National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Researchers


To attract and retain health professionals to clinical research careers by offering educational loan repayment for participants who agree by written contract to engage in clinical research in a qualifying nonprofit institution for a minimum of 2 years.

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
Fiscal Year 2015 800 awards 866 awards
Fiscal Year 2016 850 awards 868 awards
Fiscal Year 2017 808 awards
Fiscal Year 2018 854 awards (actual)
Fiscal Year 2019 850 awards (estimated)
21st Century Cures Act, Title II, Part C, Section 2022, Public Law 114-255, 42 U.S.C. 288-2
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
(1) A U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States; (2) Have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., Pharm.D., D.C., N.D., O.D. or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution; (3) Have total qualifying educational loan debt equal to or in excess of 20 percent of their institutional base salary on the date of program eligibility (the effective date that a loan repayment contract has been executed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services or designee); (4) Conduct qualifying research supported by a domestic nonprofit foundation, nonprofit professional association, or other nonprofit institution, or a U.S. or other government agency (State or local); (5) Engage in qualified clinical research. Clinical research is 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 epidemiologic or behavioral studies, outcomes research or health services research, or developing new technologies, therapeutic interventions, or clinical trials; (6) Engage in qualified clinical research for at least 50 percent of their time, i.e., not less than 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week; (7) Agree to conduct research for which funding is not prohibited by Federal law, regulation, or HHS/NIH policy, and in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local law (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations); and (8) Sign and submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, at the time of application submission, a contract agreeing to engage in clinical research in a qualifying institution for a minimum of 2 years. Full-time employees of Federal Government agencies are ineligible to apply for LRP benefits. Part-time Federal employees who engage in qualifying research as part of their nonfederal duties for at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week, and who are not compensated as a Federal employee for their research, are eligible to apply for loan repayment if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Health professionals who are interested in pursuing clinical research careers and who have unpaid educational loans will benefit from this program.
Applicants electronically transmit the following documents to the NIH: Applicant Information, Biosketch, Personal Statement, Description of Research Activities, 3-5 Recommendations, Loan Information including current account statement(s) and promissory note(s) or disclosure statement(s), Assessment of Research Activities Statement, and Description of the Research Environment, Training or Mentoring Plan. Institutional Contacts electronically transmit a certification that: (a) assures the applicant will be provided the necessary time and resources to engage in the research project for two years from the date a Loan Repayment Program Contract is executed; (b) assures that the applicant is or will be engaged in qualifying research for 50 percent of their time (or not less than 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week); (c) certifies that the institution is nonprofit (exempt from tax under 26 USC 501), and (d) provides the applicant's institutional base salary.
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 via the website Applications submitted to the NIH Division of Loan Repayment are first examined to determine if the basic eligibility requirements are satisfied. If these requirements are met, the application is forwarded to the NIH Center for Scientific Review for a determination regarding which NIH Institute or Center the application will be assigned to for review, scoring, and ranking.
Award Procedure
The NIH Institutes and Centers approve or disapprove applications for participation in the Loan Repayment Program for Clinical Researchers. When an Institute or Center approves an application, the NIH Division of Loan Repayment notifies individuals of their award amount, provides a repayment schedule that covers the period of participation, and a Loan Repayment Program Contract is executed by an authorized representative of the Secretary, DHHS. If the approved research assignment changes, or if the employing research institution changes, the participant must have their continued eligibility re- certified by the Institute or Center which approved their application. Contact the NIH via e-mail at LRP@NIH.GOV for further guidance.
November 15, 2019 At 8:00 p.m. EST September 1, 2019 to November 15, 2019 Extramural LRP applications are accepted annually from September 1 through November 15, 8:00 p.m. EST. All LRP applications must be submitted electronically using the NIH LRP Website, Review the Loan Repayment Program website, or contact the Headquarters Office listed below for the application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
More than 180 days. The approximate time for approval/disapproval is 6 months from the closing date of the annual application period.
Not applicable.
More than 180 days. At the conclusion of the initial 2-year contract, participants may apply and be considered for subsequent 1 or 2-year continuation contracts under the application and approval procedures specified above. Eligible renewal applications that score within the funding range receive continuation contracts.
How are proposals selected?
The NIH Institutes and Centers approve or disapprove applications for participation in the Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program. Applications that are on time, complete and eligible are referred to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center by the NIH Center for Scientific Review. The NIH Institutes and Centers convene panels comprised of non-NIH scientists to review, score and rank applications. In evaluating the application, reviewers are directed to consider the following components as they relate to the likelihood that the applicant will continue in a research career: (1) potential of the applicant to pursue a career in research, and (2) quality of the overall environment to prepare the applicant for a research career.
How may assistance be used?
To provide repayment of extant educational loans incurred by health professionals engaged in clinical research. 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 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 primary employment must be with a nonprofit institution. Any employment or income outside of the nonprofit institution must be separate from your research and cannot represent a significant amount of your total income. Recipients must agree by written contract to engage in such research, initially, for a minimum of 2 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. Participants may apply for and the Secretary may grant extension contracts for one-year or two-year periods, as determined by the Secretary, if the individual continues to engage in qualifying research. Renewal applications are competitively reviewed and the submission of a renewal application does not assure the award of benefits. The maximum program benefit is $50,000 per year in loan repayments and $19,500 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.
Not applicable.
The NIH will maintain applicant records for 3 years after rejection and participant records for 6 years after completion of final service obligation.
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 2-year period. One or 2-year renewal awards are available. Payments are made directly to lenders, following each quarter of the participant's satisfactory service, unless otherwise agreed upon by the participant and NIH Director. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Quarterly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Matthew R. Lockhart
6700B Rockledge Dr, Suite 2300
Bethesda, MD 20817 US
Phone: (240) 380-3062
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 18$48,533,088.00; FY 19 est $48,000,000.00; FY 20 est $48,000,000.00; FY 17$43,571,347.00; FY 15$43,757,421.00; FY 16$44,254,056.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
For initial two-year contract periods, loan repayment of 50 percent of education debt up to $100,000. For renewal contracts, loan repayment of 50 percent of education debt per year up to $50,000 per year.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Pertinent information is contained in 21st Century Cures Act, Title II, Subtitle C, Section 2022, Public Law 114-255, 42 USC 288-2. The NIH LRP-CR was initially announced by publication of a Notice in the Federal Register (Vol. 66, No. 173), and updated in Federal Register (Vol. 68, No. 61).
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.