Loan Repayment Program for General Research


This listing is no longer in use. To recruit and retain health professionals performing research in fields required by the NIH to carry out its mission by providing educational loan repayment for participants with substantial amounts of educational debt relative to income, who agree by written contract to engage in laboratory or clinical research as employees of the NIH for a minimum 3-year period.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part VI, Section 487C, Public Law 100-43, 42 U.S.C. 288-3
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants must: (1) Be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States; (2) possess a M.D., Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., D.P.M., A.D.N., B.S.N., or equivalent degree, or hold the position of Physician Assistant; (3) have qualified educational debt, which results from governmental or commercial loans obtained to support their undergraduate and/or graduate education, in excess of 20 percent of their annual NIH salary on the program eligibility date; (4) be appointed to the NIH Intramural Research Program under any temporary or permanent employment mechanism, so long as the employment has the potential to last a minimum of three years; (5) not be under any existing service obligation to Federal, State, or other entities, until such obligation is discharged or unless it is deferred during the period of program service; (6) submit an application to participate in the Loan Repayment Program for General Research; and (7) sign and submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, at the time of application submission, a contract agreeing to engage in research as an employee of the NIH for a minimum of 3 years.
Beneficiary Eligibility
NIH researchers who possess substantial unpaid educational debt relative to income will benefit from this program.
Applicants must submit documentation of the following, as appropriate: (1) Copies of loan applications and agreements from government or commercial educational loans which are being submitted for repayment; (2) copies of the standard student budget from each school attended during the period in which the debt was incurred; and (3) other documentation as may be required.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicants must access and submit the Loan Repayment Program application electronically via the website; seek qualified employment with a sponsoring Institute or Center (IC) of the NIH. Once an application has been submitted, the Loan Repayment Committee reviews it at a regularly scheduled review meeting and a determination of loan repayment recipients is made.
Award Procedure
The NIH Loan Repayment Committee (LRC) will review, rank, and approve or disapprove applications recommended for program participation by each Institute or Center (IC). Applications approved for participation by the LRC will be notified by the Program Director. The Secretary, or his designee, will sign the service contract of program participants, provide a copy to the participant, and notice of the amount of approved loan repayment.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days. The approximate time for approval/disapproval is 3 months.
From 90 to 120 days. Employees of the NIH who are not approved as a result of this process may ask for reconsideration through the standard appeal procedures available to NIH employees.
From 90 to 120 days. At the conclusion of the initial 3-year contract, participants may apply and be considered for subsequent 1-year continuation contracts under the application and approval procedures specified above.
How are proposals selected?
Applicants are approved for participation in the NIH General Research Loan Repayment Program after the LRC determines that the applicant will conduct qualified research and has qualifying educational debt. LRC approval, in part, is based upon the scientific merit of the research, its priority to the research institutes, and the credentials of the applicant.
How may assistance be used?
To provide repayment of extant educational loans incurred by health professionals engaged, as employees of the NIH, in laboratory or clinical research. Recipients must agree by written contract to engage in such research, initially, for a minimum of 3 years; individuals who have conflicting service obligations may not participate in this program until those obligations are satisfied or have been deferred during the period of program service. Continuation contracts for 1-year terms are available, dependent upon the level of debt and continued involvement in research that supports the research and institutional needs and the mission of the NIH. Maximum program benefit is $35,000 per year in loan repayments and $16,275 per year in Federal tax reimbursements. Recipients must have qualified educational debt in excess of 20 percent of their annual salary, which is referred to as their "debt threshold."
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO). In accordance with 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 74.26, for-profit (commercial) organizations are subject to audit requirements for a non-Federal audit if, during it s fiscal year, it expended $500,000 or more under HHS awards and at least one award is a HHS grant or subgrant. The regulation incorporates the thresholds and deadlines of OMB Circular No. A-133, but provides for profit organizations with two options for the type of audit that will satisfy the audit requirement: 1. a financial related audit of the HHS awards in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, or 2. an audit that meets the requirements of OMB Circular No. A-133. In accordance with NIH grants policy, Foreign grantees are subject to the same audit requirements as for-profit (commercial) organizations.
The NIH will maintain applicant records for 3 years after rejection and participant records for 6 years after completion of final service obligation. Grantees generally must retain financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records that are required by the terms of a grant, or may reasonably be considered pertinent to a grant, for a period of 3 years from the date the annual FSR is submitted. For awards under SNAP (other than those to foreign organizations and Federal institutions), the 3-year retention period will be calculated from the date the FSR for the entire competitive segment is submitted. Those grantees must retain the records pertinent to the entire competitive segment for 3 years from the date the FSR is submitted to NIH. Foreign organizations and Federal institutions must retain records for 3 years from the date of submission of the annual FSR to NIH. See 45 CFR 74.53 and 92.42 for exceptions and qualifications to the 3-year retention requirement (e.g., if any litigation, claim, financial management review, or audit is started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims, or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken). Those sections also specify the retention period for other types of grant-related records, including F&A cost proposals and property records. See 45 CFR 74.48 and 92.36 for record retention and access requirements for contracts under grants. In accordance with 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 74.53(e), the HHS Inspector General, the U.S. Comptroller General, or any of their duly authorized representatives have the right of timely and unrestricted access to any books, documents, papers, or other records of recipients that are pertinent to awards in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, transcripts, and copies of such documents. This right also includes timely and reasonable access to a recipient's personnel for the purpose of interview and discussion related to such documents. The rights of access are not limited to the required retention period, but shall last as long as records are retained.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is available for a minimum 3-year period. One-year continuation contracts are available for individuals whose educational debt exceeds the maximum repayable amount for 3 years. Payments will be made directly to lenders, following each quarter of the participant's satisfactory service, unless otherwise agreed upon by the participant and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Quarterly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Patricia A. Cole, PhD
Office of Intramural Training and Education
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Building 2, Room 2E18
2 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-0230 US
Phone: 3014021283
Fax: 3014802942
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 20$5,192,760.00; FY 21 est $0.00; FY 22 est $0.00; FY 19$4,193,697.00; FY 18$3,917,457.00; FY 17$4,000,036.00; FY 16$3,548,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
(Loan Repayment) For initial 3-year contracts, loan repayment awards may range from $7,800 to $105,000; Tax reimbursements range from $3,679 to $48,825. The average contract cost which includes loan and tax reimbursement is $102,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Pertinent information is contained in Public Law 103-43, Section 1631; Section 487C of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 288-3); Public Law 105-392; and Federal Register, Volume 78, No. 66, Friday, April 5, 2013. Notice of Final Rule.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 In 2016, the funded projects will focus on qualified approved research within the basic clinical and translational areas that contribute to the NIH Mission.
Fiscal Year 2017 In 2017, the funded projects will focus on qualified approved research within the basic clinical and translational areas that contribute to the NIH Mission.


Federal Grants Resources