EXTRAMURAL CLINICAL RESEARCH LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM FOR INDIVIDUALS FROM 
DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS

RELEASE DATE:  October 16, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-MD-04-002 

National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)  
 (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov)

APPLICATION PERIOD: September 1, 2003, through 5 PM EST, December 31, 
2003

THIS NOTICE CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

o Purpose of this Notice
o Program Objectives
o Funds Available
o Award Criteria
o Eligible Applicants
o Eligible Institutions
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting a New Application
o Receipt and Peer Review Process
o Application Materials
o Submitting a Renewal Application
o Receipt, Review and Award Schedule
o Citations of Federal Authority

PURPOSE OF THIS NOTICE

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center on 
Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) announce the 2004 
Extramural Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from 
Disadvantaged Backgrounds (ECR-LRP or Program).  The ECR-LRP provides 
for the repayment of educational loan debt of up to $35,000 annually for 
qualified health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds conducting 
clinical research for domestic non-profit or government entities.  In 
addition, the program will cover up to 39 percent of the federal tax 
liability resulting from loan repayments, and may provide reimbursement 
for state and local tax liabilities.  Participants must conduct research 
for 50 percent of their time, or not less than 20 hours per week based 
upon a 40-hour work week, for a two-year period.  

ECR-LRP applications will be accepted from September 1 through December 
31, 2003.  They must be submitted via the NIH Loan Repayment Website, 
http://www.lrp.nih.gov.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

The objective of the ECR-LRP is the recruitment and retention of highly 
qualified health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds to 
clinical research careers.  The emphasis on clinical research and 
individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds highlights the need for the 
involvement of a cadre of competent health professionals in clinical 
research. 

“Clinical research” is defined as patient-oriented clinical research 
conducted with human subjects, or research on the causes and 
consequences of disease in human populations involving material of human 
origin (such as tissue specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an 
investigator or colleague directly interacts with human subjects in an 
outpatient or inpatient setting to clarify a problem in human 
physiology, pathophysiology or disease, or epidemiological or behavioral 
studies, outcomes research or health services research, or developing 
new technologies, therapeutic interventions, or clinical trials.

“An individual from a disadvantaged background” is defined as one who 
comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-
income thresholds according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau 
of the Census, adjusted annually for the changes in the Consumer Price 
Index, and adjusted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services (Secretary) for use in all health professions 
programs.  The Secretary periodically publishes these income levels in 
the Federal Register.  An applicant must certify his/her disadvantaged 
status under the above definition by submitting: (a) a written statement 
from the individual’s former health professions school(s) that indicates 
that he/she qualified for Federal disadvantaged assistance during 
attendance; or (b) documentation that he/she received any of the 
following financial aid: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) or 
Loans for Disadvantaged Student Program; or (c) documentation that 
he/she received scholarships from the U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (DHHS) under the Scholarship for Individuals with 
Exceptional Financial Need.

FUNDS AVAILABLE
   
The NCMHD intends to commit $2.2 million in fiscal year 2004 to fund 
approximately 40 ECR-LRP participants.

AWARD CRITERIA

For both new and renewal applications, awards will be based upon merit 
scoring by peer review committees and the availability of funds.

ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS

Specific eligibility criteria for the ECR-LRP include the following:

Applicants must be United States citizens, nationals, or permanent 
residents.

Applicants must have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., 
Pharm.D., D.C., N.D., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited 
institution.

Applicants come from a disadvantaged background.
 
Applicants must be supported by a domestic non-profit institution (tax 
exempt under 26 USC 501) or a Federal or domestic state or local 
government entity and devote at least 50 percent of their time (not less 
than 20 hours per week based upon a 40 hour work week) to clinical 
research. 

Applicants must have total qualifying educational debt equal to at least 
20 percent of their institutional base salary at the time of award 
(projected to be between June 1 and August 1, 2004).  Institutional base 
salary is the annual compensation that the applicant’s organization pays 
for the individual’s appointment, whether the time is spent on research, 
teaching, patient care, or other activities.  Base salary excludes any 
income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties 
to the applicant organization.  It cannot include any income earned as a 
Federal employee.  

The applicant’s sponsoring entity must certify that the applicant will 
receive clinical research support for two years; the applicant will 
engage in qualified clinical research for 50 percent or more of his/her 
working hours (not less than 20 hours per week based upon a 40 hour work 
week), and its non-profit status.  The institution must also provide the 
applicant’s base salary.  

Applicants must agree to conduct research for which funding is not 
prohibited by Federal law, regulations, or DHHS/NIH policy.  Recipients 
who receive ECR-LRP awards must conduct their research in accordance 
with applicable Federal, state and local law (e.g., applicable human 
subject protection regulations).

No individual may submit more than one LRP application to the NIH in any 
fiscal year.  Unsuccessful ECR-LRP applicants may reapply in subsequent 
fiscal years.

Any individual with a Federal judgment lien arising from a Federal debt 
cannot receive program funds until the judgment is satisfied.  
Similarly, individuals with existing service obligations to Federal, 
state or other entities remain ineligible until the service is 
discharged or deferred during the LRP contract period. 

Recipients of postdoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service 
Award (NRSA) support from an individual postdoctoral fellowship (F32) or 
an institutional research training grant (T32) will be eligible for loan 
repayment during the second year of NRSA support if a formal extension 
of the NRSA service payback is granted (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-109.html).  
Concurrent repayment of LRP and NRSA service obligations is prohibited.

Full-time employees of Federal government agencies are ineligible to 
apply for NIH loan repayment.  Part-time Federal employees – employed by 
a Federal agency 20 hours or less per week - are eligible to apply if 
they meet all other eligibility requirements, including commitment of at 
least 20 hours per week based upon a 40 hour work week in qualifying 
research for which they are not compensated as a Federal employee.  

Applicants will not be excluded from consideration on the basis of age, 
race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or 
other non-merit factors. 

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

For questions on the ECR-LRP program, please see the LRP website at 
http://www.lrp.nih.gov, send an email to lrp@nih.gov, call the LRP helpline at 
(866) 849-4047 or contact the NCMHD Loan Repayment Coordinator, Kenya 
McRae, at (301) 402-1366 or via email: mcraek@ncmhd.nih.gov.     

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

All applications must be submitted via the LRP Website at 
http://www.lrp.nih.gov from September 1, 2003, through December 31, 2003 at 5 
P.M. EST.  

All applicants and renewal applicants are encouraged to review the 
eligibility requirements and application procedures for the Program 
located at the LRP website at http://www.lrp.nih.gov.  

RECEIPT AND PEER REVIEW PROCESS (New and Renewal Applicants)

Upon receipt, applications for both initial awards and renewals will be 
reviewed for eligibility and completeness by the NIH Office of Loan 
Repayment.  Incomplete or ineligible applications will not be 
considered.  Applications that are complete and eligible will be 
forwarded to the NCMHD for peer review.  

In evaluating the application, reviewers will be directed to consider 
the following criteria: 

a.  Potential of the applicant to pursue a career in clinical research: 
 
o Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience to 
prepare him/her for a clinical research career.
o Suitability of the applicant’s proposed clinical research activities 
in the two-year loan repayment period.
o The applicant’s stated commitment to a research career.
o Recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a research 
career.

b.  Quality of the applicant’s overall research environment:

o Availability of appropriate scientific colleagues to achieve and 
enhance the applicant’s research independence.
o Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities.

APPLICATION MATERIALS (New and Renewal Applicants)

The following information is furnished by applicants or others on behalf 
of applicants (forms are to be completed electronically at the NIH LRP 
Website, http://www.lrp.nih.gov):

Applicants electronically transmit the following to the NIH Office of 
Loan Repayment:  

o Applicant information statement.
o Biosketch. 
o Personal statement, which includes a discussion of career goals and 
academic objectives.
o Description of research activities, which describes the current or 
proposed research project including the specific responsibilities and 
role of the applicant in conducting the research.  The research 
supervisor or mentor will be asked to concur.  
o Identification of three recommenders (including research supervisor or 
mentor).
o Identification of institutional contact.
o On-line certification.
o Loan information, including current account statement(s), and 
promissory note(s) or disclosure statement(s), obtained from lending 
institution(s), submitted via facsimile to 866-849-4046.
o If applying based on NIH support, Notice of Grant/Award (or PHS Form 
2271 for Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA training fellowships). 

Certification of disadvantaged background that verifies the applicant’s 
disadvantaged status and consists of one of the following: 

o Written statement from the applicant’s former health professions 
school(s) that indicates that the applicant qualified for Federal 
disadvantaged assistance during attendance; 
o Documentation that the applicant received any of the following 
financial aid: Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL) or Loans for 
Disadvantaged Student Program; or 
o Documentation that the applicant received scholarships from the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) under the Scholarship for 
Individuals with Exceptional Financial Need.

Research supervisors or mentors electronically transmit the following to 
the NIH Office of Loan Repayment:

o Recommendation.
o Biosketch. 
o Assessment of the research activities statement submitted by the 
applicant.
o Description of the research environment, which provides detailed 
information about the lab where the applicant is or will be conducting 
research, including funding, lab space, and major areas under 
investigation.  
o Training or mentoring plan, which includes a detailed discussion of 
the training or mentoring plan, including a discussion of the research 
methods and scientific techniques to be taught.  

Recommenders electronically transmit recommendation forms to the NIH 
Office of Loan Repayment.  

Institutional contacts electronically transmit a certification to the 
NIH Office of Loan Repayment that: 

o Assures that 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; 
o Assures that the applicant is or will be engaged in qualifying 
research for 50 percent of their work effort or not less than 20 hours 
per week based upon a 40 hour work week; 
o Certifies that the sponsoring entity is a domestic non-profit 
institution (exempt from tax liability under 26 U.S.C. 501); and
o Identifies the applicant’s institutional base salary.
 
SUBMITTING A RENEWAL APPLICATION 

Recipients of NIH loan repayments who wish to extend their NIH loan 
repayment should reapply during the 2004 application cycle if their 
initial LRP contract began in 2002.

LRP renewal contracts are available for one- and two-year periods and 
are based upon the same criteria as the initial contract.  An 
explanation of research accomplishments during the initial award period 
is required.  Progress toward development as an independent investigator 
is a major factor in awarding renewal of loan repayment support.  
Submission of a renewal application does not assure the award of loan 
repayment.

RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE

Application Receipt Date:   December 31, 2003, 5 P.M. EST
Peer Review Date:           March-May, 2004
Anticipated Award Date:     June-August, 2004

CITATIONS OF FEDERAL AUTHORITIES

Awards are made pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001 
(Public Law 106-554), that amended Section 487E of the Public Health 
Service (PHS) Act (42 U.S.C. 288-5), as added by the National Institutes 
of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-43). The Federal 
Debt Collections Procedures Act of 1990, contained in Public Law 101-
647, requires that an individual that has a judgment lien against 
his/her property for a debt to the United States shall not be eligible 
to receive funds directly from the Federal government in any program, 
except funds to which the debtor is entitled as a beneficiary, until the 
judgment is paid in full or otherwise satisfied (28 U.S.C. 3201).  

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for the Extramural 
Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds is 
93.308


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