Applications for National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs Now Open
If you are a hematology/oncology fellow who has existing student loans and is interested in an academic research career, consider applying to the Loan Repayment Program (LRP) sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). High educational debt is a burden shared by many fellows in training and may impact their career choice. According to 2014 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median educational debt amongst medical school graduates is estimated at $180,000, with 43 percent of students graduating with at least $200,000 of debt.1 Hematology/oncology fellows with high educational debt may be less likely to select a career in academic medicine and more likely to suffer burnout and lower in-training examination scores.2
To encourage outstanding health professionals to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research, the NIH has created numerous loan repayment programs. Eligibility criteria include a commitment of at least two years of qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization or U.S. federal, state, or local government entity. In exchange, the NIH may repay up to $35,000 of qualified student loan debt per year, including most undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans. Loan repayment benefits are in addition to the institutional salary you receive for your research.
Applications are being accepted for the following categories: clinical research, pediatric research, health disparities research, and contraception and infertility research. LRP applications are accepted annually from September 1 through November 16, 8:00 p.m. EST and must be submitted electronically using the NIH LRP website. Visit the NIH grants website for more details.
- 2014 Association of American Medical Colleges Data Medical student education: debt, costs, and loan repayment fact card. Accessed August 19, 2015
- Shanafelt T, Raymond M, Horn L, et al Oncology fellows’ career plans, expectations, and well-being: do fellows know what they are getting into?. J Clin Oncol. 2014;32:2991-2997.