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Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Expands Participation to Include all NIH Institutes and Centers

Beginning on September 1, 2023, NIH will expand participation in the Extramural Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (Clinical IDB LRP) to include all NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). Previously, all Clinical IDB LRP applications were assigned to and reviewed by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Applicants will now have the option of selecting one NIH IC for primary review assignment and, if desired, one additional IC for secondary review assignment.   Assignments are determined by the Division of Receipt and Referral, Center for Scientific Review. Although an applicant's selection will be taken under consideration, it is not a guarantee of a desired assignment.

An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as an individual who comes from (1) an environment that inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill, and ability required to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school; or (2) comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds according to family size.  For more information, check out the published notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).

In 2001, during the first year of implementation, 17 applicants received an award through the Clinical IDB LRP. Since 2013, 36% of Clinical IDB LRP applications have been funded.

“We’ve had a number of expansions and additions over the years, and we’re thrilled to usher in a new era for the Clinical IDB LRP,” said Matthew Lockhart, M.B.A., Director, Division of Loan Repayment. “The expansion of this latest subcategory further emphasizes the NIH’s investment in the biomedical research workforce. What we saw with the Health Disparities LRP expansion is pretty remarkable and we’re optimistic that the same will happen with the Clinical IDB LRP.”

As a reminder, the objective of the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) is to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals to careers in biomedical or biobehavioral research.  If you are a qualified health professional who agrees to engage in NIH mission-relevant research for at least 20 hours per week at nonprofit or government institution, you may be eligible to apply to the one of the extramural LRP subcategories:

  • Clinical Research: Patient-oriented research conducted with human subjects;
  • Pediatric Research: Research that is directly related to diseases, disorders, and other conditions in children;
  • Health Disparities Research: Research that focuses on minority and other health disparity populations;
  • Research in Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH): For researchers pursuing major opportunities or gaps in emerging areas of human health;  
  • Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds: Available to clinical investigators from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Contraception and Infertility Research: Research on conditions impacting the ability to conceive and bear young.

This year, the LRP application cycle will open on September 1 and close on November 16.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to review each IC Mission and Research Priorities statement and then contact one or more IC scientific LRP liaisons to discuss their research and career interests as it relates to the research and funding priorities of the selected IC.  Research and funding priorities can change on a yearly basis, so it is essential that applicants contact a liaison – ideally in advance of the opening of the application cycle – to ensure an appropriate understanding of IC priorities. You can find the list of NIH IC scientific LRP liaisons here.

For additional assistance, call or e-mail the LRP Information Center at 866-849-4047 (Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST) or You can also follow the NIH Division of Loan Repayment on Twitter and Facebook for more information and cycle updates.

Authored By
Omar McCrimmon, M.A.