Stimulus on the Way – Grant Support for Life Science R&D Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis

Historically, the federal government will get involved to help the economy during periods of economic downturn. This current COVID-19 situation is no different; Congress has just approved a $2 trillion stimulus package to boost the economy. This money will be distributed in a variety of ways, from personal checks to individuals, through fast cash to businesses across sectors.

Any future stimulus package will also likely positively affect life science companies. In the years following 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through which $10.4B in funding was awarded to 21,582 R&D projects. The scope of this funding was in addition to awards available via traditional mechanisms, such as the Small Business Program (SBIR/STTR). Through the ARRA, approximately 50,000 jobs were created or retained with long-term and sustainable positive outcomes for the biomedical community. We anticipate similar actions will be taken during these challenging times.

In fact, we have already seen numerous new funding opportunities released, and expect to see more issued in the coming days and weeks. Now is precisely the time to focus on applying for funding. Don’t be late to the party. Build a granting strategy with the aim of submitting multiple applications over the coming months, receive reviews and, if your project is determined to be unfundable, resubmit based on reviewer’s comments. This process requires stamina and the ability to learn and improve over time.

If positioned correctly, once the stimulus money starts pouring in, you will be ahead of the game. Many are already hunkered down at home, hard at work preparing applications for existing opportunities. However, keep in mind, that ultimately it is the best science that wins awards, and with funding increasing, there is a good chance you will find yourself on the correct side of the pay line, so best get at it!