Money Matters

Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) increased its student loan repayment awards by 66% from 2002. In fact, NIH inked contracts with 1,200 health researchers in 2003 totaling $63 million.

The NIH Loan Repayment Program, which launched in 2002, gives awards to health professionals who commit 50% of their time for two years to research funded by a nonprofit or government agency. In 2003, more than half of the awards were given to researchers who had completed their doctoral degrees within the past five years. More than half of them hold MDs and approximately a third completed PhDs.

Awardees receive up to $35,000 annually toward their student loans, and NIH makes additional payments directly to the Internal Revenue Service to offset the taxes on loan payments.

The five NIH loan repayment programs are:

  • Clinical research

  • Pediatric research

  • Health disparities research

  • Clinical research for people from disadvantaged backgrounds

  • Contraception and infertility research



To learn more about the NIH program and to obtain application materials for future years, visit