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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Faculty Research & Initiatives

Current Initiatives

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

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Updated: May 18, 2009 

The following agency summaries represent the highlights of the ARRA funding distribution.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

NASA has received a total of $1 billion in ARRA funding. Aeronautics research and development will receive $150 million in stimulus funding and NASA 's Science portfolio will receive $400 million for earth science, planetary science, heliophysics, and astrophysics research.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

NEA has received $50 million from ARRA to support projects that focus on the preservation of jobs in the arts. The funds will be split between state arts agencies, regional arts organizations and competitive grants to nonprofit organizations. The guidelines for applying are available online.

Local, state, and regional arts agencies and organizations are expected to sub-grant a portion of the funds they receive to individual institutions. Sub-grants share the same limitations on project support as the competitive grant program. NEA's website lists the relevant groups that will be eligible for this funding

In addition, institutions are limited to receiving NEA ARRA funds through only one source; from NEA directly OR through an entity eligible to sub-grant NEA funds. Each applicant is limited to one application. Exceptions to this one-application rule are made only for parent organizations applying on behalf of separately identifiable and independent components. To be eligible, an independent component must have received NEA support during the previous four years. 

An application in response to ARRA funding does not preclude an organization from applying under other NEA funding opportunities including Grants for Arts Projects. In each case, the request must be for a distinctly different project. Direct questions to the discipline staff appropriate to your project


National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF received $3 billion in ARRA funding. Of that, $100 million will go to the Education and Human Resources Directorate for the following:

  • $60 million for Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarships (more proposals than usual will be funded for the competition that closed 2/24/09)
  • $25 million for Math and Science Partnerships
  • $15 million to establish the Professional Science Master's program authorized in 2007 by America COMPETES.

Stimulus-funded research grants will primarily be made by funding more FY 09 applications in the pipeline, or, possibly, reaching back to support highly ranked but unfunded proposals submitted since June 2008.

There will only be a few new solicitations funded with stimulus dollars--most new solicitations and continuing awards will be funded by FY 09 regular appropriations. Exceptions are early/new investigator awards, CAREER awards (funded for full five years), Graduate Research Fellowships and other similar scholarship/fellowship programs (tripled), academic research infrastructure (for outfitting and rehabilitating research space, not for new construction), and Major Research Instrumentation (received $300 million in ARRA). Current discussions say project periods won't be limited to 18 months as initially suggested.

No continuing awards will be made with stimulus money; supplemental funding of existing awards is being discouraged but possible. Stimulus funding will be "sequestered from any other funds," be separately accounted for, and be subject to detailed quarterly status reports. 

NSF has also proposed to bring in more faculty rotators and Intergovernment Personnel Act (IPA) appointees to administer the stimulus funds. The agency may take on the rotator and IPA salaries. This would free up faculty positions at universities to enable them to hire new postdocs in spite of hiring freezes.


National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH has received $10.4 billion in ARRA funding, of which the agency plans to distribute as much as feasible in FY 09 to support "projects with the broadest impact, work that can be accomplished in two years, that relies heavily on NIH's new streamlined, modernized peer review system." The $10.4 billion will be allocated as follows:

  • $8.2 billion to the Office of the Director, of which $7.4 billion will be transferred to the institutes and centers, and $800 million will be left for the OD to use.
  • $1.3 billion to NIH's National Center for Research Resources, of which $1 billion will fund the construction and renovation of extramural research facilities and $300 million will support the acquisition of shared instrumentation and other research equipment
  • $500 million to NIH for its own buildings and facilities
  • $400 million transferred from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for "health care comparative effectiveness research;"

NIH Institutes and Centers will receive $7.4 billion with highlights as follows:

  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will receive about 10 percent of the $7.4 billion provided to NIH Institutes and Centers to support scientific research. This amount is proportional to the institute's share of the overall NIH appropriation
  • Approximately $1.26 billion will go to the National Cancer Institute
  • Approximately $405 million to the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke
  • Approximately $175 million to the National Eye Institute
  • Approximately $350 million to the National Institute of Mental Health

There will be three main "buckets" Of NIH stimulus funding:

  • Funding for R01 applications that have already been reviewed but not funded. Other funding mechanisms may be used as appropriate.
  • Administrative supplements to currently funded projects. For example, NIH may competitively expand the scope of current research awards or supplement existing awards with additional support for infrastructure (e.g., equipment) that will be used in the two-year availability of these funds
  • ARRA NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research. Application deadline: April 27, 2009. Web:

All stimulus-funded NIH projects must be completed within two years. So, while there is a possibility that some new proposals will be considered, most projects funded will have already gone through NIH peer review. Likewise, most awards will support basic research rather than clinical trials, which take longer than two years to show results.


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA has received a total of $28 billion in ARRA funding, including $50 million for the Aquaculture Assistance Grants Program and $20 million for Rural Business Development Grants. Additionally, the Distance Learning, Telemedicine, & Broadband Loan Program received $2.5 million to expand broadband access.    

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)

The Commerce Department has received a total of $7.9 billion in ARRA funding for economic development and job creation. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) received $150 million for grants to economically distressed areas to generate private sector jobs.  The

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) received $830 million, including $170 million for climate change research. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) received $610 million, including $180 million for a competitively awarded extramural construction grants program. Left out of the final bill are proposals to spend $70 million for the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) and $30 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)

The Defense Department has received $7.4 billion in overall ARRA funding, with $200 million reserved for research and development. A large percentage of DoD ARRA funding will go to energy initiatives such as $4.2 billion to make DoD facilities more energy efficient; $300 million to develop energy-efficient weapons technologies; and $120 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program.


U.S. Department of Education (ED)

ED's portion of ARRA funding is approximately $81.1 billion. The bulk of this amount, approximately $53.6 billion, will be funded directly to states under the State Stabilization Fund . The average award size to states will be approximately $929 million. 

Of the $53.6 billion, approximately 81.8 percent of the funds must be used for education-related expenses. The remaining 18.2 percent must be used for other government services, including "modernization, renovation, or repair of public school facilities and institutions of higher education (IHE) facilities, including modernization, renovation, and repairs that are consistent with a recognized green building rating system."  Interestingly, the House requested $6 billion specifically for higher education modernization, but that measure did not get past the Senate and therefore was not part of the ARRA. 

Other highlights of ED's portion of the ARRA include the following:

  • $13 billion for Title I, Part A grants to states and school improvement grants
  • $12.2 billion for special education grants to states, preschool grants and grants for infants and families-all under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • $650 million for education technology grants
  • $300 million for teacher quality, with $200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund and $100 million for Teacher Quality Partnership Grants
  • $17.1 billion (both discretionary and mandatory funding) to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, to $5,350 in 2009

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

DOE has received a total of $40 billion under ARRA, including $2.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable research, development, demonstration, and deployment programs. Clean fossil energy technology will receive $3.4 billion dollars and $800 million will be spent on biofuels research. Additionally, The Office of Science will receive $1.6 billion dollars for facilities renovation, basic research, and advanced scientific computing 

ARRA also makes supplemental appropriations for the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) of 2005 Section 721, which authorizes the establishment of a competitive grant pilot program to be administered through the Clean Cities Program, to provide up to 30 geographically dispersed project grants to state governments, local governments, and/or metropolitan transportation authorities in partnership with an active designated Clean Cities Coalition.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

HHS has received $59 billion with the stipulation that it focus on the following areas: scientific research and facilities; community services and early childhood education programs; community health; and health information technology.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will allocate $2.5 billion through the following mechanisms: $500 million for grants to community health centers; $1.5 billion for grants for construction, renovation, equipment, and acquisition of health IT systems for health centers and health center controlled networks; and $500 million for scholarships, loan repayments, and grants for training program equipment to address health professions workforce shortages.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF)'s $2 billion package will largely go to states for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to provide child care assistance for low-income families. Of that amount, nearly $256 million will fund activities that support the quality of child care services including training, education and other professional development activities to enhance the skills of the child care workforce, and $94 million will support activities that improve the quality of infant and toddler care.  The ARRA will also provide for the following: $1 billion for Head Start and $1.1 billion for Early Head Start of which 10 percent will be used for training and technical assistance (programs in which IHEs may take part); $1 billion for selected activities under the Community Services Block Grant which provides for state child-care services for low-income families; the grant requires that 90 percent of the state awards be administered to eligible private and public entities; and $50 million for cooperative research and demonstration projects related to programs authorized under the Social Security Act.

To finance comparative effectiveness research, $400 million each will be made available to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Institutes of Health.  AHRQ will administer grants and/or contracts for research to complete the following: conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat disease, disorders, and other health conditions; and encourage 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.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) will also receive $85 million to support health  information technology activities such as telehealth services development, and HHS in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will administer $650 million to carry out clinical and community-based prevention and wellness strategies that address chronic disease rates and, directly or through contracts with public or private entities, provide for annual evaluations of these programs.

Lastly, the ARRA makes a considerable investment in health information technology through a variety of mechanisms and allocations.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) will be created within HHS and will be allocated $2 billion to take on a leadership role in developing a nationwide health IT infrastructure.  Of those funds, HHS will transfer $20 million to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Commerce for similar initiatives and $30 million will support regional health IT efforts.  An HIT Policy Committee and an HIT Standards Committee will also be created to provide recommendations to the ONCHIT regarding health IT implementation, standards, and certification criteria. 


U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Homeland Security has received a total of $2.8 billion under ARRA to fund border protection, aviation security, bridge construction and repair programs, and railroad and port security assistance.

Highlights include the following:

  • $100 million for Non-Intrusive Inspection technology and $100 million for border technology on the southwest border through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • $1 billion for explosives detection systems and checkpoint screening equipment through the Transportation Security Administration
  • $150 million for transit and rail security grants, $150 million for port security grants (no non-federal match required), and additional applications for Katrina/Rita public assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

HUD's portion of the ARRA is approximately $13.6 billion. Approximately 75 percent has already been awarded to state and local jurisdictions. The remaining funding will be awarded through grant competitions over the next few months.

Highlights include the following:

  • $4.8 billion for Promoting Energy Efficiency and Creating Green Jobs
  • $5.2 billion for Supporting Shovel-Ready Projects and Assisted Housing Improvements
  • $3.5 billion for the Promoting Stable Communities and Helping Families Hardest Hit by the Economic Crisis.

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)

DOJ's portion of the ARRA is approximately $4 billion. Over half will go to the Office of Justice Programs for various awards made directly to state and local jurisdictions, as well as for discretionary grant programs 

Highlights include the following:

  • $2 billion for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program (formula grants to states and local jurisdictions)
  • $225 million for the Edward Byrne Competitive Grant Program (IHEs are eligible to apply directly)
  • $125 million for the Assistance for Rural Law Enforcement to Combat Drug-Related Crime
  • $225 million to the Office on Violence Against Women for various formula and discretionary grant programs
  • $1 billion for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program


U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

DOL's ARRA allocation is approximately $4.8 billion. Highlights include the following:

  • $3.95 billion for Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs including Adult Employment and Training Activities; Youth Activities, including summer jobs; Dislocated Worker Employment and Training Activities; Program of Competitive Grants for Worker Training and Placement in High Growth and Emerging Industry Sectors; and YouthBuild Activities
  • $400 million for Employment Service Grants to States
  • $120 million for Community Service Employment for Older Americans

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

DOT has received a total $26.6 billion for states and local transportation authorities to repair and build highways, roads, and bridges. Many of these projects, totaling more than $750 million, will start in late March.  

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA has received a total of $7.22 billion for projects and programs to promote green jobs and a healthier environment. The Brownfields Grant Program received $100 million to clean up former industrial and commercial sites and $600 million for the cleanup of hazardous sites. An additional $300 million will be available for grants and loans to help organizations with projects that reduce diesel emissions.