Summer 2009 • Issue 18

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Act is intended to stimulate the U.S. economy, create and preserve jobs, and address long-neglected challenges. The Recovery Act provides $10.4 billion to NIH, available through September 2010, with the bulk to be awarded in FY 2009.

Of the ARRA funds allocated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIAAA will grant nearly $114 million to stimulate advances in the alcohol research field. Grants of ARRA funds will be peer-reviewed and will be used to extend the payline to fund additional highly meritorious R01 and R21 applications from previous application cycles. Additionally, funds will be available for applications in response to new opportunities, including Challenge Grants, “Grand Opportunities” (GO) Grants, Competitive and Administrative Supplements, and select P30 grants for new faculty. All applications awarded must be fully compliant with ARRA guidelines. (Reporting requirements for ARRA are more extensive than for traditional funding.) In addition, ARRA funds cannot be comingled with non-ARRA funds.

The NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research—for which approximately 20,000 applications were received by the April 27 deadline—support research on topic areas addressing specific scientific and health-research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from significant 2-year jumpstart funds. The NIH identified a range of Challenge Areas focusing on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. Each NIH institute, center, and office has selected specific Challenge Topics within the broad Challenge Areas related to its mission. NIAAA’s Challenge Grant Topics may be viewed at
. Research in these Challenge Areas is anticipated to have a high impact on biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.

Image of Recovery Act Seal

The Research and Research Infrastructure Grand Opportunities program will support high-impact ideas that lend themselves to short-term, non-renewable funding and lay the foundation for new fields of investigation. The program will support large-scale research projects that accelerate critical breakthroughs, early and applied research on cutting-edge technologies, and new approaches to improve synergy and interactions among multi- and interdisciplinary research teams. In addition, NIAAA will give high priority to application requests that do not exceed $1 million in total costs per year.

NIAAA anticipates awarding funds for revision applications (formerly termed “competitive supplements”) consistent with the goals of the notice for the availability of Recovery Act funds for competitive revision applications and the economic stimulus goals of ARRA. Award decisions will be made based on priority score ranking, adherence to ARRA’s economic stimulus goals, and availability of resources.

NIAAA anticipates awarding additional ARRA funds for administrative supplements to already-funded research projects to promote job creation and economic development, and to accelerate the pace and achievement of scientific research. Applications will be evaluated at NIAAA on the basis of adherence to ARRA’s economic stimulus goals, impact on the particular scientific project, and reasonableness of costs with respect to available resources. To be considered, submissions must have been received before June 1, 2009, although additional requests may be considered later in the year depending on the availability of funds.

Two other types of administrative supplements will provide summer research experiences for students and science educators. One type of supplement will encourage students to pursue research careers in health sciences. The second supplement type will provide elementary-school, middle-school, and high-school teachers; community college faculty; and faculty from non-research–intensive institutions with short-term research experiences in NIAAA-funded laboratories. Based on recommendations from extramural divisions, the NIAAA Acting Director submitted approved supplements in these two categories to the NIH Office of the Director on May 1, 2009.

Institutions/organizations are eligible for administrative supplements if they have active NIAAA Research Grants, Research Program and Center Grants, or Cooperative Agreements. The parent grant must be active for the duration of the supplement.

Additional information on ARRA may be found at and on NIAAA’s Web site at


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