Applications for a total of $1.5 billion in grants funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are now available through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including Challenge Grant funds allocated for the advancement of sleep medicine.

The NIH will distribute the Recovery Act funds across three areas:
•    $200 million for the new NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research
•    $1 billion in construction grants to help build new or improve existing research facilities and help grow the economy
•    $300 million in shared instrumentation grants to facilitate the purchase of research equipment that will enable scientists and researchers to complete their critical work 

“The science funded by the Recovery Act will stimulate the national economy, and have a profound impact on people’s health for many years to come,” says Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, acting director of NIH.

Challenge Grants
The Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research program will support research on topic areas that address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that would benefit from significant 2-year jumpstart funds. NIH Institute and Centers selected specific Challenge Topics within each of the Challenge Areas; a complete list can be found here. The research in these Challenge Areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.

The following are selected examples of Challenge Grant Topics from the NIH:

05-HL-102, Treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

04-HL-101, Identify Mechanisms Linking Cardiopulmonary Disease Risk and Sleep Disordered Breathing.

[removed]04-AG-104 Development of Less Expensive and More Effective Treatments for Medical Conditions, e.g., Restless Legs Syndrome [/removed]

Construction/Renovation Grants
The NIH has allocated federal funds from the Recovery Act to award to institutions seeking to construct, renovate, or repair biomedical or behavioral research facilities. The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) will administer these grants. Funding will be awarded using two categories of facility construction and improvement grants:
•    Core Facility Renovation, Repair, and Improvement
•    Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program

Institutions that are awarded funds under these grants will be required to submit progress reports indicating how many jobs were created as a result of the funding to demonstrate accountability to the American people. Additionally, recipients of these awards must assess the environmental impact of their facilities—“green” design approaches and technologies should be considered.

Shared Instrumentation Grants
The Recovery Act appropriates $300 million to the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the NIH, for shared instrumentation grants to facilitate the purchase of research equipment that will enable scientists and researchers to complete their critical work. NCRR intends to devote equipment funds provided under the Recovery Act to the Shared Instrument Grant Program and to the High End Instrument Program. These Recovery Act funds are in addition to the expected $60 million of program funding for fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

Application information and additional details on the funding provided by the Recovery Act can be found online.