NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 27, July 31, 1992

P.T. 23



  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

National Institutes of Health


This notice is a republication, with minor modifications, of the April

10, 1992 (NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 21, No. 14),

issuance on this subject.  It is being reissued for informational

purposes and to emphasize the availability of this program.

On November 4, 1988, the United States Congress enacted Public Law

100-607, directing 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 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 apply for LRP


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 debt relative to their NIH basic pay or

stipend.  Since such payments 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

announcement, NIH AIDS Loan Repayment Program for Research, is a

program that 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



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 Advisory Committee (LRAC) and his/her contract is

executed.  Specific LRP applicant and participant eligibility criteria

include the following:

(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.,

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, resulting from governmental or commercial loans obtained

to support their undergraduate and/or graduate education;

(4) 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;

(5) Individuals employed by the NIH during the period November 4, 1987,

through November 3, 1988, are INELIGIBLE;

(6) Applicants may be appointed under a temporary or permanent

employment mechanism, as long as their employment with the NIH has the

potential to last a minimum of two years;

(7) 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 the LRP service obligation; and

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

the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, handicap, age, national

origin, or political affiliation.

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 individuals;

(2) loans for which contemporaneous documentation is not available; (3)

loans or portions of loans obtained for educational or living expenses

that 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; and (4) loans, financial debts, and service

obligations incurred under the 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, and Indian Health

Service Scholarship Program.

Loans in default, or loans not current on payment schedule, will not be

considered as qualifying for repayment.  Repayments will only be made

for loans with 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 that 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.

Payments will NOT be made under the LRP for loans that participants

have paid prior to the program eligibility date.


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 that contain the "Activities

Constituting AIDS Research" criteria as adopted by the LRAC on

September 20, 1991:

"The following parameters define whether a proposed research assignment

meets the criteria for coverage under the NIH AIDS Research Loan

Repayment Program - 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 researchers time.  Clinical Associates, whose intent is to

primarily engage in AIDS research, must engage in qualified AIDS

research for at least 3 months in the first year of the program, with

a total of 15 months of qualified AIDS research during their 2-year


"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 and 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; (10) basic studies

and clinical trials involving vaccines and other immunological or

chemotherapeutic interventions for the prevention of HIV infection and

its sequelae; and (11) basic studies into the transmission of HIV

involving high-risk behaviors and research concerning the interruption

of transmission by behavioral change and pharmacologic intervention.

"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, 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 who

are providing care for HIV-infected individuals who are subjects of

HIV-related research."


Individuals wishing to apply to the LRP must first obtain a firm

employment commitment from an Institute, Center, or Division (ICD)

Personnel Department.  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.  LRP participation is contingent, in part, upon employment with

the NIH, and candidates may not be recommended for loan repayment by an

ICD until a firm employment commitment has been made by the

recommending ICDs Personnel Department.

Applicants must submit a signed contract, along with the completed LRP

application package, to be considered for participation in the program.

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.


Completed applications to the LRP are reviewed by the LRAC. The LRAC,

which is composed of intramural and extramural scientific staff,

reviews, ranks, and approves or disapproves applicants.  LRAC approval,

in part, is based on the appropriateness of the applicant's research

assignment to AIDS research 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.


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

upon the availability of funds appropriated by the Congress of the

United States for the NIH.  In return for the repayment of 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 the 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 by calling or writing the


Marc S. Horowitz, J.D.

Director, NIH Loan Repayment Program for AIDS Research

Office of AIDS Research

National Institutes of Health

Building 31, Room 5C12

Bethesda, MD  20892

Telephone:  (800) 528-7689


The LRP is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.

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).  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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