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Office of Research & Economic Development

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Information

Frequently asked questions

What is the ARRA?
ARRA stands for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the stimulus package or the recovery act. This legislation provides more than $787 billion for a variety of programs designed to aid the nation's economic recovery. ARRA provides approximately $21 billion for research, research infrastructure, core facilities and equipment. This includes $10.4 billion for NIH, and $3 billion for NSF.

How is it likely to impact UNL?
The recovery package represents an unprecedented opportunity for UNL faculty to compete for funding. ARRA provides funds to federal agencies that must quickly develop programs to distribute the funds. This will result in the funding of proposals already submitted and under review and new proposals submitted in response to specific ARRA solicitations.

What can UNL faculty do?
Investigators must be prepared to respond quickly to new funding opportunities and just-in-time requests. Faculty with existing awards should contact their program officers about opportunities to supplement current awards with ARRA funding. Faculty with proposals pending for new, renewal or supplemental funding also should contact their program officers to find out if their proposals are being considered for ARRA funding. Be patient: program officers are receiving calls and e-mails from investigators nationwide.

What is the time frame for agency plans to disperse funds?
Federal agencies will decide in the coming weeks how funding will be dispersed. By May 1, 2009, each agency is required to provide a detailed implementation plan for how the funds will be dispersed. Agencies must award and obligate ARRA funds by Sept. 30, 2010.

Where can I find detailed information on current ARRA programs and activities?
Details are emerging. The government's Web site is the official federal source of information on the ARRA and its programs. Each federal agency has established a recovery Web site. Those links are available on the UNL's ARRA site under External Resources. Key information or links will be posted on UNL's site.

Will the ARRA awards be grants, contracts or cooperative agreements?
It is anticipated that ARRA awards will be made using all of the traditional federal award mechanisms: grants, contracts and cooperative agreements.

Will these grants have special requirements?
Specifics are not yet known, but funding is intended to stimulate the economy so it is expected that ARRA funding recipients will be required to closely track and report economic impact and job creation. In terms of audit and oversight, funds from the stimulus package generally will have high levels of transparency and scrutiny. They will require "strict adherence" to cost principles, administrative regulations and award terms and conditions. Timeliness will be imperative, and late reporting could result in loss of funds.

What is the time frame for ARRA awards?
Timelines will vary by agency and project. Most awards are expected to be made within 12 months for larger projects and could be awarded in a matter of weeks or months for projects already in the pipeline. Investigators should review individual ARRA solicitations for details regarding a program’s expected award date(s).

Whom do I contact at UNL?
The ARRA Web site is the best one-stop source for updates. ARRA funding opportunities will be posted on the site as they become available. E-mail specific questions to