NIH frees $1B from stimulus for biomedical research improvement

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has made available, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $1 billion of the $10.4 billion allocated for federal awards to institutions seeking to construct, renovate or repair biomedical or behavioral research facilities.

"We are pleased to launch one of our agency's first efforts through grants that have exceptional potential to create new jobs and improve the economy while leading the way toward important medical discoveries that can benefit the health of Americans nationwide," said Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, acting director of the NIH. "NIH is well-positioned to fund the best science in pursuit of improving the length and the quality of the lives of American citizens, while at the same time stimulating the economy."

The National Center for Research Resources, a part of NIH, will administer the categories of grants. Institutions must apply for these ARRA funds under NIH's grant application process, in which applications undergo review by experts. Funding will be awarded using two categories of facility construction and improvement grants:

Core Facility Renovation, Repair and Improvement: The funding opportunity is designed to upgrade extramural core facilities to support biomedical and/or behavioral research, funded by the Public Health Service (PHS). Extramural research is conducted off the NIH campus, nationwide, by NIH-funded institutions and organizations. A core facility is defined as a centralized shared resource that provides access to instruments or technologies or services, as well as expert consultation to NIH-funded investigators. The deadline for applications is Sept. 17. Budgets between $1 million and $10 million may be requested. For more information, visit

Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program: The funding opportunity is designed to construct, renovate or repair biomedical or behavioral research extramural facilities. The objective is to facilitate and enhance the conduct of PHS biomedical and behavioral research by providing the costs of improving non-federal basic research and clinical research to meet the research, research training or research support needs of an institution. Deadlines are May 6, June 17 and July 17, depending upon the funding amount requested. Amounts can range from $2 million to $15 million. For more information, see

Institutions that are awarded ARRA funds will be required to submit special progress reports indicating how many jobs were created as a result of the funding, NIH said. Additionally, recipients of ARRA-supported awards must assess the environmental impact of their facilities; accordingly green design approaches and technologies should be considered.