See the Glossary for more terms.
Many of you applied for ARRA support, so here's important information about getting your grant at the end of the fiscal year and a status report of our ARRA funding.
It may be July, but we are well into our end-of-fiscal-year mode. If you have a bar to award and a chance of getting funded, it is critical that you start resolving the bar now.
ARRA grants cannot have restrictions, so if your application is not awarded this fiscal year, it will not be funded at all. (A restriction lets us fund an application, but you can't spend funds on animal or human subjects research until NIH lifts the bar.)
NIH's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and Office of Extramural Programs, which remove bars, are giving ARRA applications top priority, but they must work through a deluge of requests from all NIH institutes and centers.
If you have a bar, immediately send NIAID the required information. Learn more in our Bars to Grant Awards SOPs, paying special attention to the end of year sections, and contact your program officer for help.
So far we have not been able to award ARRA grants as quickly as we would like. ARRA applications require approvals at higher levels in the administration, a procedure that has led to funding delays.
NIH is working with the administration to streamline the clearance process.
Despite major delays, we awarded all our FY 2009 administrative supplements for summer students and faculty, announced in the March 18, 2009, Guide notice, by July. We awarded these supplements with a quick turnaround as soon as we got approvals—and have released more than half our ARRA money for this fiscal year. Here's the latest tally.
ARRA Awards Through July 29, 2009
With this feat accomplished, we are on track with our ARRA spending for this fiscal year.
Moving quickly, NIH finished the two-step Challenge Grant reviews (except for human embryonic stem cell research) and is percentiling scores and finishing summary statements.
In early September, NIH expects to identify which applications to fund. Because of the large number of applications, we anticipate compressed scores and many ties, so it's unlikely that applications will be funded purely by percentile rank. (Keep in mind that you can't compare that percentile to an R01 percentile.)
We expect NIH to use the following process to make funding decisions.
Note that to be considered, your application needs to score within the top 10 percent of applications in the same broad challenge area (of which NIH will fund only a fraction).
We will award the grants around the end of the fiscal year. The earliest we can start is after the next meeting of our advisory Council on September 14.
Though we don't plan to fund Challenge Grants beyond those supported by the NIH set aside, that may change if we have a large amount of ARRA money left after making other awards. If we do, we will pay applications in the order they appear on our list.
In case you're curious, you can see a profile of NIAID's Challenge Grant applicants in the table below.
NIAID Challenge Grant PIs
Unlike some institutes that had many first-time applicants, NIAID's were largely established investigators. We had 1,279 applications assigned to us as the primary institute.
*Data are from FY 1970 to FY 2009.
By August 15, you should be able to register for the soon-to-be-ready quarterly reporting tool. You will report between October 1 and October 10, 2009, the final deadline. Each quarter will follow that pattern of a 10-day reporting window.
Go to Update Notice for Recipients of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds for the latest announcement, and check back for updates.
As you know, your July 10 report was delayed, but keep any data you have. The Office of Management and Budget is determining how it will collect the information for that reporting segment.
We expect NIH to publish detailed reporting guidance soon and will let you know more in our upcoming issues. For a full description of reporting requirements, go to New Guidance for Recipient Reporting Released on Recovery.gov.
Don't forget to share your story about ARRA's impact on your lab and your research with us, your colleagues, and everyone else.
Write about how ARRA funding let you keep your lab afloat, hire a summer student, or buy equipment. Tell us how ARRA monies saved jobs or let you expand your research.
No benefit is too small. And your entry doesn't have to be long—even a sentence or two is fine. Go to How Have ARRA Funds Helped You? now and drop us a line while you're thinking about it so we can post your story for you.
In "After Challenge Grants" in our June 17 issue, we told you how to build on your unfunded Challenge Grant application to submit a new one, usually an R01.
Before sitting down to rework the application, it's a good idea to do a higher level assessment to make sure a rewrite is the right choice for you. Here are some tips for sizing up your situation.
If you applied for a Challenge Grant and have received a request for just-in-time information, please send it immediately. We will be funding these grants with a very short turnaround time, so your cooperation is critical.
Your grants management specialist will send you a letter with more details. Read this information carefully. We'll need to work together closely to get this done by the fast-approaching end of the fiscal year.
NIH staff withdrew Challenge Grant applications if applicants did not follow instructions in the request for applications or had other compliance issues. And they were pretty strict.
Here are two examples of reasons for withdrawing an application: 1) it was too similar to another one from the same institution, and 2) the Center for Scientific Review found irregularities with items normally identified by electronic validations, such as page limits.
For each withdrawn application, your institutional business office will receive a letter from CSR explaining the issue. If your application was withdrawn, read the letter carefully, and contact your business office for help.
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Last Updated January 12, 2012
Last Reviewed July 29, 2009