What is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, or sometimes referred to as the "stimulus plan) of 2009 was signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009.  It is an unprecedented effort by the federal government to jumpstart our economy, save and create millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so that our country can thrive in the 21st century.

Federal agencies who funded ARRA awards have recently advised they are closely monitoring the burn rate of ARRA-funded awards. Although they have not been forthcoming with a mechanism to determine an acceptable rate, they have advised that failure to spend these funds expeditiously may result in an award being suspended.

How is it Different?

  • Unprecedented reporting requirements: ARRA awards are accompanied by weekly and quarterly reporting that includes many additional pieces of data requiring significant coordination by PIs and administrators
  • Historic event
  • High visibility: Data collected on a quarterly basis will be made available to the public.

How Does It Work? 

Various federal agencies including NASA, NIH, NSF, US DOD, US DOED and US DOE decide who will receive Recovery Act award grants and contracts.

What Does It Mean for Me? 

The ARRA commits $787 billion in stimulus funds, a portion of which will be allocated toward sponsored research. As of October 2009, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) has received nearly $12,000,000 in ARRA research funding from federal agencies.

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