NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 24, June 24, 1994

PA NUMBER:  PA-94-075

P.T. 34


  Grants Administration/Policy+ 


National Institutes of Health

Application Receipt Dates:  October 4, 1994; January 17; and June 1,



This notice updates a January 7, 1994 (Vol. 23, No. 1) issuance on this

subject.  Registered nurses (R.N.s) are now eligible to apply to this

program.  This publication is also being issued to announce the

program's availability and application deadlines for fiscal year 1995.

The Health Omnibus Programs Extension Act of 1993 (Public Law 100-607),

which was enacted on November 4, 1988, directed the National Institutes

of Health (NIH) to establish a program of educational loan repayment to

attract additional investigators into Acquired Immunodeficiency

Syndrome (AIDS) research.  The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Public

Law 103-43), enacted June 10, 1993, modifies and expands this

established program.  The NIH Loan Repayment Program for AIDS Research

(LRP), in order to increase the number of investigators conducting AIDS

research at the NIH, invites interested health professionals to seek

NIH employment in AIDS research positions and apply for LRP


Since LRP participation is limited to NIH employees, interested

individuals should be actively seeking NIH employment opportunities

that conform to the eligibility criteria stated in this announcement.

Applicants must receive a written employment commitment and endorsement

of the employing Institute, Center, or Division (ICD) of the NIH in

order to be considered for the LRP.

As of June 10, 1993, individuals employed by the NIH during the period

November 4, 1987, through November 3, 1988, are ELIGIBLE to apply and

participate in the LRP subject to the other criteria and procedures

described herein.

The LRP may pay a maximum of $20,000 a year directly to a participant's

lenders for qualifying educational debt during an initial, minimum

two-year service period.  The actual loan repayment is based, in part,

on the availability of funding as well as the proportion of the

participant's qualifying educational debt relative to their NIH basic

pay or stipend. Qualifying educational debt amounts in excess of 50

percent of the debt threshold (see ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS below) will

be considered for repayment.

Since such repayments to lenders are considered income for the

participant and increases his/her Federal tax liability, the LRP also

makes payments, equal to 39 percent of the total loan repayments,

directly towards the participant's Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

account.  The LRP may make additional tax reimbursements to those

participants who show an increase in State and/or local tax liability.

Benefits are paid in addition to a participant's annual NIH basic pay

or stipend.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health

promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"

a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This program

announcement describes the NIH Loan Repayment Program for AIDS

Research, a program which is related to the priority area of HIV

infection.  Those interested may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000"

(Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0) or "Healthy People 2000"

(Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent

of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325

(telephone 202-783-3238).


An applicant to the LRP is accepted for LRP participation when his/her

qualified AIDS research assignment is approved by the AIDS Research

Loan Repayment Committee (LRC) and his/her contract is executed.

Specific LRP applicant and participant eligibility criteria include the


(1)  Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United


(2)  Applicants must have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M.,

R.N., or equivalent degree;

(3)  Applicants must have qualified educational debt in excess of 20

percent of their annual NIH basic pay or stipend on the date of program

eligibility (DEBT THRESHOLD), resulting from governmental or commercial

loans obtained to support their undergraduate and/or graduate


(4)  Individuals with existing service obligations to Federal, State,

or other entities will NOT be considered for the LRP unless deferrals

are granted for the length of their LRP service obligation;

(5)  Applicants must be appointed under a temporary or permanent

employment mechanism which allows their employment with the NIH to last

a minimum of two years;

(6)  Individuals who are not NIH employees, such as Visiting Fellows,

Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) recipients, National Research

Service Award (NRSA) recipients, Guest Researchers or Special

Volunteers, NIH National Research Council (NRC) Biotechnology Research

Associates Program participants, and Intergovernmental Personnel Act

(IPA) participants, may NOT participate in the LRP; and

(9)  Applicants will NOT be excluded from consideration under the LRP

on the basis of age, race, culture, religion, gender, disability, or

other non-merit factors.

In addition, in order to qualify for repayment, LRP applicants' debts

are subject to the following limitations and restrictions:

The LRP will repay lenders for the principal, interest, and related

expenses (such as the required insurance premiums on the unpaid

balances of some loans) of qualified Government (Federal, State, and

local) and commercial educational loans obtained by participants for

the following:  (1) undergraduate, graduate, and health professional

school tuition expenses; (2) other reasonable educational expenses

required by the school(s) attended, including fees, books, supplies,

educational equipment and materials, and laboratory expenses; and (3)

reasonable living expenses, including the cost of room and board,

transportation and commuting costs, and other reasonable living

expenses as determined by the LRP.

The following loans are NOT repayable under the LRP:

(1) loans not obtained from a Government entity or commercial lending

institution, such as loans from friends, relatives, or other private


(2) loans for which contemporaneous documentation is not available;

(3) loans or portions of loans obtained for educational or living

expenses which exceed the "reasonable" level as determined by the

standard school budget for the year in which the loan was made, and are

not determined by the LRP to be reasonable based on additional

documentation provided by the applicant;

(4) loans, financial debts, or service obligations incurred under the

following programs:  Physicians Shortage Area Scholarship Program,

National Research Service Award Program, Public Health and National

Health Service Corps Scholarship Training Program, National Health

Service Corps Scholarship Program, Armed Forces (Army, Navy, or Air

Force) Health Professions Scholarship Program, Indian Health Service

Scholarship Program, and similar programs which provide loans,

scholarships, loan repayments, and other awards in exchange for a

future service obligation;

(5) loans in default or not in a current payment status; and

(6) loan amounts which participants have paid or were due to have paid

prior to the program eligibility date.

Repayments will only be made for loans in a current payment status.

During lapses in loan repayments, due either to program administrative

complications or a break in service, participants are wholly

responsible for making payments or any other arrangements which

maintain loans in a current payment status.  Penalties assessed to

participants as a result of LRP administrative failures to maintain

current payment status may be considered for reimbursement.


The LRP is designed to attract additional investigators into AIDS

research.  The LRP intends to fund individuals conducting AIDS research

as described in the following paragraphs which contain the "Activities

Constituting AIDS Research" criteria as adopted by the LRC, November

19, 1993:

"The following parameters define whether a proposed research assignment

meets the criteria for coverage under the NIH Loan Repayment Program

for AIDS Research - that is, whether the incumbent will be "primarily"

engaged in AIDS research. "Primarily" engaged in AIDS research is

defined as AIDS research activities that constitute at least 80 percent

of a researcher's time.  Clinical Associates, whose intent is to

primarily engage in AIDS research, must engage in qualified AIDS

research for at least three months in the first year of their program,

with a total of fifteen months of qualified AIDS research during their

two-year contract.  AIDS researchers include registered nurses who are

principal or associate investigators in AIDS research studies.

"AIDS research includes studies of the human immunodeficiency virus

(HIV), the pathophysiology of HIV infection, the development of models

of HIV infection and its sequelae, cofactors predisposing to HIV

infection and AIDS, or its sequelae, and the development of vaccines

and therapeutics.  More specifically, the following research activities

are included:  (1) studies of HIV and related retroviruses; (2) studies

of the mechanism(s) by which HIV and related retroviruses establish

infection and infect host cells; (3) studies of the mechanism(s) by

which HIV and related retroviruses cause disease, including studies of

the immune deficiency induced by HIV and related retroviruses; (4)

studies of the pathophysiology of host response to HIV infection; (5)

studies of in vivo or in vitro models of human HIV infection and its

sequelae; (6) epidemiologic studies of HIV and related retrovirus

infection; (7) clinical trials involving prophylaxis or therapy for HIV

infection or its sequelae; (8) preclinical studies aimed at the

development of therapy for or prevention of HIV infection and the

immunodeficiency caused by HIV infection and its sequelae; (9)

cofactors predisposing to acquiring HIV infection and/or the

progression of HIV-related disease; (10) basic studies and clinical

trials involving vaccines, or other immunological or chemotherapeutic

interventions for the prevention of HIV infection and its sequelae;

(11) studies into the transmission of HIV involving high risk behaviors

and research concerning the interruption of transmission by behavioral

change and pharmacologic intervention; and (12) basic studies of the

societal impact of and response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including

subgroups within the population.

"AIDS researchers include scientists who are intellectually engaged in

the process of providing scientific direction and guidance in programs

of original AIDS research, specifically epidemiologists, statisticians,

and others who are involved in the design and conduct of research

studies.  The duties of such scientists may include the generation and

design of studies and the collation and analysis of data; and/or the

preparation and publication, as author or co-author, of studies in

peer-reviewed journals.

"AIDS researchers also include physicians and registered nurses who are

providing care for HIV-infected individuals who are subjects of

HIV-related research."


An initiating official, who may be a laboratory or branch chief, must

recommend an individual for application to the LRP, and the ICD

Scientific Program Director and ICD Director must concur.  Since LRP

participation is contingent, in part, upon employment with the NIH,

candidates may not be recommended for loan repayment by an ICD until a

firm employment commitment has been made by the recommending ICD's

Personnel Department.

ICD Loan Repayment Program Coordinators forward recommended

applications to the Director, LRP, who submits eligible applications

for consideration and approval/disapproval by the LRC.  Recommended

candidates may forward financial information directly to the Director,


At the conclusion of the initial contract, participants may reapply and

be considered for subsequent, one-year continuation contracts.

Continuation contracts are based upon the same review criteria as the

initial contract, in addition to a description of AIDS research

accomplishments made during the initial contract.  These continuation

contracts are approved on a year-to-year basis and contingent upon the

appropriation and availability of funds.


The LRC reviews the scientific research portions of eligible LRP

applications. The LRC, which is composed of intramural and extramural

scientific staff, reviews, ranks, and approves or disapproves

applications.  LRC approval, in part, is based on the appropriateness

of the research assignment to the LRP's AIDS research criteria (see

above) and the scientific merit of the research. In addition, the

credentials provided in the application are reviewed and ranked to

assess the applicant's potential to conduct qualified AIDS research.

LRP program staff review and verify the financial portions of eligible

applications and determine projected funding levels.  Actual funding is

dependent upon LRC approval and the terms of the LRP service contract.


The award of funds for approved applications is contingent, in part,

upon the availability of appropriated or allocated funds.  Funds will

not be awarded to disapproved applications.  In return for the

repayment of their educational loans, participants must agree (1) to be

"primarily" engaged in qualified AIDS research, which is described

above in the "Activities Constituting AIDS Research" criteria, as NIH

employees for a minimum period of two years; (2) make payments to

lenders on their own behalf for periods of Leave Without Pay (LWOP);

(3) pay monetary damages as required in cases where the initial

contract is breached; and (4) all other provisions agreed upon in their

contracts.  Substantial monetary penalties will be imposed for breach

of contract.


Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to

clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Information regarding the LRP may be obtained from:

Mr. Sean E. Spann

Office of AIDS Research

National Institutes of Health

7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Room 102

Bethesda, MD  20892-9905

Telephone:  (800) 528-7689


The LRP is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

under number 93.936.  Awards are made under authorization of section

487A of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 288-1), as amended by section 634 of the

Health Omnibus Programs Extension of 1988 (P.L. 100-607) and section

1611 of the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-43).  This program

is not subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372,

Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, and was granted clearance

from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (0925-0361), under the

requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, on June 15, 1990.


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