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Home > About the Programs

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You do the research. NIH will repay your student loans. That is the idea behind the National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs).

NIH wants to encourage outstanding health professionals to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research. If you commit at least two years to conducting qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization or U.S. federal, state, or local government entity, NIH may repay up to $35,000 of your qualified student loan debt per year, including most undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans. Loan repayment benefits are in addition to the institutional salary you receive for your research.

If you are or will be conducting qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit institution outside NIH, you may be eligible for one of the five extramural LRPs: You may submit only one LRP application to NIH in any fiscal year, even though your research may be appropriate for more than one of the programs.

Learn more about these programs:

Get Help. If you need assistance in determining the LRP to which you should apply, contact the LRP liaison(s) at the NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) related to your area(s) of research.

    Determine if you are eligible. Review the eligibility requirements to see if you and your loans qualify.

    Review Notices. See Notices for NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) for detailed program and policy guidance.

    Review the tips for completing a competitive LRP application. Click here for a helpful guide on writing a competitive LRP application.

    Understand Tax Implications. Since loan repayments are considered as income for tax purposes, NIH will also make payments (credited to your Internal Revenue Service tax account) to cover the increased federal taxes you will incur as a result of receiving LRP benefits. Read more about the tax-related benefits provided under the LRPs.

    Fulfill Service Obligation. Learn more about the service obligation you must fulfill as an LRP participant and how other outside service obligations may impact your program participation.


If you are an NIH employee, you may be eligible for the intramural LRPs or the Student Loan Repayment Program.

Get Started – Step 2: Eligibility

Date Last Updated: March 12, 2012

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