Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To recruit and retain health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds to conduct clinical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by providing for the repayment of educational loans for participants with substantial amounts of educational debt relative to income, who agree by written contract to engage in clinical research as employees of the NIH for a minimum two-year period.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

To provide repayment of extant educational loans incurred by health professionals engaged, as employees of the NIH, in clinical research. Recipients must agree by written contract to engage in such research, initially, for a minimum of 2 years; individuals who have conflicting service obligations may not participate in this program until those obligations are satisfied or have been deferred during the period of program service. One-year continuation contracts are available, dependent upon the level of debt and continued involvement in clinical research. Maximum program benefit is $35,000 per year in loan repayments and $13,650 per year in Federal tax reimbursements. Recipients must have qualified educational debt in excess of 20 percent of their annual salary, which is referred to as their "debt threshold." An amount equal to half of this "debt threshold" will not be repaid by NIH and must be paid by the Program participants.

Who is eligible to apply...

Eligible applicants must: (1) Be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States; (2) possess a M.D., Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.V.M., D.P.M., A.D.N., B.S.N., or equivalent degree; (3) come from a disadvantaged background as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; (4) have qualified educational debt, which results from governmental or commercial loans obtained to support their undergraduate and/or graduate education, in excess of 20 percent of their annual NIH salary on the program eligibility date; (5) be appointed under any temporary or permanent employment mechanism in the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, so long as their employment has the potential to last a minimum of 2 years; (6) are not eligible to participate in the CR-LRP if they have an existing service obligation to Federal, State, or other entities, until such obligation is discharged or unless it is deferred during the period of program service; (7) submit an application to participate in the CR-LRP; and (8) sign and submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, at the time of agreeing to accept repayment of educational loans, a contract agreeing to engage in clinical research as an employee of the NIH for a minimum of 2 years.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

Applicants must submit documentation of the following, as appropriate: (1) Copies of loan applications and agreements from governmental or commercial educational loans which are being submitted for repayment; (2) copies of the standard student budget from each school attended during period when debt was incurred; (3) copies of recommendations, special skills, certifications, or other copies of loan documentation; (4) certification from the school(s) attended that the applicant qualified for participation in an educational assistance program for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds which are sponsored by the Secretary of Health and Human Services or self-certification describing circumstances which qualify him/her under the Secretary's definition of an individual from a disadvantaged background; and (5) other documentation as may be required by law.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Applicants must access and submit the Loan Repayment Program application electronically via the website www.lrp.nih.gov; seek qualified employment with a sponsoring Institute or Center (IC) of the NIH. Once an application has been submitted, the Loan Repayment Committee reviews it at a regularly scheduled review meeting and a determination of loan repayment recipients is made.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

The NIH Loan Repayment Committee (LRC) will review, rank, and approve or disapprove applications recommended for program participation by each Institute or Center (IC). Applications approved for program participation by the LRC will be notified by the Program Director. The Secretary, or his designee, will sign the service contract of program participants, provide a copy to the participant, and notice of the amount of approved loan repayment.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

Review the Loan Repayment Program website www.lrp.nih.gov, or contact the Headquarters Office listed below for the application deadlines.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The approximate time for approval/disapproval is 3 months.

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

Employees of the NIH who are not approved as a result of this process may ask for reconsideration through the standard appeal procedures available to employees.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

At the conclusion of the initial 2-year contract, participants may apply and be recommended for subsequent 1-year continuation contracts under the application and approval procedures specified above.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Clinical researchers from disadvantaged backgrounds who have unpaid educational loans will benefit from this program.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For initial 2-year contracts, loan repayments range from $13,020 to $70,000, with an average of $49,832. Tax reimbursements range from $6,706 to $36,217.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

(Loan Repayments) FY 03 $637,806, FY 04 est $688,390, and FY 05 est 688,390.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

75-0846-0-1-552.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Clinical and basic research to evaluate the use of a PET imaging agent, Tc-94m sestamibi, which will allow greater resolution and quantitation and thereby make direct quantitative comparisons of tumor uptake before and after treatment with antagonists possible. Clinical and basic research designed to develop better methods for detection, prevention and therapy for patients with kidney cancer. Research on the molecular genetics and protein chemistry of tumor suppressor genes and in particular, the VHL gene; and studies into the treatment of adult solid tumors, and laboratory research projects in tumor immunology and morphology.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

Thirteen contracts were awarded in fiscal year 2003. It is projected that 24 awards will be made in fiscal year 2004, and 15 awards are projected in fiscal year 2005.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Applicants are approved for participation in the NIH Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program after the LRC determines that the applicant will conduct qualified clinical research and qualifies as being from a disadvantaged background. LRC approval, in part, is based upon the scientific merit of the research and the credentials of the applicant as they relate to performing qualified clinical research.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance is available for a minimum 2-year period. One-year, continuation contracts are available for individuals whose educational debt exceeds the maximum repayable amount for 2 years and whose renewal ranking scores within the funding range. Payments are made directly to lenders, following each quarter of the participant's satisfactory service, unless otherwise agreed upon by the participant and Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

Program participants must be certified periodically to have satisfactorily performed the duties of their positions.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

None.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

The NIH will maintain applicant records for 3 years after rejection and participant records for 6 years after completion of final service obligation.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Subtitle D, Part G, Section 1631, Public Law 103-43, 107 Stat. 185, 42 U.S.C. 288-5, Public Law 105-392.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Pertinent information is contained in Public Law 103-43, Section 1631; Section 487E of Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 288-5); Public Law 105-392; Federal Register, Volume 59, No. 201, October 19, 1994; 42 CFR Part 68a Federal Register, Volume 63, No. 210, October 30, 1998.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Program and Business Contact: Marc S. Horowitz, J.D., Office of Loan Repayment and Scholarship, National Institutes of Health, 2 Center Drive, Room 2E24, Bethesda, MD 20892-0230. LRP Helpline: 866-849-4047. Facsimile: 866-849-4046.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: