NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

About the NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

The National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program provides support to health professionals in order to repay their student loans via five (5) extramural programs: Clinical Research, Pediatric Research, Health Disparities Research, Contraception and Infertility Research, and Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds. The purpose of this program is the recruitment and retention of highly qualified health professionals as research investigators to careers in clinical, pediatric, health disparities, or contraception and infertility research.  Each of the 5 programs provides for the repayment of educational loan debt of up to $35,000 annually for eligible health professionals performing research within the mission of NIH at domestic, non-profit, or government entities.
Applicants must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Have a doctoral degree
  • Conduct qualifying research
    • Applicant's research must be supported by a domestic nonprofit foundation, university, professional association, or other nonprofit institution, or a U.S. government agency (federal, state, or local).
  • Certify at least 50% or more of their time to domestic nonprofit- or government-funded research
    • Applicant must engage in qualified research that represents 50 percent of their level of effort and consumes an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period during the contract (2 years for the initial contract).
  • Have educational debt equaling at least 20% of their institutional base salary
    • Applicant must have total qualified educational debt equal to or in excess of 20 percent of their institutional base salary at the time of award, which will be between July and September annually.
  • Obtain a commitment of not less than two years of research appointment from the Northwestern University department chair, administrator, and authorized official
Additional information about the NIH LRP application process can be found here:

Northwestern Submission Process

  • Step one:
    • Applicant must submit the Northwestern Loan Repayment Program Certification Form during the application period (September 1 through November 15).  The form must be completed, attested by the applicant, departmental administrator, department chair, and sent by email to Pamela Hawkins. [Note: Use Adobe Acrobat to utilize fillable PDF form features.]
    • Alternatively, paper forms can be hand delivered to:
Office for Sponsored Research
750 N. Lake Shore Drive, Rubloff Building 7th Floor
Chicago IL, 60611
Questions about the Northwestern process? Contact Pamela Hawkins.
If the NIH Loan Repayment Program application is approved, awardees will be expected to fulfill all program requirements by filing regular progress reports and certifying research effort.  Mentors and supervisors will be obliged to do the same.  These requirements will normally extend for the contract term.
Any change in the awardee’s eligibility status must be reported internally, through the process outlined above, and with the appropriate LRP.