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Research and Development in the President’s Budget

Updated March 13, 2012

According to AAAS analysis of data from the Office of Management and Budget and individual agencies, federal R&D investment would rise to $142.2 billion under the President’s FY 2013 budget request. This would represent $1.7 billion increase, or 1.2%, above FY 2012 estimated funding levels, though less than the expected rate of inflation. Further, in constant dollars, the President’s budget would leave federal R&D expenditures approximately 10% below the peak achieved in FY 2010.

The overall increase would largely be driven by gains in nondefense R&D, as defense R&D would decline by $1.5 billion, or 1.9%. Both basic and, especially, applied research would receive increases above FY 2012 levels, while development activities would be reduced by 1.7%; all three trends would represent a continuation of changes seen last year. Weapons development at the Department of Defense would continue to receive cuts, as would research.In the nondefense realm, R&D at several agencies that fared well in last year’s budget cycle – including the Department of Energy, NASA, NIST, and the National Science Foundation – would again receive increases under the President’s budget to varying degrees. Conversely, NIH funding would fail to keep up with inflation for the second year in a row. The Department of Agriculture is subject to a mixed picture, with a flat overall R&D budget but increases in some key research-oriented offices and initiatives. See the below tables for further agency details.Looking ahead to Congressional action, the funding picture remains murky. While many research agencies no doubt remain generally popular with appropriators, several specific components of the President’s budget have been criticized for being too generous, or not generous enough. The constrained budget environment will likely force difficult funding choices, and appropriators will be keen to push agencies to explore efficiencies, eliminate waste and duplication, and find ways to further reduce spending.Please note: the below data represent current estimates, and may undergo minor revision.

Aggregate Tables
R&D in the FY 2013 Budget by Agency
Defense and Nondefense R&D by Character of Work
Interagency R&D Proposals

Agency Tables
Department of Defense Total R&D| R&D by Military Departments and Defense Agencies
DOD Basic Research| DOD Science and TechnologyHealth and Human Services | National Institutes of Health
Department of Energy
NASA
National Science Foundation
Department of Commerce
Department of Agriculture
Department of Transportation
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of the Interior / USGS
Environmental Protection Agency

Selected Graphs
Trends in R&D by Agency| Trends in Nondefense R&D by Function
Federal R&D as a Percent of GDP| R&D as a Percent of Federal Outlays
R&D as a Percent of Discretionary Spending