National Health Service Corps: Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
Fully trained health professionals who are dedicated to working with the underserved and have qualifying educational loans are eligible to compete for repayment of those loans if they choose to serve in a community of greatest need. In addition to loan repayment, these clinicians receive a competitive salary and a chance to have a significant impact on a community.
In 1988, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched its first LRP, when Congress authorized the agency to establish the AIDS Research LRP. The program offered to repay student loan debt and was instrumental in attracting young scientists into AIDS research so that the disease could be quickly understood and effective therapies developed. The initiative was so successful at increasing the number of investigators that it became clear the same incentive could be applied to other areas in critical need of researchers. In 1993, Congress authorized three additional LRPs — two for intramural researchers (NIH employees conducting research at NIH) and one for extramural researchers (those conducting research for nonprofit organizations outside NIH). Today, following further Congressional authorizations in 2000, eight LRPs provide up to $35,000 in annual educational loan repayment for scientists conducting biomedical and behavioral research.
The LRPs Today
DLR maintains the online application system for the LRPs, screens applications for completeness and eligibility, coordinates payments to the lenders of successful applicants, and conducts communications and outreach activities to raise awareness about the LRPs.
There are five types of LRP programs:
Health Disparities Research
Contraception and Infertility Research
Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
Contact Information for LRP
The LRP Information Center staff answers questions and provides information about the LRPs, eligibility, benefits and the application process. LRP Information Center staff can be reached at by email or by phone at 1 (866) 849-4047. Please visit the NIH Loan Repayment Program website for additional information.