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Trans-NIH Recovery Act Loan Repayment Support - #93.704

To provide support for NIH loan repayment initiatives funded under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Initiatives will attract 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 biomedical, behavioral or clinical research in a qualifying nonprofit institution or as an employee of the NIH for 2 years for new intramural and extramural contracts. 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. Participants may apply for and the Secretary may grant extension contracts for one-year or two-year periods, as determined by the Secretary, if the individual continues to engage in qualifying research beyond their initial contracts. Renewal applications are competitively reviewed and the submission of a renewal application does not assure the award of benefits. Eligible renewal applications that score within the funding range will receive continuation contracts from non-ARRA funding sources. The maximum program benefit is $35,000 per year in loan repayments and $13,650 per year in Federal tax reimbursements, plus discretionary State and local tax reimbursements.

Applicants electronically transmit the following documents to the NIH: Applicant Information Statement, Biosketch, Personal Statement, Description of Research Activities, 3 Recommendations, Loan Information including current account statement(s) and promissory note(s) or disclosure statement(s), Assessment of Research Activities Statement (completed by the research supervisor), and Description of the Research Environment (completed by the research supervisor), Training or Mentoring Plan (completed by the research supervisor). Institutional Contacts electronically transmit a certification that: (a) assures the applicant will be provided the necessary time and resources to engage in the research project for two years from the date a Loan Repayment Program Contract is executed; (b) assures that the applicant is or will be engaged in qualifying research for 50 percent of their time (or not less than 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week); (c) certifies that the institution is nonprofit (exempt from tax under 26 USC 501), and (d) provides the applicant's institutional base salary. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

The NIH Institutes and Centers approve or disapprove applications for participation in the Loan Repayment Programs. Applications that are on time, complete and eligible are referred to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center by the NIH Center for Scientific Review. The NIH Institutes and Centers convene panels comprised of non-NIH scientists to review, score and rank applications. In evaluating the application, reviewers are directed to consider the following components as they relate to the likelihood that the applicant will continue in a research career: (1) potential of the applicant to pursue a career in research, and (2) quality of the overall environment to prepare the applicant for a research career.

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