We were honored to have President Obama join us at NIH last week to speak about the Recovery Act (ARRA) and the impact the nation’s investments will have on biomedical research. NIH is grateful to the President, Congress and public for allowing us to be part of this re-investment in the American economy. When ARRA began we never dreamed what an undertaking it would be, but I am impressed with what we were able to accomplish working together with the extramural community. I personally want to thank everyone who was involved – the investigators, reviewers, NIH staff, applicant organizations, professional societies and others – for putting forth their research ideas and for their dedication to great science.
Thanks to everyone’s hard work, more than 30,000 applications were received from both established investigators to those new to NIH. NIH has awarded $5B of the $10.4B appropriated funds to more than 12,000 grants and contracts. These included funding additional meritorious research grants that were previously peer reviewed and approved by Institute/Center Councils; providing competing revisions and administrative supplements to accelerate ongoing research; and expanding our support of scientific research with new ARRA-specific programs.
Although investing in biomedical research will create jobs, NIH can provide something additional and more profound – providing the financial backbone to first time grantees to pursue new discoveries, igniting a passion for science in the young graduate student through summer research, and giving researchers with the brilliant, large scale, high impact research ideas the wherewithal to carry it closer to reality.