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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 2009

Each federal agency is providing weekly ARRA updates at http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/agencies.


To: All Faculty
From: Donald Bobbitt
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Ronald L. Elsenbaumer
Vice President for Research and Federal Relations
Date: March 9, 2009
Re: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 can provide significant funding and resource opportunities for research and creative activities at the University of Texas at Arlington. Although many of the details and mechanics for how federal agencies will distribute ARRA funds are unclear, we want to alert faculty to the information that is currently available.
General information on the ARRA:

  • Federal agencies have posted their budgets, amount of ARRA funds to be received and briefs on targeted funding areas at the following website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/.
  • The matrix (hylerlink to matrix) provides a summary of ARRA funds by agency and program areas.

www.recovery.gov provides general information on the ARRA along with a timeframe of milestones for its implementation and notices. Each federal agency is providing weekly ARRA updates at http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/agencies.

Each federal agency will attempt to obligate all ARRA funds by June 2009. This leaves a very short window for preparing and submitting applications. Faculty are encouraged to prepare proposals and submit them to existing/upcoming proposal deadlines (not related to the ARRA funding) and to ARRA specific announcements over the next few months.  

ARRA funds will be separately accounted for and have stringent reporting requirements. The Office of Management and Budget has provided the following guidance on the implementation of the ARRA: http://www.recovery.gov/files/Initial%20Recovery%20Act%20Implementing%20Guidance.pdf. One of the expected reporting requirements will include the number of jobs created or retained due to ARRA funding. Proposals should describe and include information on how funding will help meet these overarching goals of the ARRA to “stimulate the economy”.

It is expected that ARRA funds will be expended over a 2 period budget period. Proposals for ARRA opportunities should be prepared with this in mind.

Federal agencies are likely to allocate ARRA funds in three primary ways:
Supplements to existing grants: Some Program Managers have already contacted PIs of existing grants to submit supplements for ARRA funding. PIs are encouraged to discuss ARA Memo Page 2 March 9, 2009

Similar possibilities with their Program Managers in coordination with their respective Dean’s Offices.
Competition: In the coming weeks, agencies will distribute requests for proposals and convene panels to evaluate applications. It is anticipated that the award process will conclude within 30-60 days. This funding encompasses most of the scientific research awards. Examples of agencies and programs that have or will hold such competitions include:

National Institutes of Health

National Science Foundation

Broadband Deployment

These opportunities will be specifically identified as being funded by the ARRA (“Recovery Act Funding”) and posted on the www.grants.gov website when available.
Proposals Submitted & Recommended for Funding: Many federal agencies have proposals that were meritorious enough to have been recommended for funding but the agency may have lacked the funding to issue the award before the ARRA was enacted. ARRA funds would be used to fund previously submitted proposals meeting this criterion. In particular, NSF is considering the review of all proposals submitted on or after 10/1/2008 and using ARRA funds to fund meritorious proposals (and in some cases fund previously declined proposals).
Research Opportunity Summary by Agency:

NIH has been allocated $7.4B for various biomedical research grants to be managed by the different institutes or via the Common Fund. In addition, the Director will have discretion over $800 million for projects that can be completed within two years.

NSF has been allocated $3 billion overall. Among the items: $200 million for academic research facility modernization, $400 million for Major Research Instrumentation, $25 million for Math Science partnerships, and $400 million for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction.

The Department of Energy has been given $1.6 billion for research grants in the areas of climate, biofuels, physics, and fusion energy; and $400 million for fund the ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, a semi-autonomous entity within DOE.

NASA is been given $1 billion overall, including $400 for acceleration of Tier 1 Earth science climate research missions; $150 million for system-level RD&D activities related to aviation safety, environmental impact mitigation, and next Generation Air Transportation System; and an additional $400 million for development of the next space launch vehicle.

NIST has been awarded $600 million overall, including $360 million for construction of research buildings.

In summary, researchers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity by 1) Contacting Program Managers of existing awards, 2) Looking for new program announcements at the various websites provided above 3) Submitting Proposals as soon as possible and 4) Coordinating targeted requests through your respective Chairs and Deans.
Please contact the Office of Grant and Contract Services if you have any questions at ogcs@uta.edu or 817-272-2105.