National Institutes of Health(NIH) National Institutes of Health - Division of Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment Programs
 Phone 866-849-4047 Email 
About the Programs
Apply Online
Extramural LRP's for Researchers Outside NIH
Clinical Research
Pediatric Research
Health Disparities Research
Contraception and Infertility Research
Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
Intramural LRP's for NIH Employee Researchers
AIDS Research
Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds - Intramural
General Research (Including LRP for ACGME fellows)
NIH Employee Student Loan Repayment Program
Applicant Information Bulletin
Reports and Statistics
Success Stories
NIH Guide & Privacy Act Notices
LRP Regulations
NIH Privacy Notice
Sign up for Listserv
Eligibility of Individuals

Home > Eligibility > Eligibility of Individuals

PrintFontIncrease fontDecrease font
General Eligibility Requirements


All eligible researchers and scientists, including women, individuals from underrepresented groups, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply for loan repayment. The general eligibility criteria applicable to all five extramural LRPs are listed below. Follow the links in the left navigation menu to review additional eligibility requirements for each individual LRP.


To be eligible for participation in the extramural LRPs, you must meet these criteria:
  • Citizenship - you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the U.S.

  • Doctoral Degree - you must have a health professional doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral degree) from an accredited institution, with one exception:
    • The Contraception and Infertility Research LRP is open to individuals with a doctoral degree, as well as nurses, physician assistants, graduate students, and postgraduate research fellows training in the health professions.

  • Qualified Educational Debt - you must have total qualified educational debt equal to or in excess of 20 percent of your institutional base salary at the time of award, which will be between July and September annually. Institutional base salary is the annual amount the organization pays for your appointment, whether the time is spent on research, teaching, patient care, or other activities. Institutional base salary excludes any income that you may earn outside of the duties of the organization. Institutional base salary may not include or comprise any income (salary or wages) earned as a federal employee. For renewal applications, it is not necessary to satisfy the 20 percent educational debt-to-institutional base salary requirement.

  • Domestic, nonprofit research funding - 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.

  • Qualified Research - you must engage in qualified research that represents 50 percent of your level of effort and consumes an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period during the contract (2 years for the initial contract). The LRP contract normally starts on July 1 of the year following your application and you must be conducting your research for the entire period of your contract.  LRP contracts are not retroactive to any prior date.

    Part-time federal employees working 20 hours per week or less (4/8ths time or less) who are (a) not conducting research as a federal employee, and (b) whose funding is from a domestic nonprofit source as defined above, are eligible to apply for loan repayment if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

    You must agree to conduct only research that is not prohibited by federal law, regulations, or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you receive an award, you must conduct your research in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local law (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations) for the entire contract period.
You may not submit more than one LRP application to NIH in any fiscal year. If you have applied previously for an LRP, but did not receive an award, you are eligible to submit a new application if you meet all of the above eligibility criteria.

Recipients of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships and training grants can apply for and receive LRP awards but may have to defer their NRSA service payback until the completion of the LRP. Recipients of postdoctoral NRSA support for individual fellowships (F32 or F33) or institutional research training grants (T32) incur a service obligation in the first year of their fellowship which is then repaid in the second year. Since the LRPs require a service obligation during the entire period of participation, individuals cannot satisfy two service obligations concurrently.

No applicant will be excluded from consideration on the basis of age, race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or other non-merit factors.

Non-Eligible Individuals

The following individuals are not eligible for participation in the extramural LRPs:
  1. Persons who are not U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.

  2. Any individual who has a federal judgment lien against his/her property arising from a federal debt is barred from receiving federal funds even if the judgment is paid in full or satisfied.

  3. Any individual who owes an obligation of health professional service to the federal government, a state, or other entity, unless deferrals or extensions are granted for the length of their Extramural LRP service obligation. The following are examples of programs with service obligations that disqualify an applicant from consideration, unless a deferral for the length of participation in the LRP is obtained:
    • Armed Forces (Army, Navy, or Air Force) Professions Scholarship Program
    • Exceptional Financial Need (EFN) Scholarship Program
    • Financial Assistance for Disadvantaged Health Professions Students (FADHPS)
    • Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarship Program
    • National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program
    • National Institutes of Health Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP)
    • Nurse Faculty Loan Program
    • Physicians Shortage Area Scholarship Program
    • Primary Care Loan (PCL) Program
    • Public Health Service (PHS) Scholarship Program
    • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Program
  4. Individuals who are employed by the federal government with work schedules of more than 20 hours per week (5/8ths time or more).

  5. Individuals who derive any income from any for-profit source or from a private practice.

  6. Current recipients of an NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) or Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA).

  7. Individuals conducting research for which funding is precluded by federal law, regulations or HHS/NIH policy, or that does not comply with applicable federal, state, and local law regarding the conduct of the research (e.g., applicable human subject protection regulations).

  8. Individuals with ineligible loans, which include loans that have been consolidated with a loan of another individual (including spouses or children), or loans that are not educational, such as home equity loans.

  9. Individuals who breached a prior LRP contract.

  10. Individuals whose prior LRP contract had been overpaid, were required to remit funds to NIH to resolve the overpayment, but still owe these funds.

  11. Individuals who terminated a prior LRP contract that would have ended after the starting date of the contracts in the current application cycle.

Date Last Updated: October 22, 2012

Note that this site uses cookies, Click Here for more Information
Download Readers Download Adobe PDF Reader Download Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer Download Microsoft Word Viewer Download Microsoft Excel Viewer
QUESTIONS? LRP INFORMATION CENTER | MON-FRI, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST | 866 - 849 - 4047 |
Date Last Reviewed: January 02, 2015 | Content Manager: | Technical Issues: Email DLR Webmaster
NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®