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The NIH LRP is REACHing Out to Fund Investigators Engaged in Innovative Areas of Research

Beginning September 1, 2021, the Research on Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH) LRP will be available for all extramural LRP applicants.  The objective of this new subcategory is to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into doing research designed to pursue major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research and expand clinical research in emerging areas of human health.  Emerging areas are considered new areas of biomedical and biobehavioral research that are ripe for targeted investments that can have a transformative relevance and impact for years to come.

“We’re so thrilled that the new REACH LRP will be launching for the upcoming application cycle,” said Ericka Boone, Ph.D., Director, Division of Loan Repayment. “This new subcategory will give NIH institutes and Centers the autonomy to fund emerging research areas & target researchers who wouldn’t qualify under the existing LRP subcategories”.

Each participating NIH Institute or Center (IC) has determined which emerging areas of research will fit with their IC's research priorities.  It is important that applicants read the soon to be published Notice to learn more about which topics the NIH has deemed to be where a critical mass of capability and expertise is still emerging across the biomedical and biobehavioral research community.

As a reminder, there are five additional Extramural LRP subcategories that will be available once the application cycle opens:

  • 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;
  • Contraception and Infertility Research: Research on conditions impacting the ability conceive and bear young; and,
  • Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds: Available to clinical investigators from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This year, the LRP application cycle will open on September 1st and close on November 18th.  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 important that applicants contact a liaison – ideally in advance of the opening of the application cycle – to ensure appropriate understanding of IC priorities. You can find the list of NIH IC scientific LRP liaisons on the Contact & Engage page.

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.

By: Omar McCrimmon, M.A.
Date: May 6, 2021