NIH awards 1,400 new student loan repayment contracts

10/27/04

Bethesda, Maryland - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported today that it has awarded student loan repayment contracts to more than 1,400 health researchers across the nation in Fiscal Year 2004.

This brings the total number of awards to over 3,200 since Fiscal Year 2002, the first year NIH implemented the loan repayment programs nationwide. The 1,407 new contracts for Fiscal Year 2004 totaled nearly $68 million, averaging $48,300 each. Loan repayment is competitively awarded to health professionals who commit to engage in research careers.

Over half of the awards were to researchers who completed their doctoral degrees within the past five years. In addition, more than 40% of the awardees hold M.D. degrees, 34%, Ph.D degrees, 9% M.D./Ph.D. degrees, and 7%, other doctoral degrees.

The NIH Loan Repayment Programs can repay up to $35,000 of qualified educational debt for health professionals pursuing careers in clinical, pediatric, contraception and infertility, or health disparities research. The programs also provide coverage for Federal and state tax liabilities.

Applications are currently being accepted online at www.lrp.nih.gov. Eligible applicants must possess a doctoral-level degree, devote 50% or more of their time to research funded by a non-profit organization or government entity (federal, state, or local), and have educational loan debt equal to or exceeding 20% of their institutional base salary. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. nationals may apply. The online application closes on December 15, 2004 at 8 PM EST.

"The NIH Loan Repayment Programs is one of our nation's most significant efforts to ensure a solid foundation of clinical, pediatric, contraception and infertility, and health disparities research professionals for the next generation," says Ruth Kirschstein, M.D., Senior Advisor to the Director, NIH. "These programs provide a means for health professionals to launch their research careers unfettered by the burden of student loan debt."

The five NIH Loan Repayment Programs are the Clinical Research LRP, Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds LRP, Contraception and Infertility Research LRP, Health Disparities LRP, and Pediatric Research LRP.

NIH LRP Awards

LRP FY 2003 FY 2004
Clinical Research LRP 732 834
Pediatric Research LRP 298 313
Health Disparities Research LRP 121 200
Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds LRP 33 43
Contraception & Infertility Research LRP 13 17
TOTAL: 1197 1407

Table 1: LRP awards increased by 17.5% in Fiscal Year 2004

Source: Eurekalert & others

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