American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA): AHRQ Grant Policy Notice Removing Expanded Authorities and No Cost Extensions for AHRQ ARRA Grants

Notice Number: NOT-HS-10-016

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Key Dates
Release Date: May 26, 2010

Issued by
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), (


The purposes of this Guide Notice are to: 1) reaffirm to AHRQ grantees that the primary goals of all AHRQ Recovery Act awards are to create U.S. jobs and accelerate the pace of health services research; 2) remind Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) and grantee institutions that AHRQ fully expects Recovery Act grantees to expend project funds in a timely and expeditious manner in accordance with the expected pace of research; 3) remind grantees that all Recovery Act expenditures remain subject to terms and conditions on the Notice of Award, including the AHRQ-HHS Standard Terms and Conditions for ARRA Awards (see and all referenced regulations and OMB Circulars; 4) notify grantees that AHRQ Recovery Act grants will not be issued under Expanded Authorities; and 5) notify grantees that AHRQ expects all grant activities to be completed consistent with the schedule of the approved project period. 


AHRQ has received funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act” or “ARRA”) to stimulate job creation and economic development activity related to health services research for the Nation.   Consistent with the time-sensitive nature of these goals, grant applications will be evaluated for the likelihood of completion within their proposed project period, and all AHRQ grants will be awarded with project periods of three years of less. 


Acceleration of Spending on ARRA Grants

To meet the legislative goals of creating jobs and increasing the tempo of scientific research, AHRQ expects grantees to work expeditiously to employ scientific staff and conduct their research consistent with the timelines proposed in their original grant application and with the terms and conditions of the grant award.  Any unexpected delays should be addressed promptly to ensure the timely completion of all planned grant activities.

Additional Policies for all AHRQ ARRA Grants

The Terms of Award for AHRQ Recovery Act grants will indicate that these grants will not be issued under Expanded Authorities.  It is the intention of AHRQ that all Recovery Act grants must be completed within the timeframe set forth in the originally approved project period.  Additionally, AHRQ generally does not intend to allow no cost extensions for Recovery Act grants.  Approval of any request for additional time to complete grant activities will require prior approval by AHRQ.  Such requests for no cost extensions will only be considered by AHRQ under very limited circumstances.  AHRQ will generally not approve these requests unless grantees can provide compelling evidence that closing the grant at the end of the originally approved project period would cause either of the following:

  1. Irreparable harm to the objectives of the research being conducted under the award,
  2. Unnecessary harm or unreasonable risk to any human subjects involved in the research.

Procedures for Requesting Extension of an AHRQ ARRA Grant

Grantees who submit a request to AHRQ to extend an ARRA award will be required to submit, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Explanation of unusual circumstances that occurred which warrant AHRQ consideration of an extension;
  2. A strong programmatic justification explaining why it is crucial for the project to be granted an extension;
  3. Discussion of progress to date including which original research objectives have been completed and an explanation of what original research objectives would be accomplished during the extension period, as well as a timeline for completion of the project within the extension period;
  4. Estimate and explanation of the total costs anticipated to remain unexpended at the end of the original project period;
  5. Statement of why these ARRA funds were not expended in a timely and expeditious manner in accordance with the expected pace of the research;
  6. Detailed budget page and budget justification showing how the estimated unexpended funds would be utilized during the extension period (note: the fact that funds remain unexpended is not, in and of itself, sufficient justification for an extension);
  7. Duration of the extension (not to exceed 12 months);
  8. Acknowledgement that, if approved, this will be the only and final extension of the project.

Any request for an extension must be endorsed by an authorized institutional official and must be submitted to AHRQ Grants Management approximately 3 months prior to the original project period end date.


Questions concerning this Notice should be referred to the AHRQ Grants Management Specialist assigned to a specific grant or to:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

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