At his blog, Juniorprof wonders if new investigators without R01s are essentially out of luck when it comes to receiving stimulus funding. Capital improvement grants, he says, are targeted to those already with a large grant, while the challenge grants pose the problem of experience. "I can see the critique now: 'an excellent application but the lack of experience of the investigator raises the question of whether gains can be expected within 2 years,'" he writes.
If you do want to apply, there are 15 topic areas for the NIH challenge grants, including genomics, regenerative medicine, translational science, and more, according to Trevor Covert at Epigenetic News. Covert then lists some areas that may be of interest to epigenetic researchers that are mentioned in the omnibus bill. Applications are due April 27, so get cracking.