General Research Loan Repayment Program

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General Research Loan Repayment Program
General Research Loan Repayment Program

What is General Research Loan Repayment Program?

The General Research Loan Repayment Program aims to recruit and retain appropriately qualified health professionals who agree to conduct research as employees of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in exchange for a three-year commitment. The NIH will repay up to $35,000 per year of a participant’s qualified educational debt and pay an additional 39 percent of the repayments to cover Federal taxes.

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Purpose of the General Research Loan Repayment Program?

In general, loan repayment programs are designed to alleviate the burden of student loan debt for individuals who engage in specific types of work or service. These programs are often initiated by government agencies, non-profit organizations, or employers in fields facing workforce shortages.

If you are referring to a specific program or have more context about the organization or entity offering the “General Research Loan Repayment Program,” I recommend checking the official website of the relevant program or contacting the administering organization directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding its purpose, eligibility criteria, and application process.

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Legislative Authority

In June 1993, Public Law (Pub. L.) 103-43 authorized Section 487C of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (42 USC 288-3), establishing a program of educational loan repayment to attract highly qualified health professionals, particularly physicians, to conduct research at NIH.

Program Announcement

See Intramural Loan Repayment Program for General Research (GR-LRP) guide notice in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for program and policy guidance.

Programs

There are two NIH Loan Repayment Programs, one for researchers not employed by NIH (Extramural) and another for researchers employed by NIH (Intramural). Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page, and the LRP Information Center (866-849-4047; lrp@nih.gov) is available to help with general eligibility concerns.

Extramural Researchers (Not Employed by NIH)

  • Applicants need to decide which Extramural subcategory most appropriately matches to their general research area. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the summary descriptions for each of the subcategories below.
  • Individuals are given the option to indicate a preferred NIH Institute or Center (IC) for peer review. For help determining IC match, applicants should contact the appropriate LRP IC Liaison(s). It is recommended that applicants read the Mission and LRP Research Priorities Statements for each of the NIH ICs in order to determine the best match. A list of LRP IC Liaisons, IC Mission Statements, and LRP Research Priorities Statements can be found on the Contact & Engage page. Exception: All applications to the Contraception and Infertility Research subcategory are reviewed by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Intramural Researchers (Employed by NIH)

  • Applicants should contact their direct supervisor in order to determine if their position qualifies for the Intramural LRP.
  • Applicants, in consultation with their supervisor, will determine which Intramural LRP subcategory is most appropriately matched to their research.

When ready to start an application, select APPLY or RENEW to obtain more application information. Be aware of the application periods.

Qualified Research Assignments (Intramural programs only) – You must be appointed at the NIH in a qualified research area.

Qualified Research Assignments (Intramural programs only) – You must be appointed at the NIH in a qualified research area.

  • For the AIDS and Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds subcategories, qualified research assignments must involve AIDS or clinical research and be approved by the Loan Repayment Committee (LRC). In support of the objectives of these subcategories, if applicable, an individual who is already employed by the NIH and applies to the Intramural LRP must demonstrate his/her ability and intention to transfer from a non-qualified to a qualified AIDS or clinical research assignment.
  • Unlike the AIDS and Clinical subcategories, the General subcategory is not targeted toward a specific area (e.g., AIDS) or type (e.g., clinical) of research. Rather, the focus is on attracting and retaining highly talented investigators to pursue biomedical research studies and investigations in a variety of scientific disciplines. Generally, this subcategory is used to attract or retain more senior researchers rather than trainees. For the General subcategory, a “qualified research assignment” is one that is approved by the LRC based on the nature of the proposed research and its relationship to the mission and priorities of NIH.

Domestic, nonprofit research funding (Extramural programs only) – Your research must be supported by a domestic, nonprofit foundation, university, professional association, or other nonprofit institution, or a U.S. government agency (Federal, State, or local). A domestic foundation, professional association, or institution is considered to be nonprofit if it is exempt from Federal tax under the provisions of Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501). NIH grants and university salaries are considered eligible funding. Your employment must be with a domestic, nonprofit institution.

NIH Employment (Intramural programs only) – You must be an NIH employee or have a firm commitment of employment from an authorized official of the NIH. Appointments are made under the broad authority of the Federal Civil Service (Title V or Title 42) or the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service. Responsibility for obtaining qualifying employment rests with the LRP applicant.

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Ineligible Eligibility

You are ineligible to apply for the NIH LRPs if you are: 

  • An individual who is not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the U.S. by the LRP award start date;
  • An individual who has or had a Federal judgment lien against his/her property arising from Federal debt;
  • An individual who owes an obligation of health professional service to the federal government, a state, or other entity, unless deferrals or extensions are granted for the length of the NIH LRP contract;
  • An individual employed by a federal government agency, other than NIH, with a work schedule of more than 20 hours per week;
  • An individual who receives any research funding support or salary from a for-profit institution or organization, including an individual identified as a Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI in an industry/pharma-supported Clinical Trial;
  • A current recipient of an NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) or a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA);
  • An individual conducting research for which funding is precluded by Federal law, Federal regulations, or HHS/NIH policy, or that does not comply with applicable Federal, State, and local law regarding the conduct of the research (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations);
  • An individual who does not meet the 20% debt-to-income ratio.

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Loan Eligibility Requirements

NIH will repay your lenders for qualified educational loans issued by any U.S. government entity, accredited U.S. academic institutions, and/or commercial lenders that are subject to examination and supervision in their capacity as lending institutions by an agency of the United States or the state in which the lender has its principal place of business. Qualified educational loans are loans that were used for school tuition or other reasonable educational or living expenses (including room/board and transportation) while attending undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental, or veterinary schools. 

LRP awards are not retroactive, thus loan balances paid down or paid-in-full prior to the start date of an LRP award will not be factored in the calculation of an award. NIH also will not repay any late fees, penalty fees, additional interest charges, or collection costs. Visit the Loan Information page for more details on loans that do or do not qualify for LRP repayment.

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Who is eligible for General Research Loan Repayment Program?

In order to qualify for this benefit program, participants must be a U.S. national, citizen, or permanent resident qualified/certified/licensed for laboratory or clinical research, have a health professional doctoral degree or equivalent, have student loan debt, and be employed by or have a firm commitment of employment at the NIH.

How do I apply for General Research Loan Repayment Program?

If you are referring to a specific loan repayment program related to general research and are unsure about the application process, I recommend taking the following steps:

  • Identify the Program:
    • Verify the correct name and details of the program. Ensure that you have accurate information about the program you’re interested in, including the organization or agency offering it.
  • Check the Official Website:
    • Visit the official website of the program or the administering organization. Look for a “How to Apply” or “Application Process” section. Official websites typically provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Contact the Program Administrator:
    • If the website doesn’t have the information you need, reach out to the program administrator or contact person listed. This could be an email address, phone number, or a contact form on the website.
  • Read Eligibility Criteria:
    • Understand the eligibility criteria for the program. Loan repayment programs often have specific requirements related to education, employment, and service commitments.
  • Gather Necessary Documents:
    • Prepare any required documentation, such as proof of education, employment verification, and information about your student loans. These documents are often necessary for the application process.
  • Follow Application Instructions:
    • Carefully follow the instructions provided in the application materials. Some programs may have online application portals, while others may require submission via email or regular mail.
  • Submit Application by Deadline:
    • Be aware of application deadlines and ensure that you submit your application on time. Late submissions may not be considered.
  • Seek Guidance if Needed:
    • If you have questions or need clarification during the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the program administrator or contact person for assistance.
  • Stay Informed:
    • Keep an eye on updates and communications from the program. Check your email regularly and be responsive to any requests for additional information.

Remember, the details provided here are general guidelines, and the specific steps may vary depending on the program. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, refer to the official program website or contact the administering organization directly.

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How can I contact someone?

For more information, please visit our website. Or contact the Loan Repayment Programs Information Center at: 866-849-4047 lrp@nih.gov 866-849-4047

FAQs. General Research Loan Repayment Program

1. What is the purpose of the General Research Loan Repayment Program?

The purpose of the program would be to assist individuals in repaying their student loans in exchange for engaging in research-related work or service.

2. Who is eligible to apply for the program?

Eligibility criteria would depend on the specific requirements of the program but might include factors such as academic background, employment in research fields, and student loan debt.

3. How can I apply for the General Research Loan Repayment Program?

Application procedures would typically involve submitting an application form along with supporting documents. The specific process would be outlined on the program’s official website.

4. What types of research activities are eligible for loan repayment?

FAQs might clarify the types of research activities that qualify for loan repayment under the program, including the fields of research and the expected impact.

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5. Are there specific requirements for educational qualifications?

The program might have requirements related to the educational background of applicants, such as holding a certain degree or having completed specific coursework.

6. How does the loan repayment process work?

FAQs might explain the mechanism by which loan repayment is carried out, including any stipulations on the amount of repayment and the duration of service.

7. Is there a deadline for submitting applications?

FAQs would likely provide information about application deadlines, emphasizing the importance of submitting applications within the specified timeframe.

8. Can I apply if I have existing research commitments or projects?

If applicants are already engaged in research projects, FAQs might address whether these activities can be considered for loan repayment and how they should be documented.

9. What happens if I am selected for the program?

FAQs might outline the next steps after selection, including the terms and conditions of the loan repayment agreement.

10. Is the program open to international applicants?

FAQs could clarify whether the program is restricted to U.S. citizens or if international applicants are also eligible.

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