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Published 4/1/2009

Stimulus bill includes research funding

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has new research funding available from the recent stimulus bill, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA legislation provides $8.2 billion in grant funding to the NIH for applicants, who, in the spirit of the ARRA, can also demonstrate that their projects will stimulate the economy, create jobs, or retain jobs.

NIH has designated at least $200 million for a new initiative called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research. This new program will 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. NIH institutes and centers have selected specific challenge topics within each of the challenge areas. The research in these challenge areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.

In addition, Recovery Act funds allocated to NIH specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) may be available to support additional grants. Projects receiving these funds will need to meet this definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy.” Such research may include the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data as they apply to CER.

The NIH expects to apply the funding in the following ways:

  • Select recently peer-reviewed, highly meritorious research grant applications (R01s and others) that can be accomplished in 2 years or less
  • Fund new applications
  • Expedite ongoing science through targeted supplements to current grants
  • Support new types of activities, such as the NIH challenge grant program
  • Use other funding mechanisms as appropriate

It is critical for the musculoskeletal research community to ensure that applications are submitted for these grants. Applications are due April 28, 2009; funding will be announced in the fall. Applications must be submitted online.

More information about ARRA grants can be found at the below Web sites:
NIH Challenge Grants

RFA-RR-09-007 - Recovery Act Limited Competition: Core Facility Renovation, Repair, and Improvement (G20)

RFA-RR-09-008 - Recovery Act Limited Competition: Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program (C06)

PAR-09-118 - Recovery Act Limited Competition: High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10)

NOT-RR-09-008 - Addition of Recovery Funds to the Shared Instrumentation Grant Program