Loan Repayment

About Loan Repayment Programs

  • The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress that are designed to retain highly qualified investigators, including health professionals, in biomedical or biobehavioral research careers.  
  • Although organized around broad research areas, the LRPs do not fund research projects. LRP awards are based on an applicant's potential to build and sustain a research career.  
  • Details on eligibility, individual program requirements, award information, application instructions, and deadlines can be found on the NIH Loan Repayment Program website. Also see  Extramural LRPs FAQs.

Who Qualifies?

What is the Repayment Amount?

The LRP awards repay up to $50,000 annually of a researcher's qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research.  

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • Citizenship - You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S national, or permanent resident of the U.S. by the LRP award start date.
  • Qualifying Degree (Extramural programs only) - Possess an M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution. There are some exceptions in the Contraception and Infertility, and REACH subcategories. Visit the Contraception and Infertility and REACH pages for additional details.
  • Qualifying Degree (Intramural programs only) - Possess an M.D., Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.V.M., A.D.N., B.S.N., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution; or hold the position of Physician Assistant.
  • Qualified Educational Debt - You must have total qualified educational debt equal to or in excess of 20 percent of your institutional base salary at the time of award. Institutional base salary is the annual amount you are paid for your appointment, whether the time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Institutional base salary excludes any income that you may earn outside of the duties of the organization. It is not necessary for renewal applicants to satisfy the 20 percent debt-to-income requirement.

View the full list of eligibility requirements on the LRP website.

How do I Apply?

  • Before starting an application, you must obtain an eRA Commons account.
  • Complete the Colleague Information section of the LRP application at least two weeks before the deadline to give your referees, mentor, and Institutional Business Officer time to submit supporting documents by the application deadline.

For detailed application instructions, visit the Apply page on the LRP website.

When do I Apply?

For application due dates, scroll down to the “Application Periods and Documentation Deadlines” section on the LRP website homepage

NIDCR Loan Repayment Programs Applications


NIDCR will consider NIH LRP (Extramural) applications from investigators who are engaged in dental, oral, and craniofacial research and match program areas described in five of the six NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs: Clinical Research Program, Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds, Pediatric Research Program, Health Disparities Research Program, and Research in Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH). Awards are based on an applicant's potential to build and sustain a research career.

For more information, contact:
Anissa Brown, Ph.D.
Research Training and Career Development Branch
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
(301) 594-4805


Potential applicants in NIDCR's Intramural Program should contact their direct supervisor to determine if their position qualifies for the NIH LRP (Intramural). Applicants, in consultation with their supervisor, will determine which Intramural LRP is most appropriately matched to their research.

For more information please contact:
Belinda Hauser, Ph.D.

Training Director, Office of Training and Education
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
(301) 451-6492

Last Reviewed
November 2023