Health Professions Scholarship Program


To provide scholarships to American Indians and Alaska Natives at health professions schools in order to obtain health professionals to serve Indians. Upon completion, scholarship recipients are obligated to serve in the Indian Health Service or an Indian health organization for each year of support with a minimum of 2 years.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Indian Health Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Indian Health Care Improvement Act, Public Law 94-437.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Individuals of American Indian or Alaska Native who are enrolled members of a Federally-recognized tribe are eligible. Applicants for new awards: (1) must be accepted by an accredited U.S. educational institution for a full-time or part-time course of study leading to a degree in medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, or other participating health profession which is deemed necessary by the Indian Health Service; (2) be eligible for or hold an appointment as a Commissioned Officer in the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service; or (3) be eligible for civil service in the Indian Health Service.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Individuals of American Indian or Alaska Native who are enrolled members of Federally-recognized tribe; full-time students of medicine or other health professions; prospective or currently Commissioned Officers in the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service; and eligible civilians of the Indian Health Service.
Students claiming Indian priority must submit proper certification and documentation as specified in the application. All applicants must provide transcripts of their latest academic work. All incoming freshmen are to provide copies of acceptance letters for enrollment in school. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Application forms and instructions are provided by the Indian Health Service Scholarship Program, acting through the IHS Area offices.
Award Procedure
Priority will be given to applicants who are prior recipients. Special consideration is given to junior and senior level students whose specialty plans are in primary care fields. Criteria which determine competitive ranking awards may include: (1) work experience, preferably health-related in communities of health care need; (2) personal background from a community of health care need; (3) career goals of primary care practice in service to Indians; and, (4) academic performance. Student financial need does not affect selection.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days.
Not Applicable.
Continuation applications must be submitted annually. Continued funding subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance.
How are proposals selected?
(1) Academic performance; (2) faculty recommendations; (3) stated reasons for asking for the scholarship; (4) goals of the individual; and (5) the relative needs of the IHS and Indian health organizations for persons in specific health professions.
How may assistance be used?
Scholarships support students who pursue full-time or part-time courses of study in health professions needed by the Indian Health Service (IHS). Disciplines have included allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, nursing (baccalaureate and graduate), public health nutrition (graduate), medical social work (graduate), speech pathology/audiology (graduate), optometry, pharmacology and health care administration. Not all disciplines participate each year. Scholarships may not be awarded to students who have conflicting service obligations after graduation or who are not enrolled members of Federally-recognized tribes. Recipients are required to perform 1 year of obligated service for each year of scholarship support, with a minimum obligation of 2 years in the Indian Health Service, or in a program conducted under a contract entered into under the Indian Self-Determination Act; or in an Indian health organization assisted under Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act; or in private practice in a Health Manpower Shortage Area which addresses the health care needs of a substantial number of Indians. Deferment for internship, residency, or other advanced clinical training for medical, osteopathy, and dental students is generally not to exceed 3 years, consistent with the specialty needs of the IHS. Currently, 4-year deferments may be granted for obstetrics- gynecology and psychiatry residencies.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No program reports are required. Annual reports are required from schools indicating average student educational expense. Students are required to submit their official transcripts as they are received. In addition, recipients must submit initial and mid-term progress reports on forms supplied by IHS. No expenditure reports are required. No performance monitoring is required.
Not Applicable.
The Indian Health Service Scholarship Program maintains records for 7 years following completion of obligated service or other disposition of the scholarship obligation.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Maximum length of funding is a total of 4 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Tuition payments and fees are paid upon receipt of invoices from the universities. Stipend payments are paid monthly for the 12-month academic period. An amount for books and other necessary expenses is provided to the student.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Program Contact: Mr. Robert Pittman, Acting Chief, Scholarship Branch, Division of Health Professions Support, Indian Health Service, 801 Thompson Ave, Suite 450A, Rockville, MD 20852. Telephone: (301) 443-6197.

Grants Management Contact: Ms. Tammy Bagley, Acting Director, Division of Grants Management, Indian Health Service, 801 Thompson Avenue, Suite TMP 360, Rockville, MD 20852. Telephone: (301) 443-5204, Fax (301) 443-9602. Use the same number for FTS.

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Indian Health Service Area Program Offices.
Headquarters Office
Grants Policy Office, 801 Thompson Avenue, Suite TMP 360, Rockville, Maryland 20852 Email: Phone: (301) 443-5204
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Training) FY 14 $11,668,100; FY 15 est $11,668,100; and FY 16 est $11,668,100
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$17,615 - $125,500; average $44,877.31.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


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