News Release

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Strength in Numbers: NIH Debuts Campaign to Empower Individuals to Pursue Careers in Research

NIH's Loan Repayment Program campaign, "Strength in Numbers," aims to expand the breadth of opportunities for health professionals seeking careers in biomedical and behavioral research.

The NIH’s Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Strength in Numbers campaign debuted today. Offering a renewed commitment to qualified postdoctoral scientists who are seeking careers in biomedical and behavioral research, the program funds up to $35,000 annually in loan repayment.

From September 1 to December 1, 2007, the NIH will accept applications for loan repayments of up to $35,000 annually of the qualified educational debt of health professionals pursuing careers in one of the five LRPs offered by the NIH: Clinical Research, Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds, Contraception and Infertility Research, Health Disparities Research, and Pediatric Research. The programs also provide coverage for federal and state tax liabilities.

"It is the energy and enthusiasm of promising postdoctoral scientists that pushes forward the frontiers of medical research and discovery. We hope that our continued investment in new scientists today, through the Sixth Annual Loan Repayment Program application cycle, will provide the support these researchers need to meet the nation’s health challenges of tomorrow," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

More than 5,200 research scientists have benefited from the $380 million investment in student loan and tax relief. The "Strength in Numbers" campaign seeks to alert every eligible applicant, in a variety of disciplines, to take advantage of this opportunity. "The LRP Clinical Research Program provided me the financial freedom to pursue my desired career as an academic clinical researcher. I have been able to begin a line of research that will improve the understanding and treatment for substance use disorders in special populations," stated Michelle Lofwall, MD, a physician-scientist LRP awardee at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Chicago Medical School.

To qualify, applicants must possess a doctoral-level degree, devote 50 percent or more of their time to research funded by a nonprofit organization or government entity (federal, state, or local), and have educational loan debt equal to or exceeding 20 percent of their institutional base salary. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be eligible. All applications must be completed by 8 p.m. EST, December 1, 2007.

Visit for more details and to apply.

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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