Applications to NIH Loan Repayment Programs Accepted Sept. 1 through Nov. 15


Dedication to the path of research can be rewarding and fulfilling as a career choice. The National Institutes of Health want to encourage outstanding health professionals to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research, and to develop their skills into a lifelong passion for discovery and knowledge. However, far too often, the pursuit of research can be a challenge, especially when faced with high levels of student loan debt. This is how the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) can help!

On July 16 NIH announced the next application cycle for the NIH Extramural  Loan Repayment Programs. If you are a researcher who has incurred significant educational debt, then the NIH LRPs are for you. In exchange for a two-year commitment to conduct biomedical or behavioral research funded by a nonprofit or government institution, the awards repay up to $35,000 of student loan debt annually. On average, nearly 40% of all new LRP applications are funded, and these awards are renewable.

To qualify for this program applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, possess a doctoral-level degree (with the exception of the contraception and infertility research LRP), and have educational loan debt equal to or exceeding 20 percent of your annual institutional base salary.

In addition, applicants must devote at least 20 hours per week to research that fits within one of five program areas:clinical research, pediatric research, health disparities researchcontraception and infertility research, or clinical research for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The 2014 application cycle opens September 1, 2013 and closes on November 15, 2013.

Please visit for applications, LRP office contact information, and resources such as a brief overview of the loan repayment programs, a newly-launched step-by-step Application Guide, and the LRP Payment Estimator.

One comment

  1. Unfortunately, the loan repayment plan does not apply to the vast majority of researchers who do basic research. Here is a direct quote from an NIH Senior advisor for career development awards: “Pediatric LRP applications not involving human research subjects need to be directly translatable to pediatric diseases for the reviewers to have high enthusiasm.”

    Therefore you should make clear that the loan repayment program is NOT for basic researchers. Once again the NIH only presents a small tidbit of the facts.

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