NPR has a story questioning the stimulus funds that went toward research, since it may take longer to spend that money than, say, putting funding toward rebuilding roads. "The National Science Foundation reports that less than 2 percent of the research money it has awarded has actually been spent. ... Compare that to the National Highway Administration, which has paid out 16 percent of its funds and has been criticized for moving too slowly," the article says.
The story includes a defense from Francis Collins, who's quoted as saying this makes sense because "you wouldn't expect an investigator to spend it all on day one when they've got to do that research over two years of work." It also cites Philip Levy, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, who says that the slow pace of research spending means "that this was not the best use of the money."