NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 1, January 7, 1994

PA NUMBER:  PA-94-024

P.T. 34



  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

National Institutes of Health

Application Receipt Dates:  January 18 and June 20, 1994


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

February 26, 1993 (Vol. 22, No. 8) issuance on this subject.  It is

being reissued to emphasize its availability and to provide updated

information regarding expanded eligibility criteria.

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 participation.

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 program

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 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 (DEBT THRESHOLD), resulting from governmental or

commercial loans obtained to support their undergraduate and/or

graduate education;

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

7.  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


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;

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 that 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 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.


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, October 13, 1992:

"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 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, who 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 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 by calling or writing

the following:

Mr. Marc S. Horowitz, J.D.

Office of AIDS Research

National Institutes of Health

7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 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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