Biden Administration Requests Scientific Research Spending Hike

As part of the administration’s $6 trillion budget request for the 2022 fiscal year, President Joe Biden has proposed a 9% increase, or $13.5 billion, in federal spending on research and development. This includes an increase of 10%, or $4.4 billion, in spending on basic research and 14%, or $6.3 billion, on applied research.

While the request would cut the U.S. Department of Defense’s basic and applied research budgets by 11% and 16%, respectively, it would more than double the budget for basic research spending at the Department of the Interior and increase agricultural research by 26%.

Other scientific agencies that would receive substantial funding increases include:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), a 21% increase going toward the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, as well as research on opioid addiction, the health effects of climate change, racial disparities, firearms violence prevention, maternal health, AIDS, and primate facilities
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), a 20% jump to fund the new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships directorate to move research more quickly into the marketplace, as well as education and workforce training programs and grants for individual scientists
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 22% rise for public health infrastructure in the U.S., data modernization, global public health efforts, and firearm injury and death prevention
  • FDA, an 8% overall increase budgeted for infrastructure improvements

“[The budget] proposes historic increases in funding for foundational R&D across a range of scientific agencies,” President Biden said in a statement, including what he calls “the biggest increase in non-defense research and development spending on record.” Whether Congress will support the White House’s proposal will be determined later this year.

Source: Science, May 28, 2021.