Recovery Act: Notice on the Proper Management of Recovery Act Spending to Promote Job Creation and Increase the Pace of Scientific Research; and Policy Limiting Second No-Cost Extensions to Recovery Act Grants

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-067

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

  • December 13, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-12-014. Recovery Act: Notice of Revised Term of Award for All Recovery Act Awards to Ensure Project Completion by September 30, 2013.

Key Dates
Release Date: March 17, 2010

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (


The purposes of this Guide Notice are to: 1) reaffirm to NIH grantees that the primary goals of all NIH Recovery Act awards are to create U.S. jobs and increase the tempo of biomedical research; 2) remind Project Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) and grantee institutions that NIH fully expects Recovery Act grantees to expend 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 NIH-HHS Standard Terms and Conditions for ARRA Awards ( and all referenced regulations and OMB Circulars; and 4) notify grantees that NIH expects all grant activities are to be completed consistent with the schedule of the approved project period. While the NIH Terms of Award provide for extending the final budget period of a project period for up to twelve months to allow for completion of the planned project; prior approval requests for additional extensions will only be considered in very limited circumstances.


The NIH 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 medical and behavioral research for the Nation. Consistent with the time-sensitive nature of these goals, proposals were evaluated for the likelihood of completion within two years and most NIH grants were awarded with project periods of two years of less.


Acceleration of Spending on ARRA Grants

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

Additional Documentation Required with all Prior Approval Requests for a Second No-Cost Extension

Under the NIH Standard Terms of Award, NIH Recovery Act grantees retain the ability to extend the final budget period of a project period without additional NIH funds without prior written approval. While NIH grants policy allows grantees who require more time to complete their work beyond the additional year to request approval from the NIH awarding Institute/Center for additional time; such requests for ARRA grants will not be approved unless grantees can document that no other source of Federal or non-Federal funds is available to continue funding the work and can provide compelling evidence that closing the grant after a one-year no-cost extension would cause one or more 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 or animal subjects involved in the research, or
3) Any other deviation from of the Terms and Conditions of the Award.


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