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ARRA Investments in NIH Scientific Equipment and Training

Scientific Equipment at NIH
Public Health Impact

The NIH Intramural Research Program received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to spend on scientific equipment.  The NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) were authorized 0.5% of their intramural budget for scientific equipment.  To achieve maximum value through consolidated purchases, the Office of Intramural Research (OIR) reviewed, aggregated when appropriate, and approved each scientific request.  To date, the NIH has spent approximately $22 million and has saved approximately $3.7 million through this process.  The savings have been returned to the respective ICs for future scientific equipment spending.
The Clinical Center is the nation's largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research. It is a national resource that makes it possible to rapidly translate scientific observations and laboratory discoveries into new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease.  In order to facilitate timely and accurate translation of these observations and discoveries, state-of-the-art technology and equipment is necessary.  To date, the Clinical Center has spent approximately $5.6 million on scientific equipment and has saved approximately $2.2 million. With ARRA funds the Clinical Center has purchased the following: PACS System Upgrade, GE PET/CT Scanner, CT Scanner, Barcoding System, Disaster Recovery (new and enhanced protections for clinical information systems in case of disaster including mechanisms for information access based on patient care and research priorities), and an Outpatient Pharmacy System (information/dispensing system, including a dispensing robot, to automate and track prescriptions for outpatients and discharged patients in clinical research studies).

Research Training in the NIH Intramural Research Program
Public Health Impact    

Successful basic, translational, and clinical research depend on a diverse workforce of trained biomedical scientists.  The OIR, through its Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE), utilized a portion of its ARRA funding to add 55 summer interns to its Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research.  These additional interns were selected with an emphasis on diversity.  For example, OITE partnered with the National Hispanic Scientists Network, to identify ten particularly capable Hispanic interns.  

The interns supported by ARRA funding joined the approximately 1,200 interns who come to the NIH every summer.  Each summer intern was paid a stipend, the amount of which was determined by educational level.  Interns spent eight to ten weeks working alongside leading NIH scientists in an environment devoted to biomedical research.  At the end of the summer, they were offered the opportunity to present their work at Summer Poster Day.  Most of the interns were placed on the Bethesda campus, where they worked in laboratories, on behavioral and social science projects, and in the Clinical Center.  Several interns completed their research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina.          

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