All federally funded grants have reporting requirements -- e.g., annual reports and final reports -- in which PIs describe major research and educational activities, results, publications, participants and so on. Projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, however, have more intense reporting requirements than projects funded by more traditional means:
Article 2. Reporting and Registration Requirements under Section 1512 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, (Public Law 111-5)
(a) This award requires the recipient to complete projects or activities which are funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act”) and to report on use of Recovery Act funds provided through this award. Information from these reports will be made available to the public.
(b) The reports are due no later than ten calendar days after each calendar quarter in which the recipient receives the assistance award funded in whole or in part by the Recovery Act.
I understand that the public wants to make sure the money is spent and spent well and that we scientists and others don't go giving ourselves big bonuses and jetting off to luxury resorts to have 'conferences' while playing golf with celebrities. Even so, that's a lot of reporting.
Perhaps the ARRA funds are also stimulating the economy by providing employment for additional report readers? I doubt it. I bet that program officers who fund grants through ARRA just have to do the extra work.
I'm not complaining (really). I think that using ARRA funds for scientific research is part of an overall effort to restore science to its rightful place and recognize that university research and graduate education are vital to the economy. My colleagues and I will in fact spend the money on worthwhile endeavors, including hiring people and paying for goods and services, and then we will happily do our extra reports. And then the public (maybe even my mother!) can read them.
9 months ago