Monday, September 28, 2009

Obama Visits National Institutes of Health Sept. 30

UPDATE: See the video here.
UPDATE: Event concluded. Obama announced $5 BILLION in research grants for NIH. I'll post video when it's up.

UPDATE: Obama will arrive at NIH at 10:30 to tour. He's scheduled to speak at 11 am eastern. via Politico
Obama will visit the National Institutes of Health in Maryland on Sept. 30, along with Kathleen Sebelius and Francis Collins, director of the NIH. Obama will make an announcement regarding NIH Challenge Grants, a recovery act program. It should be live streamed at, or
Visit to see where the stimulus has gone.
The NIH received $8.2 billion in stimulus:
The recent ARRA legislation provides an unprecedented level of funding ($8.2 billion in extramural funding) to the NIH to help stimulate the US economy through the support and advancement of scientific research. While NIH Institutes and Centers have broad flexibility to invest in many types of grant programs, they will follow the spirit of the ARRA by funding projects that will stimulate the economy, create or retain jobs, and have the potential for making scientific progress in 2 years. Read more about plans for the money here.
See recently funded NIH projects here.
What is a challenge grant?
President Obama and Vice President Biden believe federally funded scientific research should play an important role in advancing science and technology in the classroom and in the lab.

The Challenge Grant program is designed to spur new areas of research and trigger an influx of research dollars into communities across the nation. NIH requested applications on topics in fifteen broad scientific areas the agency believes will benefit from a jumpstart or in which scientific challenges need to be overcome. They include bioethics, translational science, genomics, health disparities, enhancing clinical trials, behavioral change and prevention, and regenerative medicine.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will check the applications for compliance and review them in a two-phase process. Reviewers with expertise in the specialized topic areas were recruited to do the first phase reviews. Their reviews and the applications will be further assessed by one of about 30 study sections comprising researchers who will focus on overall significance and impact.

All Challenge Grant applications will receive a summary statement containing critiques with criterion scores from three assigned reviewers. More than 18,000 scientists are expected to be involved in the Challenge Grant peer review process.

CSR typically reviews 16,000 applications with the help of about 8,000 reviewers in each of the three main yearly review rounds. Including Challenge Grants and other ARRA grants, CSR will assess about 40,000 applications this round with about 28,000 reviewers.

The deadline for Challenge Grant applications was April 27. Scores and summary statements will be available in August 2009. Challenge Grant awards will be issued by September 30, 2009. NIH
Read more about challenge grants at the Dept. of Health and Human Services here.