Undergraduate Scholarship Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

Purpose of this program:

To provide service-conditioned scholarships to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who agree to pursue undergraduate education at accredited institutions. Individuals must pursue a course of academic study which prepares them for professions needed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH expects to facilitate interest of these individuals in pursuing careers in the biomedical/biobehavioral sciences at the NIH.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

This program will provide scholarships to individuals who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment as full-time students at an accredited undergraduate institution of higher education and who are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each recipient must agree by written contract to serve as an NIH employee full-time for not less than 10 consecutive weeks of each year during which the individual is attending the undergraduate institution and receiving a scholarship; and, not later than 60 days after obtaining the educational degree, each recipient must begin serving as a full-time NIH employee for one year for each year of NIH scholarship support (a deferment of the service obligation may be obtained if the Director, NIH, determines that such is appropriate). Applicants must submit a proposed academic program for each academic year and agree that this program will not be altered without prior approval. The applicant must be in good academic (maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5) standing with their educational institution for continuation under the scholarship program. Maximum scholarship per academic year is $20,000. Scholarship funds may only be used for tuition expenses and qualified educational and living expenses incurred while attending school.

Who is eligible to apply...

An eligible applicant must be (1) A U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident; (2) enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time student at an accredited undergraduate institution (4 year school) of higher education; (3) from a disadvantaged background as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; (4) in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.5 or be in the top 5 percent) with his/her educational institution; and (5) submit an application to participate in the Undergraduate Scholarship (UGS) Program; (6) agree to serve as a full-time NIH employee for not less than 10 consecutive weeks of each year during which the individual is attending the educational institution and receiving a scholarship; (7) agree to serve as a full-time NIH employee for 12 months for each academic year during which the scholarship was provided, not later than 60 days after obtaining his or her academic degree, unless a service deferment is granted.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Applicants must submit documentation of the following, as appropriate: (1) Verification of enrollment or acceptance to an accredited institution of higher education (4 year school); (2) a proposed academic program for the school year; (3) certification from the academic institution that the applicant is in good academic standing (minimum GPA of 3.5, or be in the top 5 percent); (4) certification from the academic institution that the applicant qualifies for participation in an educational assistance program for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds as defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and (5) other documentation as may be required by law, statute, or regulation.

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:

Application, a signed contract, and other required information (as listed in the application packet) are submitted to the Program office. Once an application package is received by the administering Program Office, preliminary eligibility will be determined and highly qualified applicants will be interviewed. Final determination of awards will be made upon review by the Undergraduate Scholarship Program Committee at a regularly scheduled meeting.

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:

Priority will be given to applicants who are prior recipients. The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program Committee will review, rank, and approve or disapprove applications submitted for program participation. Criteria which determine competitive ranking for awards may include: (1) career goal in biomedical/biobehavioral research; (2) academic performance; and (3) letters of recommendation. A student's financial need alone does not affect selection. Applicants approved for award will be notified by the Program Director. The Secretary, and his/her designee will sign the service contract of approved applicants, provide a copy to the participant and under graduate institution notice of approved award amount. Scholarship payments, including room and board, books, fees and transportation are made to the college or university for dispersal.

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...


Contact the Headquarters Office listed below for 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

Students must be given a fair summary of the rights and liabilities of applicants prior to application. This summary is included in the application packet. Applications are available directly from the program up to 6 weeks before the application deadline. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372. Applicants should request an application package from the NIH's Office of Loan Repayment and Scholarship, 2 Center Drive, Room 2E30, Bethesda, MD 20892-0230. Telephone: (800) 528-7689. Facsimile: (301) 480-5481.

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.



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).


Annual renewal applications are required to extend the award. Extensions of the scholarship award are subject to availability of funds, acceptable academic and laboratory performance.

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...

Undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing academic programs supporting professions needed by the NIH.

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

Dollar assistance per scholar ranges from $1,714 to $20,000 per year. Average annual dollar assistance per scholar is estimated to be $10,213.

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.


(Scholarships, Salaries and Benefits) FY 03 $793,064, FY 04 est $943,250; and FY 05 est $943,250.

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


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...

Funded undergraduate students majoring in the following disciplines: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Microbiology, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology.

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...

Fifteen awards were made in fiscal year 2003. NIH projects that 21 awards will be made in fiscal year 2004, and 21 awards are projected in fiscal year 2005.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

The NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program Committee will review, rank, and approve or disapprove applications based on career goals and academic performance. Priority will be given to applicants who have demonstrated good academic performance, demonstrated a career goal to pursue biomedical/biobehavioral research, and have characteristics which support the likelihood they will complete their service obligations.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Each award covers 1 calendar year, and may be extended for an additional 3 years, for a maximum of 4 years. No awardee may receive more than 4 years of support.

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

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...


Annual reports by schools indicating average student educational expenses and academic status of students.

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.



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).


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.



Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part G, Section 487D, as amended, Public Law 103-43; 42 U.S.C. 288-4.

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; and Section 487D of Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 288-4).

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. Telephone: (800) 528-7689. Facsimile: (301) 480-5481.

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: