NSF Fares Well, NIH Better than Expected, in President’s FY11 Budget Proposal

Under the proposed budget, the National Science Foundation would receive an overall increase of 8% and a 3.2% increase for the National Institutues of Health.

President Obama rolled out his Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11) budget on the first of February.  Reflecting a difficult economic climate, many federal agencies would see freezes and/or cuts to programs under the Administration’s request, but the National Science Foundation (NSF) would receive an overall increase of 8% over its current enacted level of funding, for a total of $7.4 billion.  The Administration noted a need to continue investing substantially in scientific research that drives innovation and global competitiveness, and NSF’s priorities for the coming year include research and education in sustainability, cyberlearning, STEM education, and major infrastructure for the National Ecological Observatory Network.  Within the overall NSF request, the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) would receive $268.79 million in FY11, an increase of 5.3%.

President Obama’s FY 2011 budget includes a request of $32.089 billion for the National Institutes of Health (a $1 billion or 3.2% increase over FY 2010).  While this increase is more than is proposed for many agencies, most advocacy organizations are requesting a larger increase for NIH, based on the six previous years of sub-inflationary growth in its base budget.  NIH did receive $10.4 billion through the economic stimulus legislation, but those extra funds were not added to NIH’s base and had to be spent within two years.  As a member of the Ad Hoc Group, a large coalition of research and patient advocacy organizations in support of the NIH budget, APA will ask Congress to fund NIH at $35 billion for FY11.