Washington Update

NIH Seeks Comments on Loan Repayment Programs

By: Jacqueline Robinson-Hamm
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
On May 25, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Loan Repayment (DLR) published a notice in the Federal Register of a request for comments on the Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs). The LRPs are being proposed for a three-year renewal. Comments are due by July 24. To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments or request further information on the LRPs renewal, contact Matthew Lockhart, Acting Director of DLR.

NIH’s LRPs help retain highly qualified scientists in biomedical research careers by repaying up to $50,000 annually of qualified educational debt in return for continued engagement in research relevant to NIH’s mission. For extramural researchers outside of NIH, there are six LRPs with different research focus areas. The newest LRP is the Research in Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH) program, which allows NIH Institutes and Centers to determine LRP eligibility based on emerging research areas that fit their priorities. This 2021 expansion of LRPs to include REACH holds promise to expand eligibility to scientists engaged in basic biomedical and biological sciences, whereas earlier LRPs focused on clinical research. For more information about the LRPs, view the application process roadmap, frequently asked questions, and program data and reports.