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Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

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The USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) Guidance Manual is a resource for veterinarians receiving a VMLRP award. This Guidance Manual outlines the VMLRP loan repayment process, awardee requirements and program policies. The update was prompted by feedback from awardees within the program. The changes provide uniformity within the objectives of the program. 

The following are highlights of major changes to the VMLRP Guidance Manual:

  •  Audits were changed to Programmatic Reviews. Additional details were added for documents that are required to be maintained or provided by the awardee during a review. 
  •  Quarterly loan payment documentation is no longer required to be submitted to VMLRP Staff by the awardee. The NIFA Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM) Division reviews each quarterly payment that is issued to the awardee.
  •  The VMLRP extended Leave or Absence Policy was updated under Family Leave, Leave without Pay, Annual Leave and Sick Leave section. All contractual quarterly hours must be executed to receive VMLRP quarterly payments.
  •  Removed section on transfers because it negates the panel process. NIFA does not assign shortage areas to awardees and therefore cannot transfer an awardee to another shortage area.
  •  Added a section for renewals: Continuous Renewal of Competitive Award. This was to document program practices. There were no changes to the process.

The VMLRP Guidance Manual will not be retroactive. This Manual was provided to current awardees and is effective January 1, 2022. It is available on the VMLRP Participants webpage. If you have any questions, please contact us at


VMLRP Program Staff: 

Bob Smith, DVM, PhD, National Program Leader 

Kathe Bjork, DVM, PhD, National Program Leader 

Marline Azevedo, VMLRP Program Coordinator  

Danielle Farley, M.A., Program Specialist   

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Kansas City, MO 

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