NIH is quickly addressing how it will most effectively spend the $10.4 billion designated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to promote science, bolster the economy, and create or retain jobs in as transparent a manner as possible. Within the parameters of the legislation, NIH expects to allocate resources across several major activities, including the awarding of recently peer-reviewed, highly meritorious R01 applications, new R01 and other activity codes that have a reasonable expectation of making progress within two years, competitive supplements to expand the scope of current research or support additional infrastructure, non-competitve supplements to accelerate the tempo of on-going science, the new NIH Challenge Grant program, and other funding mechanisms as appropriate.
With the opportunity afforded by the Act also comes accountability. ARRA funding is not an increase to NIH’s base funding level, but rather it represents 2-year stimulus funds. Grantees should expect requests for detailed budgets for ARRA funding, including those applications already submitted using modular budgets. While standard award terms and conditions will apply – including the salary cap – awards associated with ARRA funding will contain unique reporting requirements mandated by the law, and institutions will be strongly encouraged to recognize the accountability associated with these funds by entering financial expenditures into a subaccount with independent reporting. Details about what must be reported, as well as how and when, are still under discussion with the Office of Management and Budget.
See the related article about FOAs arising as a result of the stimulus package to determine how your research might be part of the country’s economic recovery plan.