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NIH Loan Repayment Programs

NIH encourages outstanding health professionals to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research. If you contractually agree to engage in at least two years of qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization, NIH may repay up to $35,000 of your qualified student loan debt per year, including most undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans. Loan repayment benefits are in addition to the institutional salary you receive for your research.

NIMH participates in two of the five extramural LRP Programs — Clinical Research LRP  and Pediatric Research LRP . Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Kristina McLinden ( for information about eligibility, technical assistance, and the Institute’s research priorities.

In addition, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities  supports two loan repayment programs for clinicians: one for those involved in health disparities research (Health Disparities Research LRP ) and another for clinical researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds (Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds ).

Application Cycle Deadlines and Notification

New and Renewal: September 1 - November 15 each year
Notification: Late Summer each year

The LRP application is available and accepted online through this website from September 1 through November 15 each year.

Get Started

Watch NIH Loan Repayment webinars - Overview of Loan Repayment  and Application Tutorial  - for insight into the application process and tips for success.

Follow the three Get Started  steps on this page to learn about the extramural LRPs, verify your eligibility, and apply to one of the programs.

The LRP Application Guide  will acquaint you with the content and format of the application so that you can begin preparing to complete it. The Resources  section of the website provides additional tools and information.


Priority score and reviewer comments for loan repayment applications are not provided to applicants (see ). If an LRP application is not awarded, the applicant is allowed to submit a new application in a subsequent year. Official summary statements are not generated, and thus are not available either to the applicants or the reviewers. Applicants are not expected to indicate how their application differs from any earlier applications they may have submitted.

Unsuccessful LRP applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Kristina McLinden for feedback.

Tools and Training

LRP Application Guide  – Prepare to complete an LRP application by getting started with this guide. The extramural LRP application cycle is open September 1–November 15, and starting your preparations as early as possible can help you avoid being rushed as the deadline approaches.

Tips for Completing a Competitive LRP Application  – A helpful guide on writing a competitive LRP application.

LRP Repayment Estimator  – What can the LRPs do for you financially? Use this tool to approximate the student loan repayment benefits you may receive as an LRP participant.


LRP Ambassador Network  – Connect with current and past recipients who can share their experiences and offer application advice.

LRP Application Review Process  – Provides FAQs about how an application is assigned to an NIH institute, the review process and evaluation, and insight about how funding decisions are made.