The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall, as appropriate and based on workforce and scientific priorities, carry out a program through the subcategories listed in subsection (b)(1) (or modified subcategories as provided for in subsection (b)(2)), of entering into contracts with qualified health professionals under which such health professionals agree to conduct research in consideration of the Federal Government agreeing to repay, for each year of such research, not more than $50,000 of the principal and interest of the educational loans of such health professionals.
The Director of the National Institutes of Health may eliminate one or more subcategories provided for in paragraph (1) due to changes in workforce or scientific needs related to biomedical research. The Director may establish other subcategory areas based on workforce and scientific priorities if the total number of subcategories does not exceed the number of subcategories listed in paragraph (1).
The Director of the National Institutes of Health may not enter into a contract with a health professional pursuant to subsection (a) unless such professional has a substantial amount of education loans relative to income (as determined pursuant to guidelines issued by the Director).
The provisions of sections 254l–1, 254m, and 254o of this title shall, except as inconsistent with subsection (a) of this section, apply to the program established in subsection (a) to the same extent and in the same manner as such provisions apply to the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program established in subpart III of part D of subchapter II.
Amounts available for carrying out this section shall remain available until the expiration of the second fiscal year beginning after the fiscal year for which the amounts were made available.