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Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.232 Loan Repayment Program for General Research


Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part VI, Section 487C, Public Law 100-43, 42 U.S.C 288-3.
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To recruit and retain health professionals performing research in fields required by the NIH to carry out its mission by providing educational loan repayment for participants with substantial amounts of educational debt relative to income, who agree by written contract to engage in laboratory or clinical research as employees of the NIH for a minimum 3-year period.


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To provide repayment of extant educational loans incurred by health professionals engaged, as employees of the NIH, in laboratory or clinical research. Recipients must agree by written contract to engage in such research, initially, for a minimum of 3 years; individuals who have conflicting service obligations may not participate in this program until those obligations are satisfied or have been deferred during the period of program service. Continuation contracts for 1-year terms are available, dependent upon the level of debt and continued involvement in research that supports the research and institutional needs and the mission of the NIH. Maximum program benefit is $35,000 per year in loan repayments and $13,650 per year in Federal tax reimbursements. Recipients must have qualified educational debt in excess of 20 percent of their annual salary, which is referred to as their "debt threshold." An amount equal to half of this "debt threshold" will not be repaid by NIH and must be paid by the program participants.


Applicant Eligibility:   Eligible applicants must:

(1) Be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States;

(2) possess a M.D., Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., D.P.M., A.D.N., B.S.N., or equivalent degree, or hold the position of Physician Assistant;

(3) have qualified educational debt, which results from governmental or commercial loans obtained to support their undergraduate and/or graduate education, in excess of 20 percent of their annual NIH salary on the program eligibility date;

(4) be appointed to the NIH Intramural Research Program under any temporary or permanent employment mechanism, so long as the employment has the potential to last a minimum of three years;

(5) not be under any existing service obligation to Federal, State, or other entities, until such obligation is discharged or unless it is deferred during the period of program service;

(6) submit an application to participate in the Loan Repayment Program for General Research; and

(7) sign and submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, at the time of application submission, a contract agreeing to engage in research as an employee of the NIH for a minimum of 3 years.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   NIH researchers who possess substantial unpaid educational debt relative to income will benefit from this program.

Credentials/Documentation:   Applicants must submit documentation of the following, as appropriate: (1) Copies of loan applications and agreements from government or commercial educational loans which are being submitted for repayment; (2) copies of the standard student budget from each school attended during the period in which the debt was incurred; and (3) other documentation as may be required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

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Pre-application Coordination:   Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Applicants must access and submit the Loan Repayment Program application electronically via the website; seek qualified employment with a sponsoring Institute or Center (IC) of the NIH. Once an application has been submitted, the Loan Repayment Committee reviews it at a regularly scheduled review meeting and a determination of loan repayment recipients is made.

Award Procedure:   The NIH Loan Repayment Committee (LRC) will review, rank, and approve or disapprove applications recommended for program participation by each Institute or Center (IC). Applications approved for participation by the LRC will be notified by the Program Director. The Secretary, or his designee, will sign the service contract of program participants, provide a copy to the participant, and notice of the amount of approved loan repayment.

Deadlines:   Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   

From 90 to 120 days. The approximate time for approval/disapproval is 3 months.


From 90 to 120 days. Employees of the NIH who are not approved as a result of this process may ask for reconsideration through the standard appeal procedures available to NIH employees.


From 90 to 120 days. At the conclusion of the initial 3-year contract, participants may apply and be considered for subsequent 1-year continuation contracts under the application and approval procedures specified above.

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Formula and Matching Requirements:   

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   

Assistance is available for a minimum 3-year period. One-year continuation contracts are available for individuals whose educational debt exceeds the maximum repayable amount for 3 years. Payments will be made directly to lenders, following each quarter of the participant's satisfactory service, unless otherwise agreed upon by the participant and Secretary of Health and Human Services. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: quarterly.


Reports:   Program reports are not applicable. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Expenditure reports are not applicable. Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits:   This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-133. In accordance with OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In accordance with 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 74.26, for-profit (commercial) organizations are subject to audit requirements for a non-Federal audit if, during it s fiscal year, it expended $500,000 or more under HHS awards and at least one award is a HHS grant or subgrant. The regulation incorporates the thresholds and deadlines of OMB Circular No. A-133, but provides for profit organizations with two options for the type of audit that will satisfy the audit requirement: 1. a financial related audit of the HHS awards in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, or 2. an audit that meets the requirements of OMB Circular No. A-133.

In accordance with NIH grants policy, Foreign grantees are subject to the same audit requirements as for-profit (commercial) organizations.

Records:   The NIH will maintain applicant records for 3 years after rejection and participant records for 6 years after completion of final service obligation.

Grantees generally must retain financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records that are required by the terms of a grant, or may reasonably be considered pertinent to a grant, for a period of 3 years from the date the annual FSR is submitted. For awards under SNAP (other than those to foreign organizations and Federal institutions), the 3-year retention period will be calculated from the date the FSR for the entire competitive segment is submitted. Those grantees must retain the records pertinent to the entire competitive segment for 3 years from the date the FSR is submitted to NIH. Foreign organizations and Federal institutions must retain records for 3 years from the date of submission of the annual FSR to NIH. See 45 CFR 74.53 and 92.42 for exceptions and qualifications to the 3-year retention requirement (e.g., if any litigation, claim, financial management review, or audit is started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims, or audit findings involving the records have been resolved and final action taken). Those sections also specify the retention period for other types of grant-related records, including F&A cost proposals and property records. See 45 CFR 74.48 and 92.36 for record retention and access requirements for contracts under grants. In accordance with 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 74.53(e), the HHS Inspector General, the U.S. Comptroller General, or any of their duly authorized representatives have the right of timely and unrestricted access to any books, documents, papers, or other records of recipients that are pertinent to awards in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, transcripts, and copies of such documents. This right also includes timely and reasonable access to a recipient’s personnel for the purpose of interview and discussion related to such documents. The rights of access are not limited to the required retention period, but shall last as long as records are retained.


Account Identification:  


Obligations:   (Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 15 $3,450,000; FY 16 est $3,535,800; and FY 17 est $4,267,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  

(Loan Repayment) For initial 3-year contracts, loan repayment awards may range from $6,000 to $105,000; Tax reimbursements range from $3,679 to $48,825. The average contract cost which includes loan and tax reimbursement is $102,000.

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Fiscal Year 2015: In fiscal year 2015, a total of 65 awards were provided. Fiscal Year 2016: During budget year 2016, it is projected that 63 awards will be provided. Fiscal Year 2017: During budget year 2017, it is projected that 67 awards will be provided.


Pertinent information is contained in Public Law 103-43, Section 1631; Section 487C of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 288-3); Public Law 105-392; and Federal Register, Volume 59, No. 201, October 19, 1994. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is pending.


Regional or Local Office:   None.

Headquarters Office:   Patricia A. Cole, PhD Office of Intramural Training and Education National Institutes of Health U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Building 2, Room 2E18 2 Center Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0230 Email: Phone: 3014021283 Fax: 3014802942

Web Site Address:


Fiscal Year 2015: In 2015, the funded projects focused on qualified approved research within the basic, clinical and translational areas that contribute to the NIH Mission. Fiscal Year 2016: In 2016, the funded projects will focus on qualified approved research within the basic clinical and translational areas that contribute to the NIH Mission. Fiscal Year 2017: In 2017, the funded projects will focus on qualified approved research within the basic clinical and translational areas that contribute to the NIH Mission.


Applicants are approved for participation in the NIH General Research Loan Repayment Program after the LRC determines that the applicant will conduct qualified research and has qualifying educational debt. LRC approval, in part, is based upon the scientific merit of the research, its priority to the research institutes, and the credentials of the applicant.

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