The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) (H.R. 1, S. 1 - PDF - 1 MB) is a Federal public law passed by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. The Recovery Act makes supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
As part of the Recovery Act, NIH has designated at least $200 million in FYs 2009 - 2010 for a new initiative called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research, to fund 200 or more grants, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications. In addition, Recovery Act funds allocated to NIH specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) may be available to support additional grants. Projects receiving these funds will need to meet this definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy.” Such research may include 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 as they apply to CER.
This new program will support research on Challenge Topics which address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that will benefit from significant 2-year jumpstart funds. Challenge Areas, defined by the NIH, focus on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. The research in these areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.
Challenge Areas and Challenge Topics
The NIH has identified a range of Challenge Areas that focus on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. Within each broad Challenge Area the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices have specified particular Challenge Topics that address their missions. These broad Challenge Areas are provided below. Click on the Challenge Area for the detailed description of the specific Challenge Topics within that area that have been accorded the highest priority by the NIH Institute, Center or Office indicated.
Broad Challenge Areas - PDF (532 KB) or MS Word (493 KB):
Links to High Priority Topics Within Broad Challenge Areas (PDF - 556 KB):
(01) Behavior, Behavioral Change, and Prevention
(03) Biomarker Discovery and Validation
(04) Clinical Research
(05) Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER)
(06) Enabling Technologies
(07) Enhancing Clinical Trials
(09) Health Disparities
(10) Information Technology for Processing Health Care Data
(11) Regenerative Medicine
(12) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM)
(13) Smart Biomaterials – Theranostics
(14) Stem Cells
(15) Translational Science
In addition, Institutes and Centers have identified additional Challenge Topics for funding under this FOA. A compilation of all Challenge Topics can be accessed in a single Omnibus by clicking on the Omnibus Topics List below:
Omnibus Topics List - PDF (1.7 MB) or MS Word (1.3 MB)
Challenge Award Resources
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