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Application Review Process
Application Review Process

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When you submit your LRP application:
Application Review Process
  • The NIH Division of Loan Repayment (DLR) checks that the application is complete and meets all general eligibility requirements.
  • Applications that are on time, complete, and eligible are forwarded to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR). CSR determines which NIH Institute or Center (IC) will review each application, with the following exceptions:
    • If you apply to the Clinical Research LRP or Pediatric Research LRP, you will have the opportunity to specify which IC(s) you prefer to peer review your application or specify which IC(s) you do not wish to peer review your application. You will find this information on the submission page of the application and it exists as an option. If you do not indicate a preference, CSR will assign your application to an appropriate IC for review. The IC Contacts and Research Priorities List provides information about the mission and research priorities of each IC.
    • Applications for the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP will be forwarded to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for review.
    • Applications for the Health Disparities LRP will be forwarded to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) for review.
    • Applications for the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds also will be forwarded to NIMHD for review.
Applications that are incomplete–including those missing supplemental information, such as recommendations and institutional certification–as of the applicable deadline date will not be considered.

Peer Review Process

Once assigned to an IC, each application is reviewed by a peer review group of scientists from outside NIH. In evaluating the application, reviewers consider:

Applicant’s potential to pursue a career in research, including:
  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience to prepare for a research career
  • Appropriateness of the proposed research activities during the LRP contract period to foster a career in research.
  • Commitment to a research career, as reflected by the personal statement of long-term career goals and plan to achieve those goals
  • Strength of the letters of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a successful career in research
Quality of the overall environment to prepare the applicant for a research career, including:
  • Quality and availability of appropriate scientific mentors and colleagues to help achieve or enhance the applicant’s research independence, including the mentors’ record in mentoring researchers, funding history and research productivity.
  • Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities.
For renewal applications (also known as type 2 applications), progress under the previous project period is an additional evaluation criterion. `

Award Process

Peer review of LRP applications takes place in the spring following application submission. The award process is two steps: initial selections for financial review and then final funding decisions. The initial selections of potential awardees are made in June. Those applicants selected must be financially vetted. In this process, DLR verifies the eligibility of their loans. Applicants who are selected for award consideration:
  • Will be notified by e-mail
  • New applicants must provide current loan documentation, including an account statement and promissory note or disclosure statement, for each of their loans within 15 days of being notified of their selection
  • Renewal applicants may be asked to provide updated account balance statements.
After receiving this documentation, DLR determines the contract costs to the ICs, which then make their funding decisions in August. DLR will provide a repayment schedule covering the period of participation and the loan repayment contract. All LRP awards are made by September.

Date Last Updated: August 23, 2012

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