The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. The escalating costs of advanced education and training in medicine and clinical specialties are forcing some scientists to abandon their research careers for higher-paying private industry or private practice careers.
The LRPs counteract that financial pressure by repaying up to $35,000 annually of a researcher's qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. Since tomorrow's medical breakthroughs will be made by investigators starting in their research careers today, the LRPs represent an important investment by NIH in the future of health discovery and the wellbeing of the Nation.
There are eight LRPs, five for researchers not employed by NIH (Extramural) and three for researchers employed by NIH (Intramural). Research funding from NIH is NOT required to participate in the Extramural LRPs, and Extramural and Intramural LRP awardees may apply for subsequent, competitive renewal awards as long as they meet Program eligibility. Although organized around broad research areas, the LRPs were never intended to fund research projects. Rather, LRP awards are based on an applicant's potential to build and sustain a research career.
In addition, there are priority tracks for investigators conducting research that focuses on one or more of the minority health disparity populations defined by NIMHD and for clinical researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds (e.g. Hispanics)
Eligibility & Programs: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/eligibility-programs
Application Instructions: http://www.lrp.nih.gov/apply