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National Institutes of Health

NIMH Information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

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Overview of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need. Learn more on

For Information on the Department of Health and Human Services' Implementation of the Recovery Act, go to:

Implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

NIMH and the Recovery Act

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive $10.4 billion from the Recovery Act for use over the next two years (2009 and 2010). A portion of these funds will apply directly to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

NIMH will use these funds to implement its Strategic Plan.  Specifically, Recovery Act funds will be used to (a) support select basic and clinical research project applications with outstanding scores, (b) supplement currently funded projects in specific areas of need, (c) award NIH Challenge Grants as part of a new 2-year R01 program, and (d) jumpstart progress with new requests for applications. Funding decisions related to HIV/AIDS will be based on the Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research, and funding decisions related to training will be based on the 2008 National Advisory Mental Health Council report on research training (“Investing in the Future”).

These funds are not "business as usual." The Recovery Act stipulates that all stimulus funds must be obligated by Sept 30, 2010. NIH has issued guidance (NOT-OD-09-054) outlining the review, scoring, and appeals process for stimulus applications. In addition, there will be extensive reporting requirements for these funds so that the outcomes of this investment can be monitored.

Challenge Grants in Health and Science Program

The first Recovery Act initiative, the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research Program (RFA-OD-09-003), will support research on 15 broad Challenge Areas that address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from an influx of significant 2-year funds to quickly advance the area.

Within these 15 NIH Challenge Areas, NIMH has identified 35 topics that we are particularly interested in funding to advance our mission and the objectives outlined in our Strategic Plan, the Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research, and the National Advisory Mental Health Council report on research training. These topics can be found at NIMH's Challenge Grant web page.

Applicants may request up to $500,000 in total costs per year for up to 2 years.

The application due date for NIH Challenge Grants is April 27, 2009.

For the NIMH Challenge Grant Areas, go to:

For all National Institutes of Health Challenge Grants Funding go to:

Please note that new investigators who receive an R01 through the Challenge Grants program will not be eligible to receive preferential “new investigator” status for future NIMH awards.

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Supplements to Currently Funded Projects

NIH has announced the opportunity for investigators and U.S. institutions with active research grants to request up to 2 years of supplemental funding for the purpose of promoting job creation, economic development, and accelerating the pace and achievement of scientific research. These initiatives are being offered by NIH to help fulfill the goals of the Recovery Act to help stimulate the economy through support of biomedical and behavioral research.

NIMH will be supporting supplemental funding through the following initiatives:

The application due date for supplements is April 21, 2009.

Complete information on NIMH’s supplement initiatives can be found on our Supplements Homepage.

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Recovery Act Funding for Research to Address the Heterogeneity of Autism Spectrum Disorders

NIH has released a series of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), supported by funds from the Recovery Act, soliciting applications for 2-year research projects to address the heterogeneity of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Topic areas of interest include: measurement development, biomarkers/biological signatures, immune and central nervous systems interactions, genetics/genomics, environmental risk factors, model development, treatment and intervention, and services research.

NIH intends to commit approximately $60 million to these FOAs in order to fund between 40 and 50 grants, contingent on the number and quality of applications and the availability of funds.

The announcements request applications through the following grant mechanisms:

The application due date for all mechanisms is May 12, 2009.

Note: ASD research is also supported through other NIMH Recovery Act funding initiatives.

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Research and Research Infrastructure Grand Opportunities Grants

NIH has established the Research and Research Infrastructure “Grand Opportunities” grants program (”GO” grants) with funding from the Recovery Act. This new program will support projects that address large, specific biomedical and biobehavioral research endeavors that will benefit from significant 2-year funds.

NIMH research supported by the GO grants program should have high short-term impact, a high likelihood of accelerating the goals outlined in NIMH’s Strategic Plan, and address one or more of the topics outlined on NIMH’s GO grants homepage.

NIMH will obligate approximately $50 million a year to support this initiative, contingent on a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications. Only applications with budgets greater than $500,000 in total costs per year for a project period of two years are expected to be considered, and the total annual cost for individual awards is expected to vary. The GO grants program will use the RC2 mechanism.

Applications for GO grants are due by May 29, 2009.

For more information about the GO grants initiative, go to the NIMH’s GO grants homepage.

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NIH Core Centers to Support New Faculty Recruitment

NIH has announced a new Recovery Act initiative to establish Research Core Centers at U.S. academic institutions. These Core Center Grants will provide funding to promising investigators through the P30 mechanism to establish centers conducting innovative scientific research.

NIMH will fund Core Centers through this program to enhance U.S. institutions’ capacity to conduct research in fields that contribute to the priorities of NIMH’s Strategic Plan, the Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research, and the National Advisory Mental Health Council report on research training. We encourage applications from institutions that seek to hire early-stage investigators in tenure-track (or equivalent) research positions at the assistant professor level.

NIMH expects to make between 3 and 6 awards during FY 2009, with total funding of approximately $5 million for this initiative over two years.

Applications may request budgets with direct costs of up to $500,000 per year and project duration of up to two years, for a maximum of $1 million direct costs over a two-year project period.

Application are due by May 29, 2009. For additional information on the Recovery Act Core Centers initiative, go to:

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Recovery Act Academic Research Enhancement Awards

NIH has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for an Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program supported by funds from the Recovery Act. The purpose of the AREA program is to stimulate research at educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees for a significant number of the Nation's research scientists, but that have not been major recipients of NIH support. AREA grants are intended to support small-scale health-related research projects proposed by faculty members of eligible, domestic institutions otherwise unlikely to participate extensively in NIH’s biomedical and behavioral research effort. This program will use the R15 grant mechanism.

NIH estimates that up to 50 AREA grants will be awarded in Fiscal Year 2010. The total amount allocated and number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration, and costs of the applications received.

Applications for the Recovery Act AREA program are due by September 24, 2009.

Complete information about this initiative may be found in the NIH Guide Notice (RFA-OD-09-007).

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More Information on the Recovery Act

Additional Recovery Act initiatives are under development and will be released in the coming weeks. Please be sure to check the NIMH web site, including this page, frequently for updates on additional stimulus programs.