American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

What is it?

The United States is facing its deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, one that calls for swift, bold action. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also known as the Stimulus Bill or the Recovery Act, is the Federal Government's response to this crisis and entails a huge effort to jump-start or stimulate the American economy. This legislation will create and save jobs, help state and local governments with their budget shortfalls to prevent deep cuts in basic services such as health, education, and law enforcement, cut taxes for working families, and invest in the groundwork needed to address long-neglected challenges in our national infrastructure so our country can maneuver through future global economic challenges of the 21st century.

What impact will it have on UTSA?

The new law will have a dramatic and far-ranging impact on research and development initiatives throughout the United States. Specifically, the Recovery Act "provides $ 21.5 billion in additional funds for scientific endeavors". UTSA is excited about the opportunities that the Recovery Act will provide for progress across the full spectrum of the university's research activities.

What do we know about the Recovery Act?

Spending guidelines related to the Recovery Act are evolving at a rapid pace, as the federal agencies tasked with distributing these funds for sponsored research purposes are in the process of developing clear procedures and/or updating their funding mechanisms. Click here for more information about what we do know regarding stimulus funds.

How is the Federal Government helping universities to prepare?

On February 18th, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the initial guidance for federal agencies, "Initial Implementing Guidance for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009". This document includes some details related to allocation of grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements and on the extensive new reporting requirements for recipients of Recovery Act funds. OMB will be publishing further guidance, including more details on specific reporting instructions and on how the data collection will work government-wide.

Some of the new reporting requirements that may be appearing in terms and conditions for awards made with Recovery Act funds include:
  • Quarterly financial and technical reports
  • Reports on number of jobs created
  • Evaluation of the completion status of a project
  • Detailed information on any subcontracts or subgrants to include data elements required to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006

General information on the Recovery Act will be published on the new Recovery.gov site, but federal agencies receiving the funds are also required to establish a page with specific information. Agencies have just begun to publish initial plans, and should have further grant information available soon. Federal agencies will generally have two years to spend the Recovery Act funds. Links to sources of information on the Recovery Act are listed below. The Research Administration and Compliance Office will keep this resource updated as new information is available and provide additional guidance for the campus as needed.

What can we be doing now?

  1. Principal Investigators: First thing is to contact your Program Officer at all agencies if you have research that would fall under ARRA criteria since much of this funding will be distributed quickly. You may request supplements, if appropriate, for existing awards from NIH. Currently NSF is not offering supplements. We anticipate that small, less than $100,000 supplements, from NIH will be non-competitive. One reminder, progress and final reports must be current.
  2. Proposals Under Review or Just Short of Funding: Program Officers are making calls to many researchers about revisions or updates to proposals. So a call to the program officer is important. Most agencies are adjusting paylines back to October 2008.

What funding is available?

The Office of the Vice President for Research has set up this website to provide our university research community continually updated information on all aspects of the funds available for research and development initiatives in the Stimulus Bill that will be competitively awarded by federal agencies that UTSA and its researchers have an active interest in obtaining extramural sources of funding from. The purpose of the site is to provide researchers with critical updates from federal research agencies on ARRA funding, specifically:
  1. How the ARRA money will be allocated among agencies and within each agency;
  2. The processes used by each agency to award the money; and
  3. Important competitive factors PIs need to be aware of in applying for research funding under the ARRA program.
Below are identified ARRA-funded programs with upcoming deadlines. The Office of Sponsored Programs will keep this resource updated as new information is available and provide additional guidance for the campus as needed.

In addition, the major federal agencies receiving R&D funding under ARRA, and a list of all currently identified funding opportunities in the Recovery Act, can be found here. This list will be continually updated for ARRA funding content specific to these agencies by OSP.

For information on how to report fraud, waste and abuse go to: http://www.utsa.edu/acrs/Compliance/comply_hotline.htm