The pursuit of academic research career can be a challenge, especially when faced with high levels of student loan debt. The escalating costs of advanced education and training are forcing some scientists to abandon their research careers for higher-paying private industry or private practice careers. In exchange for a commitment to conduct biomedical or behavioral research, the NIH will repay up to $70,000 of student loan debt (over two years) per two-year contract through the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs).
If you are a qualified health professional who agrees to engage in NIH mission-relevant research for at least 20 hours per week at a nonprofit institution, you may be eligible to apply to the one of the five extramural LRPs:
- Clinical Research Extramural LRP: Patient-oriented research conducted with human subjects;
- Pediatric Research Extramural LRP: Research that is directly related to diseases, disorders, and other conditions in children;
- Health Disparities Research Extramural LRP: Research that focuses on minority and other health disparity populations;
- Contraception and Infertility Research Extramural LRP: Research on conditions impacting the ability conceive and bear young; and,
- Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Extramural LRP: Available to clinical investigators from disadvantaged backgrounds.
To qualify, an applicant 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 his/her annual institutional base salary.
Thinking of applying this year? There are a few updates that you should keep in mind:
- All applicants (new and renewal) are required to have an eRA Commons ID to submit an LRP application. If you don’t have an eRA Commons ID, act quickly because it could take several weeks to get one! Check with your grants administrator and visit the eRA Commons website for more information.
- We have a newly redesigned, easier to use online application! All applicants (new and renewal) will be required to create a new log-in account. Check out the new application (online and in pdf format) at: lrp.nih.gov.
- All application components, including the LRP application, recommendations and and institutional support documentation are due by November 15, 2016.
Visit www.lrp.nih.gov for more details and to apply. For additional assistance, call or e-mail the LRP Information Center at 866-849-4047 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. You can also follow the NIH Division of Loan Repayment on Twitter and Facebook for more information and cycle updates. Get started on your application today!