship with an associated service obligation to learn if there is a remaining obligation.

Under what circumstances will NIH consider early release from the service obligation?

Early termination of a service obligation will not be considered a breach of contract in cases where such termination is beyond the control of the awardee. For example, sometimes an awardee's research assignment changes to the extent that the project is no longer qualified research. Similarly, sometimes the needs of the supporting institution demand that the awardee be reassigned to another project. However, an individual who voluntarily terminates his/her research activities to pursue private practice is in breach of the LRP contract.

What is the penalty for awardees found in breach of contract?

The penalty for breaching the LRP contract is $7,500 for each month of unserved service, plus all amounts paid on behalf of the awardee for any period of obligated service not served. Interest shall be charged on the amount owed to NIH from the date of breach. The amount the U.S. government is entitled to recover shall not be less than $31,000.

What is the penalty for awardees found in breach of contract who are fulfilling a one- or two-year renewal of the original LRP contract?

There is no penalty for terminating a renewal contract early. Loan repayments will be prorated and terminated as of the date the research work stops, but the awardee will be entitled to payments up to that date and no penalties will be assessed.

How does NIH know whether an awardee is fulfilling his or her agreement to complete at least 20 hours of research work per week?

NIH requires your research supervisor to verify that you are meeting the terms of your contract on a quarterly basis. Your loan repayment disbursement will not be released until your research supervisor provides this verification.

Do I have to stay at the same institution for the two years of the LRP Contract? I am currently on a fellowship that will be ending during the contract period.

During the initial two-year period and subsequent renewal periods, the LRP awards are portable and may be transferred across institutions and research projects. Please see the Change of Institution information under the Award section.

I have a NRSA service obligation. Can I pay it back while I have my LRP award?

No, both NRSA and LRP require a payback obligation that cannot be done concurrently, thus your NRSA payback obligation must be deferred if you participate in the NIH LRP. Deferral of your NRSA payback obligation will be granted automatically when you accept an LRP award.

How do I find out if I have an outstanding service obligation?

You need to contact the institution that awarded you a grant, award, or scholarship with an associated service obligation to learn if there is a remaining obligation.

Which loans qualify for loan repayment?

Loans qualify for repayment if they are issued by any U. S. government (Federal, State, or local) entity, accredited U.S. academic institution(s), and/or commercial lender(s) that are subject to examination and supervision in their capacity as lending institutions by an agency of the United States or the state in which the lender has its principal place of business. Loans must have been used for school tuition or other reasonable educational or living expenses (including room/board and transportation) while attending undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental, or veterinary schools. To be eligible for LRP repayment, loans cannot be consolidated with any loans issued to another individual, such as a spouse or child, or with non-educational loans. To learn more, see the Loan Requirements and Resources section under the LRP Program pages.

Do consolidated student loans qualify?

Yes, student loans can be consolidated at any time. Consolidation can save you interest expenses and streamline the management of your debts. However, it is extremely important to not consolidate your student loans with either those of another individual (such as a spouse or child), or non-educational loans. If you consolidate your student loans into a home equity loan or personal loan, they will be ineligible for repayments through the LRPs.

Why aren’t loans consolidated with another individual eligible for repayment?

When a joint consolidation loan is entered into, both borrowers become jointly and severally liable for the repayment of the full amount of the loan. There is no statutory authority to allow one of the borrowers to assume the entire joint consolidation debt or for the borrowers to separate the joint consolidation loan into separate individual loans. Therefore, joint consolidation loans cannot become eligible for the Loan Repayment Programs.

I consolidated my student loans. What now?

If an applicant or awardee wishes to consolidate loans, the applicant/awardee should inform DLR as soon as possible by emailing Only loans listed in the LRP portfolio may be included in the consolidation for the loan to remain eligible for loan repayment.

My application has been selected for further review, what information about my loans do I need to provide to the LRP?

The LRP requires that you provide a promissory note, account statement and a Federal Student Aid (FSA) report for each loan listed in your application. There is a Loan Document Tutorial available for your review. Please remember that you should not send any loan information to the LRP until it is requested.

Where do I submit my loan documents?

You will not be able to submit loan documents until you receive a request from us. When DLR requests loan documents from you, you will be able to upload them under the application status tab.

What if I can’t locate my promissory note?

For non-consolidated loans: If your lender cannot supply promissory notes, you need to obtain disclosure statements and disbursement reports from your lender. You may also obtain a signed letter from your lender that contains the following information: your name, all loans taken out with their original loan date, loan amount, and loan type. This letter must be printed on your lender’s official letterhead. For consolidated loans: If your lender cannot supply the consolidation promissory note, you need to obtain disclosure statements and disbursement reports from your lender. You may also obtain a signed letter from your lender that contains the following information: your name, all loans included in the consolidation, loan type, loan owner and loan amount at the time of consolidation. If the consolidation included capitalized interest, this information must be included and itemized in the letter. This letter must be printed on your lender’s official letterhead.

What happens if I cannot get all the documentation?

Any loan that does not have complete documentation to prove eligibility will not be included in the calculation of your eligible debt. This will affect the amount of your LRP award. Furthermore, if the exclusion of the loan causes you to drop below the 20% debt-to-income ratio, then your application will be withdrawn.

Do you have sample documents so I know what to look for?

Please review the Loan Documentation section of our Detailed Loan Information page.

Where can I see the status of the financial review?

When your loans have been vetted, you can find the current status of the financial review under the application status tab, along with any review comments.

What if I defaulted on my loans?

A defaulted loan cannot be included in the calculation of your eligible debt, which will affect the amount of your LRP award. Furthermore, if the exclusion of the loan causes you to drop below the 20% debt-to-income ratio, then your application will be withdrawn.

What if I declared bankruptcy?

A declared bankruptcy may not render you ineligible from applying to or participating in the NIH LRPs. DLR will review each bankruptcy situation on a case-by-case basis.

How are LRP payments calculated? What will my payments be?

Payment projections are based on your repayable debt calculated at the start of your LRP contract. The LRP sets the quarterly payment amount based on an annual rate of 25 percent of repayable debt (up to a maximum of $50,000 per annum, or $12,500 per quarter).

I received an e-mail notifying me that a payment from the LRP was sent to my lender. What should I do now?

Please refer to instructions provided in the e-mail or in your award portal to submit the document(s) to verify the payment. You may direct any questions to DLR at or (866)849-4047. Your next LRP payment will be released if the prior payment has been verified.

If my grant or award is pending, should I include it on the "Funding Information" form?

Yes. Provide as much information as you can. If it is an NIH grant, indicate the type of award–for example, “K-23.” Then select “pending review” for the award status.

Which grant should I put on my application if my current grant will expire shortly and I will begin receiving a new grant after that?

Apply based on your current grant/award.

Who should I list as the “Institutional Contact” in my application?

Your institutional contact is the official at your institution who can verify your base salary and availability of time and resources to conduct your proposed research. An institutional contact can be the dean, associate dean, provost or chancellor of research and sponsored programs; vice president of research or administration; or department chairperson.

What information does my supporting institution have to provide to NIH?

For you to participate in an LRP, your institutional contact must certify that:

  1. You will be provided the time and resources to engage in qualifying research for the term of your contract.
  2. You are or will be engaged in the proposed research for at least 50 percent or more of your total level of effort for an average of 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period. That is, during each contract quarter, you must conduct the required research for a minimum of 260 hours (based on a 13-week quarter)
  3. The institution is a domestic nonprofit (exempt under 26 USC 501).
  4. The institution provides your institutional base salary.
  5. You do not receive salary from a for-profit institution/contractor or the federal government for engaging in the research project, but that instead your research is supported by one or more of the following:
    • Domestic nonprofit foundation, nonprofit professional society, or other nonprofit institution
    • Local, city, or state agency
    • Grant from a federal agency
    • The named research project complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations) and is not research for which funding is prohibited by federal law.
What is the role of a mentor in the LRP application?

Your mentor will be asked to provide the following items in support of your application by the published deadline:

  • Recommendation letter (additional information can be found on the Referees/Recommenders page);
  • Concurrence of the applicant’s research activities statement;
  • Concurrence of the applicant’s research environment;
  • Concurrence of the applicant’s research training and mentoring plan;

Additionally, you should obtain your Mentor’s NIH formatted biosketch (5 page limit) and upload to the colleagues tab on your application.

Will I be allowed to select which institute or center (IC) peer reviews my application?

Yes. You will have the opportunity to specify which IC(s) you prefer to peer review your application or specify which IC(s) you do not wish to peer review your application.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is responsible for reviewing the science in your application and they make the final determination on where your application goes for review. In most cases, they will honor your request, but they still hold the final decision. All assignments are done by the end of December and you have until January 31 to request a reassignment if you do not agree with where your application was assigned.

It is important to note that ICs have different missions and priorities related to the LRPs. Applicants are encouraged to examine ICs' Mission and Priorities statements, available on the Contact and Engage page. Doing so will guide your referral preference to the most appropriate ICs.

NOTE: All Contraception and Infertility Research LRP applications are sent to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

If you miss the deadline, you must wait until the next annual application cycle to apply. Generally, the application cycle is open from September to mid-November each year.

How are extramural applications assigned to an NIH Institute or Center (IC) for review?

Applications are forwarded to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR).

  • CSR will then assign applications to the most appropriate NIH Institute or Center (IC) for review. The IC assignment can be viewed in your eRA Commons account once CSR makes the assignment, which typically takes place by the end of December. Applicants who wish to have a different IC review their application must submit a request to IC reassignment is not guaranteed.
  • Applications to the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP go to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for review.
Who reviews the applications?

Each extramural NIH LRP application is peer-reviewed by at least two scientists from outside NIH selected by the ICs. Intramural NIH LRP applications are reviewed by the Intramural Loan Repayment Committee.

How are NIH LRP applications evaluated?

Each NIH peer review panel evaluates LRP applications for the applicant's potential to succeed in a research career. This evaluation is based on the applicant’s potential to pursue a career in research, including:

  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience to prepare for a research career
  • Appropriateness of the proposed research activities during the LRP contract period to foster a career in research
  • Commitment to a research career, as reflected by the personal statement of long-term career goals and plan to achieve those goals
  • Strength of the letters of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a successful career in research

Quality of the overall environment to prepare the applicant for a research career, including:

  • Quality and availability of appropriate scientific mentors and colleagues to help achieve or enhance the applicant’s research independence, including the mentors’ record in mentoring researchers, funding history and research productivity
  • Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities

For renewal applications, development toward becoming/continuing as an independent investigator is an additional evaluation criterion.

What factors determine funding decisions?

Funding decisions are made by the IC where the application is assigned for review, and are based on several factors. Priority scores, the IC's Mission and Priorities, and the availability of funds are considered during the decision-making process. It is important to note that ICs have different mission and priorities, and these differences can significantly influence the possibilities to receive funding. Applicants are encouraged to examine ICs' Missions and Priorities Statements on the Contact and Engage page.

Will a summary statement be provided?

NIH does not provide a summary statement for the LRP peer review. If an applicant is not selected, a point of contact within the NIH IC will be provided to answer specific questions and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of an application.

Will NIH release my score?

No. NIH does not release LRP application priority scores.

When will reviews be completed and applicants informed of funding decisions?

Peer reviews are completed on a rolling basis throughout the application cycle. LRP applicants are informed of final funding decisions by August.

What is an LRP renewal application?

Awardees in the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) who are initially awarded contracts for two years and want to extend their contracts may apply for a competitive renewal. Renewals may be for a period of one or two years.

Who can apply for a renewal of the NIH LRP?

Any awardee whose contract is ending during the next fiscal year is eligible to apply for a renewal. You should apply for an LRP renewal contract if:

  • You are applying under the same program (e.g., Extramural or Intramural) from which you received your current/previous LRP award.
  • You have sufficient remaining eligible educational debt.
When should I apply for a renewal?

Apply for an LRP renewal during the application cycle for the fiscal year in which your current contract will end. In other words, apply during the fall application cycle that precedes the end date of your current contract.

How do I submit an application for a renewal contract?

Renewal applications are submitted online through the Application Submission System & Interface for Submission Tracking (ASSIST) system. Please review the deadlines for information on when a renewal application must be submitted.

How is the length of the renewal determined for the Extramural LRPs?

While applicants may apply for a one- or two- year renewal, there are several scenarios that impact the length of the extension that is funded. If an applicant only applies for a one-year renewal and is funded, then the extension will only be for one year.

If an applicant applies for a two-year renewal, the extension period may be one or two years. Each applicant lists an Institutional Business Official (IBO) on their application. That official is asked to provide institutional certification and is provided the option of certifying for one or two years. If they provide certification for one year, then NIH can only consider funding the extension for a one-year period. If the IBO provides certification for two years, then NIH may choose to fund the applicant either for one or two years. NIH's decision on how long to fund is based on the budget and funding priorities.

Applying for a two-year renewal does not guarantee that funding will be for two years.

Is there a limit to the number of renewals allowed?

No. As long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria and have eligible debt, you may apply for an LRP renewal.

How are renewal applications evaluated?

Renewal contracts are evaluated based on the same criteria as the initial contract with the addition of evaluating research accomplishments during the previous contract. Progress toward development as an independent investigator is a major factor in renewal of extramural LRP support. Renewal applications are competitively reviewed, and the submission of a renewal application does not assure the award of benefits.

What do I do if my LRP research activities change?

A change to an awardee's research activities may be permissible, pending approval from the Institute or Center funding the award. It is the awardee's responsibility to notify the LRP of any impending change to their research project. Please see the Award section for more information.

If your LRP research activities change after you submit your LRP application, you must inform DLR by January 31 in order for the application to be considered for review. You must continue to meet all LRP eligibility criteria, and change requests are subject to final approval by the NIH Institute or Center that is reviewing your application. Approval is not guaranteed.

What do I do if my research supervisor changes?

If you are expecting to change or have changed your research supervisor, you must notify the LRP Information Center by e-mail ( Your new research supervisor will be added to the LRP system so that he/she may complete your quarterly service verification.

If I am an NIH LRP awardee or applicant and am planning to change employers, what do I do?

If you are an applicant, you must submit a Change of Institution (COI) application by January 31 in order for the application to be considered for review. A COI applicant must meet all LRP eligibility criteria, and COI requests are subject to final approval by the NIH Institute or Center that is reviewing the application. Approval of COIs is not guaranteed.

If you are an awardee, a COI may be permissible, pending approval from the Institute or Center funding the award. It is the responsibility of the awardee to notify DLR immediately if there is a pending change in employment. LRP awardees must submit a COI application to be considered for continuation in the LRP. A COI applicant must meet all LRP eligibility criteria, and COI requests are subject to final approval by the NIH Institute or Center that funded the LRP award. Approval of COIs is not guaranteed.

If I am an LRP awardee and unable to complete my full two-year commitment to conduct research, what happens?

Awardees who are unable to maintain a 50 percent level of effort toward the approved research activities for the complete duration of their LRP contract may request a termination of contract. However, the NIH Institute or Center funding the award may constitute this as a breach of contract. Please refer to the section about Breach of Contract under Contractual Obligations for more information.

If I am an LRP awardee, can I move to a for-profit institution?

No. Any research conducted at a for-profit institution is considered ineligible and would constitute a breach of contract. Please refer to the section about Breach of Contract in the LRP Applicant Information Bulletins and your LRP contract for more information.

LRP Payments
When are LRP payments issued to lenders?

LRP payments to your lenders are issued within two weeks of the end of each quarter. For your LRP payments to be released on schedule, you must ensure that the following requirements are met:

  • Verification of your research service by your supervisor
  • Verification of prior LRP payments (see Payment Verification section below)
Where are LRP payments sent?

LRP payments are issued directly to your lenders.

How are LRP payments applied to my loans? Can I tell the lender how I want the payment to be applied?

LRP payments are applied in accordance with LRP guidelines on prioritization of payments. Please see the loan priority order on the Awardees section.

Can I have LRP payments applied to prepay future installments so I don't have to make payments myself?

You should contact your lenders directly to discuss how payments are allocated.

Can I have past LRP payments re-applied to a different loan account?

All LRP payments are final and made based on the information provided to NIH at the time of payment. Exceptions are limited to corrective actions such as a misapplied payment or an overpayment.

Payment Verification
How do I verify the LRP payment is made by the NIH?

When an LRP payment is issued to your loan account, it is your responsibility to obtain a statement from your lender that shows the LRP payment date and amount as well as the resulting account balance. You can upload documents to verify your LRP payments in your LRP Participant Portal. Please see the Awardee section for more information.

Can I use a screenshot or a printout from my lender's website to verify an LRP payment?

Yes, screenshots or printouts from the lender's website are acceptable if they show your name or account number, LRP payment date and amount, and the resulting balance.

Eligibility of Loans
Based on my LRP payment schedule, some of my loans will not receive payments. Is it because they are ineligible for the LRP?

No. This is because these loans have a lower priority than the loans that will be receiving payments. Once the highest priority loan is paid off, we will begin to repay the loan with the next highest priority. Please see the Award section for more information.

Can I consolidate my loans while I am in the LRP?

Yes, you may consolidate your loans during participation in the LRP. Once your loans are consolidated, you need to forward a copy of your disclosure statement to DLR. After submission of the disclosure statement, you will be advised by e-mail as to what is needed to complete the process of adding the consolidation to your LRP portfolio. Your consolidation must be an educational consolidation loan.

What should I consider before consolidating my loans?

Consolidated loans cannot include loans that belong to another individual, such as a spouse or child, even if they are educational loans, nor can any loans not currently in your LRP portfolio be included. Additionally, do not consolidate your student loans with any non-student loans, such as a home equity or personal loan. These loans are not repayable under the LRPs.

Federal Tax Coverage on LRP Payments
Will I incur taxes on LRP payments?

Yes, but each time NIH issues a payment to your lender, 39 percent of the payment amount is also sent to the IRS as a federal tax payment. 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 awardees only.

How do I know how much tax has been paid on my behalf?

NIH will issue you an IRS Form 1099 in January. The 1099 form will specify the total amount of all payments made on your behalf to lenders and the IRS, since both types of payments are considered income to you. Intramural awardees will receive a W2 form instead of a 1099 form.

Contract Renewals
My current NIH grant will expire. Can I still renew my LRP contract?

Awardees who continue to meet the eligibility requirements for the program and have remaining repayable debt are eligible to apply for a competitive renewal during the application cycle for the fiscal year in which their existing contract ends. The renewal applications are reviewed based on the same criteria as the original application, plus review of research progress during the contract. Please remember that this is a competitive award process and continued funding is not guaranteed.

How do I apply for renewal of my LRP contract?

You will be required to complete and submit a renewal application during the application cycle for the fiscal year in which your existing contract ends. Please check your loan portfolio to determine the end date of your contract. For example, if your current LRP contract ends in June 2024, you would apply during the application cycle that begins on September 1, 2023.