The National Institutes of Health (NIH) repays outstanding student loans through its extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs). The LRPs target researchers who are or will be conducting nonprofit biomedical or behavioral research, and the application cycle opens September 1. Applications will be accepted online until 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on December 1, 2009, at www.lrp.nih.gov.
The five extramural LRPs are:
- Clinical Research
- Pediatric Research
- Health Disparities Research
- Contraception and Infertility Research
- Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.
New LRP contracts are awarded for a two-year period and repay up to $35,000 of qualified educational debt annually. Tax offsets also are provided as an additional benefit. Participants may apply for competitive renewals, which are issued for one or two years. Undergraduate, graduate, medical school, and other health professional school loans qualify for repayment. An NIH grant or other NIH funding is not required to apply for or participate in the LRPs.
Applicants must possess a doctoral-level degree (with the exception of the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP); be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident; devote 20 hours or more per week to conducting qualified research funded by a university, nonprofit organization, or federal, state, or local government entity; and have qualified educational loan debt equal to or exceeding 20 percent of their institutional base salary.
Each year, some 1,600 research scientists benefit from the more than $70 million NIH invests in their careers through the extramural LRPs. Twenty-six percent of awards are made to individuals within one to five years of receiving their doctoral degree. More than 75 percent of awards go to individuals within 10 years of receiving their doctoral degree. Approximately 40 percent of new applications and 70 percent of renewal applications are funded.
Visit the LRP website at www.lrp.nih.gov for more information and to access the online application. For additional assistance, call or e-mail the LRP Information Center at (866) 849-4047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.