News: News Archives
Bush's Budget Proposes Physical Sciences and Development Increases, But Flat Funding for Biomedical Research, AAAS Finds
A 2009 budget proposal by U.S. President George W. Bush includes increases for basic physical sciences and most other parts of the research and development (R&D) portfolio, yet it keeps biomedical funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) flat, a new AAAS analysis finds.
Within a flat domestic budget, the President's 2009 budget continues to propose large increases for the three physical sciences agencies related to the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) as well as human spacecraft development, and mostly increases in other parts of the federal R&D portfolio, but with cuts in key agricultural and environmental R&D agencies and a flat line for NIH biomedical research.
The AAAS Preliminary Analysis of R&D in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Budget is now available on the AAAS R&D Web site, with highlights of R&D in the President's proposed FY 2009 budget, budget proposals for the major R&D funding agencies, historical trends, impacts on key scientific areas, and the outlook for these proposals in the upcoming appropriations process. The analysis contains seven charts and seven detailed tables summarizing R&D in the FY 2009 budget. Additional information, charts, and data are available on the new "FY 2009 R&D" page on the AAAS R&D Web site as HTML and PDF.
The preliminary analysis by Kei Koizumi, head of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, finds that defense R&D would continue to increase under the president's proposal, and next year defense basic research in the physical sciences would share in the gains. Despite tough budget conditions, the overall federal investment in R&D would increase $4.6 billion or 3.3 percent to $145.4 billion, driven primarily by increases in development funding.
The federal investment in basic and applied research would fall 0.5 percent to $57.1 billion in 2009 as proposed gains in the ACI agencies would be offset by cuts in other agencies' research funding, primarily cuts in congressional earmarks. In real terms, the federal investment would fall 9 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars between 2004 and 2009
President Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) would once again be the big winner among domestic programs. The three ACI agencies (the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories) would collectively receive $12.2 billion in the 2009 budget, a 15 percent increase over this year. The NSF budget of $6.9 billion would be a 14 percent increase, with increases approaching 20 percent for the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), engineering and computer science directorates and smaller increases for non-physical sciences directorates. DOE's Office of Science request for $4.7 billion would be a 19 percent increase restoring funding for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), physics, and other basic research projects hard hit by the 2008 appropriation. And the NIST labs would receive a large increase, though at the cost of proposed eliminations of NIST's external programs. In a surprising development, the Department of Defense requests a 4 percent increase in its basic research portfolio to $1.7 billion, a 16 percent boost if earmarks in the 2008 base are excluded.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive exactly the same amount ($29.5 billion) in 2009 as in 2008; nearly all of NIH's institutes and centers would also get the same budgets as this year, leaving NIH 13 percent below the 2004 funding level after adjusting for biomedical research inflation. The number of new grants, the average real size of a grant, and the expected success rate for grant competitions are all expected to fall in 2009.
Most R&D agencies would see increases in 2009, especially if congressional earmarks are excluded. But R&D in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) would decline in 2009. And although NASA's R&D spending would increase in 2009, the entire increase and more would go to the International Space Station and the Constellation Systems project to develop the next generation of human spacecraft, leaving NASA support of basic and applied research in continued decline.
8 February 2008