The NRSA Payback Service Center administers payback requirements for the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA).
The NRSA legislation requires Postdoctoral recipients of support to “pay back” the U.S. Government by engaging in health-related biomedical or behavioral research. This includes direct administration or review of health-related research, health-related teaching, or any combination of these activities. Postdoctoral trainees and fellows are required to begin engaging in acceptable payback activities within two years of their termination. Postdoctoral trainees and fellows who cannot engage in payback service can request to pay back their debt financially. Extensions of time to initiate payback service, as well as payback deferrals and waivers, are granted under certain situations and circumstances.
Postdoctoral NRSA recipients with an outstanding payback obligation must file an annual report with the NRSA Payback Service Center until their payback obligation is fulfilled. A letter with a link to the Ruth L. Kirschstein Annual Payback Activities Certification (APAC) form is mailed to participants around the anniversary date of their award termination. Each recipient must complete the APAC form to indicate their payback status and report any payback service they have fulfilled. Links to the APAC form and other web-based resources are provided below:
National Research Service Award Payback Center
Division of Loan Repayment
OER/OD National Institutes of Health
6011 Executive Blvd., Room 206
Bethesda, MD 20892-7650
- Ruth L. Kirschstein Annual Payback Activities Certification (APAC) form
- Historical Payback Reporting Requirements (Prior to June 10, 1993) - (MS Word - 32 KB)
- Payback section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement - details policies and procedures for the NRSA program, including specific information about payback obligations
- Frequently Asked Questions