NIGMS Recovery Act Approaches and Guidance


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or Recovery Act, allows the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to provide up to 2 years of funding to accelerate the pace of scientific research in order to help stimulate the economy and create and/or retain jobs.

We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to further the mission of NIGMS and plan to use the approximately $500 million we will receive for stimulus funding by:

  • Funding research grant applications
    • We expect to allocate a large proportion of our allocation to supporting meritorious but unfunded NIGMS applications that are consistent with the goals of the Recovery Act (accelerating the pace of scientific research, stimulating the economy and creating and/or retaining jobs).
    • We will notify applicants whose proposals are eligible for this funding.
    • For additional information, see the NIH notice about Recovery Act funding considerations for applications with meritorious scores that fall beyond the payline.
    • Also see NOT-OD-09-088 for instructions on documenting changes in scope for proposed research projects.
  • Funding administrative supplements and revisions (formerly, competing supplements) to active grants
    • Supplements cannot be used simply to restore programmatic cuts to the original application or to extend a project that does not meet the goals of the Recovery Act.
    • Support previously committed from the grantee institution or other sources should not be replaced by support from Recovery Act funds.
    • For additional information, see the NIH notice clarifying programmatic limitations and use of modular budgets in relation to supplement and revision requests.
  • Participating in NIH-wide and institute-sponsored funding opportunity announcements consistent with the mission of NIGMS, such as NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research and NIH "Grand Opportunities" grants

Please note that we are still developing our policies and procedures. You should check both our Website and the NIH Website frequently for the most up-to-date information. We also encourage you to read all funding announcements carefully.

Principles for Use of Recovery Act Funds

Along with the opportunities provided by the Recovery Act comes an unprecedented commitment to transparency and accountability. Before applying for funding, please be aware of the following:

  • Requests for funding must meet the goals of the Recovery Act, which are to accelerate the pace of scientific research, stimulate the economy and create and/or retain jobs.
  • We will award and distribute funds in a fair and reasonable manner. We will give the highest priority to recently reviewed R01s and other grant applications that are highly meritorious and propose research that can be accomplished in two years or less.
  • You must describe a "bona fide" need for which you will use the funds.

Review Considerations

Aside from scientific merit, we will consider the following factors in selecting awards:

  • Portfolio balance (e.g., scientific area, workforce)
  • Job creation - the number of proposed jobs created and/or retained
  • Outlay of funds - the likelihood that awards will be fully committed by September 30, 2010

Foreign Institutions

The purpose of the Recovery Act is to promote economic recovery and create and/or retain jobs in the United States. Grants that only involve foreign sites are not eligible for Recovery Act funds. Please refer to specific funding notices at for information about whether foreign components are allowed.

Obligating Funds

The applicant must be able to expend the Recovery Act funding within the budget period(s) reflected on the Recovery Act award, with the expectation that the majority of the Recovery Act funds received will be spent within 2 years.

Early Stage Investigators/New Investigators

Because early stage investigators (ESIs) who receive 2-year Recovery Act funding will lose their ESI/New Investigator eligibility for future awards, we will carefully consider investigator status in making awards.


We encourage individuals from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral research, individuals with disabilities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in all Recovery Act funding opportunities.

Reporting Requirements

According to the Recovery Act provisions, funded recipients must meet detailed reporting requirements, including, but not limited to, quarterly reporting. Recovery Act-related reporting requirements will be incorporated as special terms of award. The full text of these terms approved for NIH awards can be found in the Standard Terms and Conditions for ARRA Awards. In addition, see the NIH notice describing specific business processes for Recovery Act funding.

Notification of Award

Given the high volume of applications we anticipate receiving, our staff will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about the status of a funding request. Once you submit an application, check your eRA Commons account for this information.

We will issue a Notice of Award for approved requests. We will send a separate communication indicating if an administrative supplement request has not been recommended for funding.

Guidance for Administrative Supplements

We will accept requests for administrative supplements to active NIGMS research grants as described in NOT-OD-09-056, "NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements."

We will consider administrative supplements to all areas of science and training we support, including active NIGMS research grants (Rs), research center and program project grants (Ps), certain career development awards (Ks), institutional training grants (Ts), cooperative agreements (Us), research-related programs (SCs, S06), educational development awards (e.g., R25s) and Native American Research Centers for Health (Y01s).

For more details on research training and career development awards, see the section below.

We will not consider administrative supplements to fellowships (Fs) and conference grants (U13s, R13s).

Please note that Recovery Act monies added to parent grants through administrative supplements are exempted from the budget cap specified in the original funding announcements.

Also note that we are not participating in the NIH program of administrative supplements providing summer research experiences (NOT-OD-09-060), but we can support summer students through administrative supplements to other grants.

NIGMS-Specific Requirements for Administrative Supplements NOTE

You must prepare applications as described in the funding announcement. In addition, we require the following items as part of a thorough, well-justified request. If you do not clearly address all of these elements, it may delay consideration of your request.

  • An update of active and pending "other support," including other ARRA supplement requests being submitted to NIH, and a description of any scientific or budgetary overlap with the current request.
  • A statement regarding the expenditure of currently available unobligated grant funds. You must describe plans to spend remaining funds in order to support the need for additional funds.
  • A 25-word summary of the proposed activity, indicating its public health relevance as appropriate. This text will be posted on the HHS Recovery Act Website. Here are a few examples:
    • This research will extend our understanding of the structure of membrane proteins, which are the target for a large proportion of drugs.
    • The research outlined in this proposal will use C. elegans, a well-studied model organism, to identify cellular mechanisms involved in development.
    • The proposed research will explore new methods for reprogramming adult cells with embryonic stem cell-like capabilities, further expanding the field of stem cell science.
    • This study will link information on genetic predictors of drug responses with electronic health records, which could improve patient care and safety.
    • This research will focus on developing new computational tools for studying complex biological systems, including human social interactions.
  • Justification that the proposed activity does not reflect a change in the parent project's IRG-approved scope.

You are strongly encouraged to send your administrative supplement request to NIGMS at We also will accept requests mailed to the grants management specialist for your grant. A hard copy of the application is not required. Applications received on or before July 15, 2009, will be considered for funding in FY2009. Applications received after July 15, 2009, may be considered for funding in FY2010.

We also strongly encourage you to submit administrative supplement requests as early as possible, since we consider and fund them on a rolling basis. July 15, 2009, is not a due date, but rather is the latest date to ensure that we will consider a request for up to 2 years of funding. Requests received after July 15 will typically be eligible for up to 1 year of funding in FY2010.

For advice and answers to questions about administrative supplement requests, see tips for requesting recovery act administrative supplements.

Guidance for Revisions (Formerly, Competing Supplements)

If you propose scientifically related components that expand the scope of a project, you must submit the application as a revision. We will accept requests for revisions to active NIGMS research grants (or those in no-cost extensions) as described in NOT-OD-09-058, "NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications."

We will consider revisions in all areas of science we support, including active NIGMS research grants (Rs), research center and program project grants (Ps) and cooperative agreements (Us). We will not accept revisions to individual or institutional K awards, institutional training grants, fellowships (Fs), R25, SC1, SC2, SC3 or conference grants (U13s, R13s).

For more details on research training and career development awards, see the section below.

If the parent award was non-modular, a competing revision request must include a budget in non-modular format, regardless of dollar level.

If the parent award was modular, a competing revision request for $250,000 direct costs or less should include a budget using the modular format. (For ARRA reporting purposes, a detailed budget will be required as part of Just-In-Time information prior to award.) If the competing revision request is greater than $250,000 direct costs, include the detailed budget component.

In addition, the period of support requested for the revision cannot exceed the current project period end date of the parent grant, including projects on a no-cost extension. Also, a no-cost extension must be in place before the revision application is submitted.

Note that, as described in NOT-OD-09-083, you should submit revision applications on paper for those activities that have not transitioned to electronic submission. This includes program project grants (P01), center grants (e.g., P20, P30, P50), cooperative agreements (e.g., U01) and applications that were submitted initially as R01s but converted at the time of award to a U series (usually U01).

Submit the original application and three signed photocopies to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

In addition, submit two photocopies to:

Helen Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health

For further information, contact:

Paul Sheehy, Ph.D.
Deputy Associate Director for Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
National Institutes of Health

Research Training and Career Development Awards—Guidance for Administrative Supplements and Revisions

We will not accept revisions to individual or institutional K awards, institutional training grants, fellowships (Fs) or R25s in response to NOT-OD-09-058.

Recovery Act funds must not be used to increase stipends, trainee-related expenses or any other training/fellowship budget cost categories on training grants or fellowships, nor may they be used to increase the overall number of slots in excess of Council-approved levels.

We intend to accept administrative supplements to research training and career award mechanisms as indicated below.

Fellowships (Fs)

We do not intend to use Recovery Act funds for extensions and will not accept requests in response to NOT-OD-09-056 for fellowship extensions.

Career Development Awards (Ks)

K08/K23/K25: We will accept requests for administrative supplements to funded K08, K23 and K25 awards for up to $50,000 direct costs per year (not including facilities and administrative, or F&A, costs) for research development support. F&A costs, which were formerly called indirect costs, will be reimbursed at 8 percent of direct costs. These funds cannot be used for principal investigator salary. A mentor's statement is not required for this supplement request.

K12: We will accept requests for administrative supplements to funded K12 awards to extend the terms of currently appointed postdoctoral students who are in their third year of training or to add slots for third-year postdoctoral students who had been supported previously by other means. Funds can be requested for research and teaching development support costs. These funds cannot be used for principal investigator or program director salary.

K99: We will accept requests for administrative supplements for an additional year of support for funded transition career awards (K99). We will consider requests on a case-by-case basis from individuals in the last 6 months of their final year of K99 support; we will give priority to individuals who can demonstrate that they have made a good-faith effort in applying for research positions.

Institutional Training Grants (Ts)

T32: We will consider supplementing institutional training grants to add additional trainees for FY2009 and 2010 up to the Council-recommended level of slots; however, at this time, ARRA requests from grantees for additional slots for these programs are not required. We will give priority to programs with relatively small numbers of slots. These additional trainee slots will be limited to 2 years for FY2009 awards and 1 year for FY2010 awards.

T34: We will consider administrative supplements to MARC U-STAR programs for student development activities and program management allowed under the program announcement. These funds cannot be used for principal investigator or program director salary. Additional student slots may be requested, but they will be a low priority for funding.

T36: We will consider requests for administrative supplements to MARC Ancillary Training Activities awards.

Contact Information

Contact the program director or grants management specialist (listed on the Notice of Award) of the grant you wish to supplement. logo