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NIH Loan Repayment Programs: A Lifeline for Biomedical and Biobehavioral Researchers: Applications Accepted September 1 – November 15

By the time many researchers have completed their education and training, they have amassed on average $160,000 in student loan debt.  The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. The LRPs counteract early-career researchers’ financial pressure by repaying up to $35,000 annually ($70,000 over a two-year contract) of a researcher’s qualifying educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in research areas important to the mission of NIH.

Nearly 1,400 scientists benefit from the $68 million NIH invests each year through the extramural LRPs. On average, nearly 50% of all new LRP applications are funded, and these awards are competitively renewable (for a one or two-year period) until all educational debt is repaid.

The NIH LRPs application cycle is open from September 1 – November 15, 2018, so NOW is the time to learn more about the five extramural NIH LRPs and apply for your lifeline TODAY.

Graphic showing a scale with a hand depositing money one one side, and a stack of books and graduation cap on the other

Extramural NIH Loan Repayment Programs:

Basic Extramural LRP Eligibility:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Doctoral Degree
  • Have student loan debt at least 20% of your annual base salary
  • Research funding from a domestic or nonprofit institution
  • Conducting at least 20 hours a week of research at a Domestic nonprofit institution

If you have questions, or want more details, visit, send an email to or call the LRP information center at 866-849-4047 (Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST).

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