NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 39, October 30, 1992

PA NUMBER:  PA-93-013

P.T. 34



  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

National Institutes of Health

Application Receipt Dates:  January 19, April 26, and July 26, 1993


This notice is a republication, with significant modifications, of a

previous issuance on this subject (NIH Guide, Vol. 21, No. 27, July

31, 1992).  It is being reissued to emphasize the availability and to

provide updated information regarding expanded eligibility criteria.

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), to increase the number of investigators conducting AIDS

research at the NIH, invites interested health professionals to apply

for LRP participation.

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.

As of October 1, 1992, the NIH has been expanded to include three

additional research institutes that were formerly components of the

Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration (ADAMHA):

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National

Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and National Institute of Mental

Health (NIMH).  Therefore, qualified employees of NIAAA, NIDA, and

NIMH, as of October 1, 1992, are considered NIH employees and

eligible for LRP participation subject to the other criteria and

procedures described herein.


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, NIH Loan Repayment Program for AIDS Research, 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 following:

1.  Individuals employed by the NIH during the period November 4,

1987, through November 3, 1988, are INELIGIBLE;

2.  Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United


3.  Applicants must have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M.,

or equivalent degree;

4.  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;

5.  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;

6.  Applicants must be appointed under a temporary or permanent

employment mechanism that allows their employment with the NIH to

last a minimum of two years;

7.  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

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, 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, or 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 and loans not current in 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

LRC on October 13, 1992:

"The following parameters define whether or not a proposed research

assignment meets the criteria for coverage under the NIH Loan

Repayment Program for AIDS Research - that is, whether or not 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 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


"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 who are providing care for

HIV-infected individuals who are subjects of HIV-related research."


An initiating official, which may be a laboratory or branch chief,

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

Institute, Center, or Division (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, LRP.

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 submission that describes AIDS

research accomplishments made during the initial contract.  These

continuation contracts are approved on a year-to-year basis and are

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 funds appropriated by the Congress of the

United States for the NIH.  Funds will not be awarded to disapproved

applications.  In return for the repayment of their educational

loans, participants must agree to:  (1) 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 by calling or writing:

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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