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NIH Intramural LRPs - Eligibility Requirements

Home > About the Programs > Intramural LRPs > Eligibility

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Basic Eligibility Requirements


All eligible individuals, including women, individuals from underrepresented groups, and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply for loan repayment. The general eligibility criteria applicable to all Intramural LRPs are listed below.


To be eligible for participation in the intramural 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 (Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., Pharm.D., or equivalent doctoral level degree) or a P.A., B.S.N., or A.D.N. degree from an accredited institution with the following exception:

  • Employment -you must be employed by or have a firm commitment of employment from an authorized official of the NIH.
    • Your appointment as a full-time NIH employee must be in a laboratory or branch that is part of the Intramural Research Program of your Institute or Center.
    • You must have a formal appointment in the Intramural Research Program of the Institute or Center, e.g., adjunct investigator.
    • Applicants for the General Research program (including LRP for ACGME Fellows) must hold a three-year appointment at the NIH beginning in the fiscal year in which they are applying.
    (Please be advised that IRTA and CRTA fellows are "trainees" and not considered NIH FTE employees and are not eligible for LRP benefits.)

  • Qualified Educational Debt -you must have qualifying educational debt in excess of 20 percent of their annual NIH base salary on the expected date of program eligibility. The expected date of program eligibility is the date by which
    • (a) an applicant begins a qualified research assignment (see below) as an NIH employee and

    • (b) the Secretary executes his or her LRP contract. The applicant must have a formal appointment in the NIH intramural research program. See additional information about Intramural Research Eligibility Determination.

  • Qualified Research Assignments -you must be appointed at the NIH in a qualified research area.
    • For the AIDS and CR LRPs, qualified research assignments must involve AIDS or clinical research (see Appendix III) and be approved by the Loan Repayment Committee (LRC) (see Application Process). In support of the objectives of these LRPs, if applicable, an individual who is already employed by the NIH and applies to these LRPs must demonstrate his/her ability and intention to transfer from a non-qualified to a qualified AIDS or clinical research assignment.

    • Unlike the AIDS and CR LRPs, the General LRP is not targeted toward a specific area (e.g., AIDS) or type (e.g., clinical) of research. Rather, the focus is on attracting and retaining highly talented investigators to pursue biomedical research studies and investigations in a variety of scientific disciplines. Generally, this LRP is used to attract or retain more senior researchers rather than trainees. For the General LRP, a "qualified research assignment" is one that is approved by the LRC (see Application Process) based on the nature of the proposed research and its relationship to the mission and priorities of the NIH.


The following individuals are ineligible for participation in any of NIH's 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, other than NIH, 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. Individuals who are not considered NIH employees, such as the following examples:
  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

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