In an August 4, 2009 memorandum, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy provided guidance that gives the first clear answer to the grant community’s biggest question of FY 09:  What happens after ARRA?

Agency heads are being advised to use the Recovery Act pillars of workforce, energy, healthcare, and competitiveness to build their FY 11 budget requests. Not only the three America COMPETES champions – the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology – but also every other federal agency is expected to have the nation’s science, technology, and innovation infrastructure in mind as they execute mid-term strategic plans that continue ARRA momentum.

STEM education, federal compliance, and innovative solutions to pressing needs are the right things to be focusing on now and, if White House guidance is followed, more support for those activities is on its way.