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LRP Application Guide
LRP Application Guide

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LRP Application Guide

 Apply Here The following information provides an overview of the content of the online application. The content of the application will vary depending on the type of application you are submitting. This information is not intended to replace the information contained within the application. Therefore, if the application cycle is open, we recommend that you start your online application and review the forms and the instructions carefully.

Steps and Instructions to Prepare for the NIH LRP Application Cycle

The following information will assist you in gathering the materials you will need to complete the LRP online application. The application must be completed and submitted online on or before the deadline.

Generally, the extramural online applications are accepted from September 1 to November 15 each year. If you are applying to the Clinical or Pediatric Research LRP, NIH will consider your preference when assigning applications to the NIH Institute or Center (IC) for peer review by non-NIH scientists. Applicants who are selected will be notified by e-mail in June. Once selected, applicants are asked to provide loan documentation, including a promissory note and current account statement for each loan within 15-days of email notification.

The contract will start on July 1 of the calendar year following application submission, and awards will be announced shortly thereafter.

Please call the LRP Information Center at 866-849-4047 from 9 AM until 5 PM, Monday - Friday or email them at if you have questions regarding the Loan Repayment Program application process.

Tips for Completing a Competitive LRP Application

Click here for a helpful guide on writing a competitive LRP application.

Click here for a tutorial on the application process.

Application Forms

The online application forms are separated into the following tabbed sections:

Step 1 - Personal Information

This includes contact and educational background about the applicant, funding sources information, a personal statement about career goals, certifications (required signatures), and verification of citizenship status. Applicants are asked to complete several forms:

  1. Applicant Information Form. This includes:
    • Contact information
    • Education
    • Employment information
    • NIH Biosketch
  2. Funding Information identifying non-profit funding sources. This form outlines the sources for your research funding. There are three (3) categories: Non-Profit (non-NIH), NIH Grant and NIH NRSA Fellowship.

  3. Instructions: Indicate the non-profit source(s) of the funding that will support your research activities over the term of the LRP contract. If your research is supported by grants, it is not necessary for you to be named on the grant to include the grant information. If your non-profit employer is one of your top three non-profit funding sources, list your non-profit employer in Section 1.

    At least one non-profit or NIH funding source must be identified. Funding information will be used for NIH program evaluation only. The source of your funding will not be used in the review of your application.

  4. Personal Statement which includes a discussion of career goals and academic objectives.

    Instructions: Use 8,000 characters or less including spaces (approximately two single-spaced, typed pages) to briefly describe your previous research training experience, your short-term academic and research objectives, your long-term career objectives and your plan to achieve these objectives. Please include your name and the date in the header of the document.

  5. Online Certification Form which must be printed, signed and faxed to the Division of Loan Repayment (DLR). This form certifies to the accuracy of the application information, addresses the confidentiality of the recommendations and allows DLR to obtain financial information.

  6. U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency. This form is completed, printed, and should be faxed to DLR along with one of the required documents proving U.S. Citizenship or permanent residency; for example, a U.S. Passport, a birth certificate, or a resident alien card.

  7. Disadvantaged Background (only for applicants to Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds). Applicants to this LRP are required to provide documentation of their disadvantaged background.

  8. An individual from a disadvantaged background (42 CFR pt. 57.1804(c)) is one who comes from a family with an annual income below low-income thresholds according to family size as published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels in the Federal Register. Note that the published levels represent the low-income levels for the period from the year of publication to the present. If you are establishing your eligibility based on a prior year, the published levels for that year will apply. Current financial need alone is NOT sufficient to classify an individual as being from a disadvantaged background.

Step 2 - Research

This step includes identification of your research supervisor, if applicable, and a description of your proposed research, your list of colleagues who will recommend you, and the institutional official who can provide salary information and confirm your institutional support. As each form is submitted, NIH sends e-mail requests to either your research supervisor, recommender, or institutional contacts and they are asked to respond online.

  1. Research Activities: Describes the current or proposed research project including your specific responsibilities and role in conducting the research. The research supervisor/mentor will be asked to concur in the research project description you provide.
  2. Instructions: Identify your Principal Investigator or Research Supervisor. Your Principal Investigator/Research Supervisor will be asked to complete a recommendation form on your behalf, to concur with your research project description and to provide additional information on your research training and laboratory environment.

    Instructions: Use 20,000 characters or less including spaces (approximately six single-spaced, typed pages) to describe the research activities you will pursue over the next two years and your specific responsibilities and role in the research project(s). Also briefly describe the overall research environment, including intellectual and physical resources available to you. Literature citations are included in the character count and should be listed on the last page. Please include your name, employer, title of your research project and the date in the header of the document.

    Research Environment (for Independent Researchers only): This documents information on the research environment where you will be working during the contract.

    Instructions: Use 5,000 characters or less (approximately one typed page) to describe the current research conducted in the branch/laboratory/section/department where the applicant is located and the availability of appropriate scientific colleagues, institutional research, and facilities.

    Career Development Plan (for Independent Researchers only): This documents your career development plan for the upcoming years.

    Instructions: Use 5,000 characters or less (approximately one typed page) to describe your career development plan and explain how this plan will foster the development of your career in research. Specify the types of research methods and scientific techniques to be learned, membership in journal clubs or groups and conferences and seminars to be attended.

    Research Accomplishments (for Renewal Applicants Only): This document outlines your accomplishments during your prior participation in the NIH LRP.

    Instructions: Please use 5,000 characters or less including spaces (approximately one typed page), to describe your research accomplishments over the past two years.

    Research supervisors/mentors complete several online forms on behalf of the applicant:

    1. Recommendation

    2. An Assessment of Research Activities form including review/concurrence with the Research Activities Statement you submitted;
    • Description of the Research Environment, which provides detailed information about the lab where you will be conducting research, including funding, lab space, and major areas under investigation
    • Training or Mentoring Plan, which describes the research methods and scientific techniques to be taught
    • NIH Biosketch of a laboratory staff member if involved in training or mentoring the applicant (optional)
    • Supervisor/Mentor´s NIH Biosketch.
    • Assessment of Research Accomplishments (for Renewal Applicants Only)

  3. Identification of Recommenders. Recommenders are colleagues that can speak to the applicant's research capability.

    Instructions: Your application requires that you obtain three completed recommendations including one from your Research Supervisor. Please provide the names and email addresses for the other individuals who will provide a recommendation for your application. You may submit up to four names of individuals to ensure that the mandatory three recommendations are received.

    Recommenders identified in this form will be contacted by email as soon as you press the SUBMIT button and will be asked to complete an online recommendation form on your behalf. We can only accept recommendations via the online form. Letters, faxes and other forms of recommendation are not acceptable.

    Recommenders complete the online Recommendation form which includes their assessment of your research capabilities and potential to become an independent researcher. A total of three (3) Recommendations are required. The recommenders are asked to rate the applicant on several criteria, and to provide text responses to three (3) questions: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Overall Comments.

  4. Identification of Institutional Contact. The official providing this information should be someone authorized to reply for the organization. Please check with your institution to see who to name.

    Instructions: To verify institutional support for your research, please provide contact information for the official at the institution where you are conducting your research who can provide verification of compensation amounts and availability of time and resources to conduct your proposed research. Institutional Officials identified in this form will be contacted by email as soon as you press the SUBMIT button and will be asked to complete an online form on your behalf that will include an assurance of two years of continuing support and a minimum 50% commitment (20 hours per week) of research effort. Please ensure that all email addresses are entered accurately as once you press SUBMIT you cannot return to this form to make changes.

    Important: The official providing this information should be someone authorized to reply for the organization. Common titles for this individual are dean, associate dean, provost or chancellor of research & sponsored programs, or vice president of research administration. If you are not certain whom to name, please consult with your research supervisor or principal investigator.

    Institutional Contacts complete the online Institutional Information form. This form includes a certification that: (a) assures you 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 you will be engaged in qualifying research for at least 50 percent or more of your total level of effort for an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period; (c) certifies that the funding institution is a domestic nonprofit (exempt from tax under 26 USC 501); and (d) provides the applicant's institutional base salary.

Step 3 - Loans (for New applicants only)
Complete as many loan information forms as needed. The information provided includes:
  • Lender and servicer name and address
  • Loan number
  • Disbursement date
  • Total loan
  • Current balance
  • Monthly payment
  • Interest rate and type
  • Status (in repayment/deferment/forbearance)

  • Instructions:

    Important: The completion of this form requires accurate and comprehensive information. We recommend that you gather your educational loan information before starting this form. For information on qualifying loans see the Applicant Information Bulletin.

    If you have multiple educational loans you will need to complete a separate form for each loan type or lender. For example: if you have five (5) loans under the same lender that are the same loan type, then you will need to complete one form for all five (5) loans. If all of your loans have been consolidated into one loan account, you need only submit one Loan Information form. The information you provide in this form will be sent to the lending institution for the purposes of verifying the loan type, balance, payment amount, principal and interest, loan purpose, and repayment status, including deferment, grace, and forbearance status.

    If your application is approved you will be asked to fax us both the Promissory Note/Disclosure Document AND a current Account Statement (dated within 30 days) for each loan.

Step 4 - Submit Application

When all online forms are completed, click the “submit” button to transmit your application. If you are applying to the Clinical or Pediatric Research LRP, you will have an opportunity to indicate which ICs you prefer to peer-review your application. It is important to review the funding preferences on the Contact Us page provided by each of the institutes and centers (IC) at NIH. This will allow you to request that your application is referred to the most appropriate IC by making an indication on the application submission page.

Financial Review
If your application is selected for financial review, you will need to provide a promissory note, account statement and an NSLDS report for each loan you have listed in your application. There is a Loan Document Tutorial,, available for your review. Please remember that you should not send any loan information to the LRP until it is requested.

Application Cycle
Generally, the extramural online applications are accepted from September 1 to November 15 each year.

Contact Information
The LRP Information Center is available to assist you Monday through Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM year round. Please contact them at 866-849-4047, or by email at

Date Last Updated: July 23, 2014

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