NIGMS Participation in the NIH Loan Repayment Program

The mission of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Loan Repayment (DLR) is to enhance the quality and diversity of the scientific community through incentives for biomedical and behavioral researchers and trainees.

Loan Repayment Program (LRP) awards are based on the potential of an applicant to build and sustain a research career. Award funds are paid by the NIH directly to lenders to repay principal, interest, and qualified related expenses. Detailed eligibility requirements can be found on the LRP website. NIGMS participates in the following LRP extramural funding opportunities:

Clinical Research (L30)*

Focus on:

  • Patient-oriented research
  • Causes and consequences of disease
  • Inpatient or outpatient setting

NIGMS prioritizes applicants with clinical doctorates

Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (L32) - New

Focus on:

  • Patient-oriented research
  • Causes and consequences of disease
  • Inpatient or outpatient setting
  • Disadvantaged background

NIGMS prioritizes applicants with clinical doctorates

Pediatric Research (L40)

Focus on:

  • Pediatric research
  • Pediatric investigators
  • Pediatric subjects

NIGMS prioritizes applicants with clinical doctorates

Health Disparities Research (L60)

Focus on:

  • Health disparities
  • Minority health disparities research
  • Minority health conditions
  • Health disparities populations

Research in Emerging Areas Critical to Human Health (REACH) (L70)

Focus on:

  • Emerging areas

NIGMS focus and requirements:

  • Postdoctoral or faculty level
  • Conducting research at non-profit institutions
  • Participation in specific NIGMS programs (past or present)
    MOSAIC (K99), IRACDA, IMSD, G-RISE, ARC (F99), diversity supplements, diversity F31​ (through last participating receipt date April 8, 2024)

*Please note: The definition of Clinical Research for the LRPs is derived from LRP-related legislation and may differ from other published Clinical Research definitions.

Basic requirements include:

  • M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., D.C., N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent doctoral-level degree from an accredited institution.
  • Qualifying educational debt. The sum of your educational debt must equal at least 20 percent of your base salary from the institution supporting your research.
  • Conducting research funded by a domestic nonprofit or U.S. government (federal, state,​ or local) entity. A domestic foundation, professional association, or institution is considered to be nonprofit if exempt from federal tax under the provisions of Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501).
  • Conducting qualifying research that represents 50 percent or more of the total level of effort and consumes an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly service period.
  • United States citizenship or U.S. national or permanent resident status.


In exchange for a 2-year research commitment, NIH will:

  • Repay qualified educational debt up to $50,000 per year
  • Reimburse federal taxes resulting from your repayment award

Program awardees with student debt remaining at the completion of the award may apply for a competitive renewal provided they continue to meet NIH's eligibility requirements.

Application Process

  • The LRP application can be completed online. The website provides detailed eligibility requirements, current application deadline, and award schedule as well as an interactive roadmap for the application process, tips for writing a competitive application, repayment estimator, and answers to frequently asked questions.
  • The application period is annually from September 1 through the third Thursday in November. Next application period: September 1 - November 21, 2024.
  • Applicants can request a change in Institute or Center up until January 31.

Questions about eligibility?

  • If you have questions about the eligibility requirements or want to know if your research fits within the NIGMS mission, please contact us before you apply! Email the NIGMS LRP coordinator, Dr. Shannon Doyle, at the NIGMS DEA Mailbox.
  • If you have questions about qualifying loan debt, you can contact