Skip left side navigation and go to content

featured scientist featured scientist featured scientist featured scientist

About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as Recovery Act or ARRA, was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 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.

Recovery Act Timeline

February 13, 2009

H.R. 1 passed by the House of Representatives

February 13, 2009

H.R. 1 passed by the Senate

February 17, 2009

H.R. 1 signed into law by President Obama

March 3, 2009

Federal agencies begin reporting on their use of funds

October 10, 2009

Recipient reporting begins

September 30, 2010

All Recovery Act funds must be obligated

September 30, 2010

President Barack Obama announces $5 billion in grant awards under the Recovery Act to fund cutting-edge medical research in every state across America


$10.4 billion of Recovery Act funds were provided to the NIH
$7.4 billion will go to NIH Institutes and Centers to support scientific research
$763 million will to go the NHLBI. This is about 10% of the funds allocated to the NIH Institutes or Centers, an amount that is proportional to the NHLBI’s appropriation level.

NIH Funding Overview

While NHLBI and other NIH Institutes and Centers have broad flexibility to invest in many types of grant programs, they will follow the spirit of the Recovery Act by funding projects that will stimulate the economy, create or retain jobs, and have the potential for making scientific progress in two years. The NIH is:

  • Selecting recently peer reviewed highly meritorious research grant applications (R01s and others), that can realize significant accomplishments in 2 years or less.
  • Funding new research applications.
  • Accelerating the tempo of ongoing science through targeted supplements to current grants.
  • Supporting new types of activities such as the NIH Challenge Grant program that meet the goals of the Recovery Act.
  • Using other funding mechanisms as appropriate.

NHLBI Investment

The NHLBI is investing its Recovery Act funding in research that advances basic discoveries of the causes of diseases, promotes the translation of the basic discoveries into clinical practice, and fosters training and mentoring of emerging scientists and physicians. The Institute’s funding plan strikes a balance between increasing the number of investigator-initiated research grants and supporting its commitment to signature projects.

Estimated NHLBI Distribution of ARRA Funds

Research grants (expanded payline)



NIH-wide Recovery Act RFAs



NIH-wide Administrative Supplements






Expanded Payline

  • Fund highly meritorious R01 applications and similar mechanisms that rank from the 15.1 through the 25.0 percentile and are capable of making significant advances with a two-year grant
  • Award early-stage investigators up to the 35.0 percentile. The first two years will be paid with ARRA funds and the remaining years will be funded using usual appropriated funds
  • Award new investigator R01 applications that rank from the 20.1 to the 30.0 percentile and are capable of making significant advances in two years

Recovery Act Request for Applications (RFAs)

Solicitations of grant or cooperative agreement applications to stimulate targeted research in selected scientific areas. They include:

Challenge Grants, Grand Opportunity Grants

The Challenge Grant program will support research on specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from a significant infusion of funds over the next two years. The research in the challenge areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health. NIH Institutes and Centers have selected specific challenge topics within each of the challenge areas. The Grand Opportunities or “GO” grant program supports projects that address large, specific biomedical and biobehavioral research endeavors that benefit from significant two-year funds without the expectation of continued NIH funding beyond two years.  Research supported by the “GO” grants program is intended to provide a high short-term return and offer a strong likelihood of enabling growth and investment in biomedical research and development, public health, and health care delivery.

Administrative Supplements

Administrative supplements are increments in funding that support research within the original scope of an active NIH research grant (parent grant). Requests for administrative supplements for NHLBI grant awards do not require evaluation by an initial peer review group but are subject to review and approval by NHLBI program and grants management staff. They are also contingent upon the availability of funds and may be subject to review by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.

More Information



Last Updated September 4,2009

Other Important Links

Information from the White House and President Obama

Recovery Information from Health and Human Services

share your recovery act story

  • Did you get Recovery Act funding? Do you have a great story to tell? Let us know about it! E-mail
Twitter iconTwitterExternal link Disclaimer         Facebook iconFacebookimage of external link icon         YouTube iconYouTubeimage of external link icon         Google+ iconGoogle+image of external link icon