The information below contains detailed information on federal investments in research across disciplines. The federal government has historically invested in a broad range of research activities in the physical, life, social, and environmental sciences, in mathematics and computing, and other disciplines. In recent years, life sciences research — particularly at NIH, which enjoyed a budget doubling through 2003 — has come to take up a major share of the federal portfolio. The America COMPETES Act was originally passed in 2007 as an attempt to boost funding for the physical sciences agencies to “catch up” with NIH, though the results have been mixed.
Current data on federal support for research by science and engineering discipline are collected by the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) , particularly their Federal Funds for Research and Development  data series, which is the major source for many of the charts and data below. These data can have often a lag time of two years or, in the case of detailed subfield information, up to four years. If you have questions about any of the material you see here, contact us .