The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers four loan repayment programs for the extramural community. These programs provide for repayment of educational loan debt of qualified health professionals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds or who agree to conduct clinical research, pediatric research, or health disparities research for two years. Applicants must engage in qualified clinical, pediatric or health disparities research for at least 50 percent of their level of effort, not less than 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week. The programs provide for the repayment of up to $35,000 of the principal and interest of the educational loans of extramural grantees or awardees for each year of obligated service. Payments equal to 39 percent of total loan repayments are issued to the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of a program participant to offset Federal tax liabilities incurred.
All applications are evaluated against the following components as they relate to the likelihood that the applicant will continue in clinical, pediatric or health disparities research:Potential of the applicant to pursue a career in one of the above mentioned research areas
Quality of the overall environment to prepare the applicant for a research career
- Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience to prepare him/her for a clinical, pediatric, or health disparities research career.
- Suitability of the applicant’s proposed clinical, pediatric, or health disparities research activities in the two-year loan repayment period to foster a research career.
- Assessment of the applicant’s commitment to a research career as reflected by the personal statement of long-term career goals and the plan outlined to achieve these goals.
- Strength of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a pediatric, clinical research, or health disparities research career.
- Availability of appropriate scientific colleagues to achieve and/or enhance the applicant’s research independence.
- Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities.
Extramural Loan Repayment ProgramsLRP for Clinical Researchers
The NIH Office of Loan Repayment and Scholarship sponsors this program. The program is aimed at recruiting and retaining highly qualified health professionals as clinical investigators. NIH defines clinical research as “patient-oriented clinical research conducted with human subjects, or research on the causes and consequences of disease in human populations involving material of human origin (such as tissue specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator or colleague directly interacts with human subjects in an outpatient or inpatient setting to clarify a problem in human physiology, pathophysiology or disease, or epidemiological or behavioral studies, outcomes research of health services research, or developing new technologies, therapeutic interventions, or clinical trials.”LRP for Pediatric Researchers
The NIH Office of Loan Repayment and Scholarship sponsors this program. This program is aimed at recruiting and retaining highly qualified health professionals as pediatric researchers. NIH defines pediatric research as “research that is directly related to diseases, disorders, and other conditions in children.”Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
The NIH Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) sponsors this program. The objective of this program is the recruitment and retention of highly qualified health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds to clinical research careers. The emphasis on clinical research and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds highlights the need for the involvement of a cadre of competent health professionals in clinical research. NIH defines an “individual from a disadvantaged background” as one who comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of Census, adjusted annually for the changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for use in all health professions programs.
LRP for Health Disparities
The NIH Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) sponsors this program. The objective of this program is the recruitment and retention of highly qualified health professionals to research careers that focus on minority health or health disparity issues. “Health disparity populations” are determined by the Director of NCMHD, after consultation with the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and are defined as populations where there is significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival rates as compared to the health status of the general population. For purposes of the LRP, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and the medically underserved, i.e., individuals from the Appalachian region, have been designated as health disparity populations.
NIDCR will accept applications from individuals focusing on areas directly related to oral, dental, and craniofacial research, which are relevant to the NIDCR strategic plan.
Funding priority will be given to applications from dentists who are pursuing research careers. For Clinical Research LRPs, NIDCR will give priority to health professionals whose research projects involve direct interaction with patients.
For information about NIDCR’s participation in these programs contact:
Dr. Lynn Mertens King
Chief, Research Training and Career Development Branch
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
One Democracy Plaza, Room 690
6701 Democracy Blvd
Bethesda, MD 20892
Tel: (301) 594-5006
Fax: (301) 402-7033