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Account Statement

A statement of a loan account provided by the lender or servicing agent for the loan. This document details the current loan balance, interest charges, and other information, including an account number and payment address. NIH requires this statement for all eligible student loans before issuing an LRP contract. NIH accepts an account statement received through the U.S. Mail or a statement printed from a lender or servicing agent's website.

Accrued Interest

Interest (not penalties) accumulated and due on loans. Accrued interest is considered part of qualified student debt and is eligible to be repaid by NIH. If your loan is in repayment status, accrued interest is the amount of interest accumulated since your last payment. If your loan is not in repayment status, accrued interest is the amount accumulated since the original disbursement of the loan (or since the beginning of a grace period, deferment, or forbearance).

ALP (Alternative Loan Program)

Low-interest student loans backed by TERI, The Education Resources Institute, a nonprofit organization that sponsors loans for both graduate and undergraduate students. TERI — also called ALP (Alternative Loan Program) — loans are qualified for NIH loan repayment. Please see “TERI loans.”

Assessment of Research Activities

Please see “research supervisor.”


A Biosketch is your curriculum vitae presented in a specified NIH format. Your CV is not acceptable where a Biosketch is requested. The NIH Biosketch form is available online as a fill-in PDF file or Word document. You will upload the form through your online application

Breach of Contract

LRP participants breach, or violate, their legally binding contract with NIH by leaving their research before the end of their two- or three-year research commitment without NIH approval. See “service obligation.”

Capitalization (capitalized interest)

Unpaid interest added to the principal balance of a loan when a loan enters repayment (e.g., after periods of school, deferment, or forbearance). This results in an increase in the size of the loan, and interest is charged on the new balance. Capitalized interest should not be reported to LRP combined with “accrued interest” since it is included in the principal balance reported by the lender.

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

CSR refers LRP applications to NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) for peer review and scoring based on a scientific review of the application.

Change of Institution (COI)

Change of institution, or COI, occurs when participants physically move from one institution to another to continue their research. A change of institution involves providing updated research information and naming a new supervisor and organizational contact. COIs are reviewed and subject to approval by the Institute or Center that funded the LRP award.

Clinical Research

Patient-oriented 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, epidemiologic or behavioral studies, outcomes or health services research, or developing new technologies, therapeutic interventions, or clinical trials.

Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program

A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals as clinical investigators.

Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds as clinical investigators.

Consolidation Loan

Consolidation of qualified student loans into a single loan. See “ineligible loans” to learn what pitfalls to avoid if you are considering consolidating your loans. See “FFEL Consolidation Loan” for consolidation of federally guaranteed student loans.

Contraception and Infertility Research Loan Repayment Program

A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health and/or allied health professionals as contraception and infertility investigators. This LRP is for health professionals, including those with doctoral degrees, nurses, physician assistants, graduate students, and postgraduate research fellows conducting qualified contraception and infertility research at sites designated by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Contraception Research

Research that has the ultimate goal of providing new or improved methods of preventing pregnancy.

Debt Threshold

The minimum amount of qualified student loan debt allowing an applicant to be eligible for an NIH Loan Repayment Program. To satisfy the debt threshold, LRP applicants must have qualified student loans equal to or exceeding 20 percent of their institutional base salary.


A period of time when a lender suspends payments on principal or interest charges, or both, on a loan. On federally subsidized student loans, the federal government may pay the interest during a deferment. Deferment may be obtained or extended for a variety of reasons, including financial hardship or continuing education. Deferments vary by lender and by type of loan.

Delinquent Student Loans

A loan is considered delinquent when payments are late or missed. LRP will exclude all delinquent loans when determining "qualifying debt" and will not pay late fees for loans that go into delinquent status

Disadvantaged Background

An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined as one who comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Census Bureau, adjusted annually for the changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary) for use in all health professions programs. The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels in the Federal Register.

Disclosure Statement

Provides the borrower with information about the actual cost of the loan, including the interest rate, origination, insurance and loan fees, and any other kinds of finance charges. Lenders are required to provide the borrower with a disclosure statement before issuing a loan. The NIH LRP accepts a copy of this document in lieu of a promissory note to document qualified student debt.

Doctoral-level Degree

Individuals with the following doctoral-level degrees are eligible to apply for the NIH LRPs: 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 an equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution.

Educational Debt

The sum of qualified student loans (principal + interest + related expenses) recorded at the start of the NIH LRP contract.

Eligible Loans

A loan is considered eligible if it is issued by any U.S. federal, state, or local government, academic institution or commercial lender, and used for school tuition or other reasonable educational or living expenses (including room and board and transportation) while attending undergraduate, graduate, medical, dental, or veterinary schools.

Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (also known as the Direct Loan Program) is a federal program wherein the school becomes the lending agency and manages the funds directly, with the federal government providing the funds. Similar to the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), funds for these loans are provided by the U.S. government directly to students and their parents through schools. The FDSLP includes the Federal Direct Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) and the Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). These loans, including PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006, qualify for LRP repayment. PLUS loans to parents do not qualify.

Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Consolidation Loan

Consolidated, federally-sponsored student loans, FFEL Consolidated Loans are eligible for repayment. Also see "Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)," "SMART Loans," and "Stafford Loans."

Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP)

Includes the Federal Stafford Loan (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), the Federal Perkins Loan, and the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). The funds for these loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations. These loans are guaranteed against default by the federal government. These loans, including PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006, qualify for LRP repayment. PLUS loans to parents do not qualify.


A period in which a lender suspends regular loan payments. Interest charges accumulate and are added to the balance at the end of the forbearance period. Forbearance is usually granted for financial hardship. The NIH LRPs will repay the interest charges that accumulate while a loan is in forbearance.

Grace Period

A period after graduation/separation from school during which the borrower is not required to make student loan payments. See “forbearance,” “deferment,”and “service obligation.”

Health Disparities Research

Basic, clinical, or behavioral research on a health disparity population (including individual members and communities of such populations), including the causes of health disparities and methods to prevent, diagnose, and treat such disparities.

Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program

A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals to research careers that focus on minority health or other health disparity issues.

Health Disparity Populations

Groups determined by the Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), in consultation with the Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in which there is significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival as compared to the health status of the general population. The following populations have been designated as health disparity populations: Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and the medically underserved (i.e., individuals from the Appalachian region).

Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL)

Student loans sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HEAL loans qualify for repayment.

Health Professions Student Loan (HPSL)

Loans sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HPSL loans qualify for repayment. Applicants with HPSL loans also meet the disadvantaged background criteria for the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.

Income Tax Allowance

See Tax Allowance

Ineligible Loans

Loans that do not meet LRP criteria for “eligible loans” are ineligible for LRP consideration. This includes non-educational loans, PLUS loans to parents (PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006, however, are qualified for LRP repayment ), loans consolidated with another individual's loan (including a spouse or child), home equity loans, personal loans, and loans received from family or friends.

Infertility Research

Research that has the long-range objectives of evaluating, treating, or ameliorating conditions that result in the failure of couples to either conceive or bear young. Contraception research is defined as research that has the ultimate goal to provide new or improved methods of preventing pregnancy.

Institutional Base Salary

The total annual compensation an applicant receives from his/her supporting institution. Institutional base salary (also called “base salary”) includes pay for research, teaching, or other activities. Institutional base salary excludes fringe payments, administrative or reimbursed expenses, and income earned outside of duties to the institution.

Institutional Contact

An individual authorized to act in an official capacity on behalf of an LRP applicant's employer. The institutional contact is asked to report the applicant's salary and confirm to NIH that (1) the applicant will be provided time and resources to engage in research for the term of the LRP contract; (2) the applicant is or will be engaged in qualifying research for at least 50 percent or more of his/her total level of effort for an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period, and; (3) the employer is a nonprofit organization.

Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)

Loans issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. LDS loans qualify for repayment. Applicants with LDS loans also meet the disadvantaged background criteria for the Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds.

LRP Information Center

A one-stop source for answers to questions about the NIH Loan Repayment Programs, including questions about the application, eligibility, and loan payments. Known formerly as the LRP HelpLine, LRP Information Center staff can be reached toll-free at 866-849-4047 or by e-mail at

Master Promissory Note (MPN)

A contract that borrowers sign when taking out either subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford Loans. When submitting the MPN to LRP, you are required to include the attachment that lists loan amounts and dates for all disbursements. For students who attended four-year or graduate schools, the MPN also covers Stafford Loans for future enrollment periods at the same school within a 10-year period. See “Stafford Loans.”


Sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges, this loan is offered to medical students exclusively for expenses incurred with residency interviews and relocation. MEDEX Loans qualify for repayment.

Medically Underserved

A term that refers to individuals who lack access to primary and specialty care either because they are socioeconomically disadvantaged and may live in areas with high poverty rates or because they reside in rural areas. The term also refers to individuals who reside in geographic areas where the Index of Medical Underservice (IMU) is 62 or less. Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA) criteria designate a service area with an IMU of 62 or less as a "medically underserved area (MUA)." The IMU is a weighted score derived from four variables: the ratio of primary medical care physicians per 1,000 population, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below the federal poverty level, and percentage of the population age 65 years or over.


A loan program sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and offered exclusively to medical students. The loans include those under the federally-subsidized Stafford Loans and Alternative Loan Program (See “Alternative Loan Program-ALP”). MEDLOANS qualify for repayment.

Minority Health Conditions

Diseases, disorders, and other conditions (including mental health and substance abuse) that are unique to, more serious, or more prevalent in racial and ethnic minorities, for which the medical risk factors or types of medical interventions may be different, or research involving such populations as subjects or data on such individuals is insufficient.

Minority Health Disparities Research

Basic, clinical, or behavioral research on minority health conditions, including research to prevent, diagnose, and treat such conditions.


Applicants must conduct qualifying research supported by a domestic nonprofit foundation, nonprofit professional association or other nonprofit institution, or a U.S. federal, state or local government agency. 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).

Nursing Student Loan Program (NSL)

Issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NSL loans qualify for repayment.

Payment Verification

When NIH releases a payment to a participant's lender, the participant is required to submit an “account statement” from the lender that details the payment amount and resulting account balance.

Pediatric Research

Research that is directly related to diseases, disorders, and other conditions in children, including pediatric pharmacology.

Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program

A loan repayment program designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals as pediatric investigators.

Perkins Loan

Formerly the National Direct Student Loan Program, Perkins loans are issued by educational institutions and provide up to $3,000 per year for undergraduate programs, and up to $6,000 per year for graduate school. Perkins loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education and qualify for repayment.

PLUS Loans (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)

Federally-guaranteed unsubsidized loans issued to parents for educational expenses incurred by their children. PLUS loans disbursed to graduate and professional students on or after July 1, 2006, qualify for LRP repayment. PLUS loans to parents do not qualify for repayment.

Program Eligibility Date

The date that the initial LRP contract is executed by the Secretary, or an authorized designee, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Promissory Note

The binding legal document that must be signed by the student borrower before loan funds are disbursed by the lender. The promissory note states the terms and conditions of the loan, including repayment schedule, interest rate, deferment policy, and cancellations. The student should keep this document until the loan has been repaid. The NIH LRP relies on promissory notes, or “disclosure statements,” to determine an LRP participant's student debt.

Qualifying Debt

The total educational debt owed by the participant as of the start date of the LRP contract.


Individuals who can comment on the research skills and the abilities of the applicant. This includes the applicants' research supervisor or most recent mentor.

Repayable Debt

The amount of debt qualified for LRP participation at beginning of contract. NIH repays 25 percent of a participant's repayable debt (up to $35,000) for each year of LRP participation during the initial two-year contract, for a total of 50 percent repayment (up to $70,000) during the initial contract.

Repayment Start Date

The date when any deferment or grace period ends and a borrower must start repaying student loans. Most student loans are automatically granted grace status at time of disbursement, and remain in grace status as long as the borrowers are full-time students.

Research Activities Statement

This statement is part of the LRP application. It describes the current or proposed research project and the applicant's role in conducting the research. It includes a brief statement regarding the research environment and colleagues.

Research Supervisor

The person directly supervising the LRP applicant's research activity. NIH asks each LRP applicant's research supervisor or mentor to complete two online forms: an “Assessment of Research Activities” and a recommendation. The assessment includes the supervisor's concurrence with the applicant's Research Activities Statement, which outlines the research environment and training/mentoring plan, and also includes the research supervisor's Biosketch.

Service Obligation

In exchange for NIH repaying student loan debt, LRP participants are required to conduct qualified research for their contract period. This is their “service obligation.” Applicants with any remaining outside service obligations (other than to the LRP contact) must complete those commitments or gain deferment before they are eligible for the LRPs.

Service Verification

Service verification is completed on a quarterly basis by the participant's supervisor and is a required step before funds are released to the lender(s). The supervisor must verify that the participant continues to complete research at the accepted level of effort and that the research is as described in the LRP application.


Sallie Mae's name for Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) consolidation loans. SMART Loans qualify for NIH loan repayment programs.

Stafford Loans

Federal loans that come in two forms: subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are based on need; unsubsidized loans are not. Interest on subsidized Stafford Loans is paid by the federal government while the student is in school and during the six-month grace period. The subsidized Stafford Loan was formerly known as the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL). These loans are eligible for LRP repayment.

Subsidized Loans

The federal government pays the interest that accrues on subsidized loans during all in-school, grace period, authorized deferment, and (if applicable) post-deferment grace period times if the loan meets certain eligibility requirements. Examples include Stafford (either FFELP or direct), Perkins, Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS), and Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL).

Tax Allowance

LRP repayments made to lenders are taxable income to participants. To partially offset the increase in income tax liability that result from the LRP award, NIH makes a federal tax payment equal to 39 percent of the loan payment directly to the participant's IRS tax account each time a loan payment is made on their behalf(an additional tax payment at the rate of 7.5% of the loan repayment amount is also made to cover social security and FICA taxes for intramural LRP participants only). Both loan and tax payments are reported after the end of the calendar year and a 1099-G form (or a W-2 form for NIH employees) is mailed to participants no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.

The Education Resources Institute (TERI) Loans

Low-interest student loans backed by TERI, a nonprofit organization that sponsors loans for both graduate and undergraduate students. Also called ALP (Alternative Loan Program) loans, these loans are qualified for NIH loan repayment.

Unsubsidized Loans

When student loans are unsubsidized, borrowers are responsible for paying all accrued interest, whether accrued in school or during grace or deferment periods, or during NIH repayment contract periods. Examples include Federal Unsubsidized Stafford (either FFELP or direct), Federal SLS, Federal PLUS, Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL), private loans, and some institutional loans. See “Capitalization.”

 William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)

See “Federal Direct Student Loan Program.”

Date Last Updated: June 3, 2015

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