Appendix 1: Methodology and Data Sources
Within the federal budget there is no separately identified R&D budget as such; nor are most appropriations for R&D so labeled except for certain program areas, such as defense. Consequently, most funds for R&D are not line items in an agency’s budget but are included within general program funding. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires agencies whose annual R&D funding is greater than $10 million to submit data on their R&D programs as part of their annual budget submissions. Specifically, the agencies provide data (reported on MAX Schedule C as part of the budget process) on funding levels for basic research, applied research, development, and R&D facilities (see Appendix 2: Definitions). However, agencies differ in their reporting. For example, some agencies classify program direction or management support as R&D; others do not.
In this report, R&D refers to actual research and development activities as well as R&D facilities. These definitions are used by the Office of Management and Budget, the National Science Foundation, and AAAS.
Research is systematic study directed toward more complete scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. The federal government classifies research as either basic or applied according to the objective of the sponsoring agency.
Development is the systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research directed toward the production of materials; devices; systems; or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes. It excludes quality control, routine product testing, and production.
R&D funding normally includes those personnel, program supervision, and administrative support costs directly associated with R&D activities. Laboratory equipment is also included. Defense R&D also includes testing, evaluation, prototype development, and other activities which precede actual production.
Funding for R&D facilities includes construction, repair, or alteration of physical plant (e.g., reactors, wind tunnels, particle accelerators, or laboratories) used in the conduct of R&D. This also includes funding for major capital equipment used in the conduct of R&D.
The federal R&D funding data in this report are presented in terms of budget authority. Budget authority is the initial budget parameter for congressional action on the President’s proposed budget. Other R&D data sources may express R&D funding in terms of obligations or outlays. There are also R&D data sources which obtain funding data from funding recipients (companies, universities) rather than from funding sources (agencies).
Budget authority is the legal authorization to expend funds.
Obligations represent orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated and when the future payment of money is required.
Outlays represent checks issued and cash payments made during a given period, regardless of when the funds were appropriated or obligated. Some surveys refer to outlays as expenditures.
from National Science Foundation, Federal R&D Funding by Budget
Function: Fiscal Years 2003-2005, Arlington, VA, 2004.)
on federal funding for R&D, including the complete text of this
book, detailed agency analyses, revised historical tables, and supplementary
materials, is available on the AAAS R&D Web Site at: