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New Year, Fresh Beginnings

Happy New Year! 2020 was an unexpected and perhaps challenging year for all of us, however, my optimism cup is full as I look forward to what 2021 will bring. As you know, the 2021 LRP application cycle officially closed on November 15th, and more than 2200 researchers from across the country submitted applications. Those applications will soon begin undergoing review, so stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, I’d like to remind you of some programmatic changes, and one important update that will be implemented beginning in September:

Programmatic Reminders:

  • The maximum LRP award amount (depending on debt level) is now $50,000. Thus, awardees can receive up to $100,000 in student debt relief during their first award
  • Participation in the Health Disparities Research LRP has been expanded to all NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs), which means that when applying for the HD LRP, applicants can select from a list of more than 20 NIH ICs that fund this program. Here’s a look at the HD LRP results for the FY 2020 application cycle.

Programmatic Updates:

  • Beginning September 1, 2021, the Research in Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH LRP) will be launched! The REACH LRP is intended to address high priority emerging and gap areas of research. Each NIH Institute and Center that participates will set the priorities for this LRP. Stay tuned for an official announcement.
Now we’ve turned the page on the year 2020, it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself should be at the top of your ‘To-Do’ list. During unprecedented times like these, practicing self-care must be a priority. Whether it’s getting some exercise, listening to music, reading, or just indulging in some quiet time – do something that brings you joy. If you need a little help getting started, here’s an example of a selfcare plan:

Also, don’t let imposter syndrome creep in and cloud your mental well-being. I’ve continued to give several virtual workshops over the past year addressing imposter syndrome/thoughts as a career development impediment, and trust me, you’re not alone. Read more about my thoughts on imposter syndrome in a past issue of The POSTDOCket. Also, if you’re feeling brave and empowered, feel free to tweet me your stories of overcoming the ‘imposter monster’ on Twitter. The more we shine a light on our collective experiences, the more we can empower ourselves and those around us! As we close out this month’s DLR Director’s Blog, I’d like to remind you that if you have questions about the LRPs, feel free to 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 lrp@nih.gov. You can also follow the NIH Division of Loan Repayment on Twitter and Facebook for more information and cycle updates. Take good care of you and cheers to an outstanding 2021!

As we close out this month’s DLR Director’s Blog, I’d like to remind you that if you have questions about the LRPs, feel free to 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 lrp@nih.gov. You can also follow the NIH Division of Loan Repayment on Twitter and Facebook for more information and cycle updates. Take good care of you and cheers to an outstanding 2021!

Authored By
Ericka Boone