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Program offers financial incentive for student medical researchers

To spur greater interest in health science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will repay up to $35,000 of educational loan debt annually for individuals who commit to conducting at least two years of qualified biomedical or behavioral research at a nonprofit institution of their choice.
NIH is accepting applications for its extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs), and is promoting the opportunities through an awareness campaign slogan, “You do the research. NIH will repay your student loans.”
The annual application cycle started Sept. 1 and will continue until Dec. 1 for the five extramural LRPs: clinical research, pediatric research, health disparities research, contraception and infertility research, and clinical research for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“The purpose of these programs is to recruit and retain highly-qualified health professionals as scientific investigators,” said Norka Ruiz Bravo, Ph.D., NIH deputy director for extramural research. “Expanding the pool of researchers is critical to the health of our nation, and the LRPs play an important role in researcher retention.”
Participants receive loan repayment benefits and tax offsets, which serve as means of helping them remain in the scientific workforce.
Each year, about 1,600 research scientists benefit from the more than $70 million NIH invests in their careers through the extramural LRPs. On average, approximately 40 percent of all new LRP applications are funded.
To qualify for the LRPs, applicants must possess a doctoral-level degree (except for Contraception and Infertility Research LRP); devote at least 20 hours per week to research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization or federal, state, or local government entity; have educational loan debt equal to or exceeding 20 percent of their institutional base salary; and be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident. Visit

Friday, Sept. 19, 2008
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