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NSF and NIH: Funding for FY11

1 June 2011 1,803 views One Comment
This column highlights research activities that may be of interest to ASA members. These brief articles include information about new research solicitations and the federal budget for statistics. Comments or suggestions for future articles may be sent to ASA Research and Graduate Education Manager Keith Crank at keith@amstat.org.


Keith Crank has a BS in mathematics education and an MS in mathematics from Michigan State University and a PhD in statistics from Purdue University. Prior to joining the ASA as research and graduate education manager, he was a program officer at the National Science Foundation, primarily in the probability program.

In my April article, I wrote about President Obama’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12). I also mentioned that the FY11 appropriations had not been completed and the government was operating under a continuing resolution. That has finally changed. The full-year appropriations have been passed and signed into law. (The bill was still called a continuing resolution, but this time it covered the remainder of the fiscal year.)

The full-year continuing resolution was completed on April 14, just in time for Congress to go into a two-week recess. So, what did they finally agree to?

For the most part, the full-year continuing resolution was simply an extension of the previous continuing resolutions. However, they did “find” about $37.6 billion to cut from the previous funding. In other words, the full-year continuing resolution is $37.6 billion below the FY10 appropriations. I use the term “find” loosely here, since the completion of the data collection for the 2010 census freed up about $6 billion. (However, Congress chose to use $5 billion of that on additional spending for the Department of Defense, which means that much of the reduction is real.)

The appropriations for the National Science Foundation (NSF) are $6.8 billion. Of this, $5.5 billion is for research and related activities and $0.9 billion is for education and human resources. (The remaining appropriations are primarily for running the agency.) Overall, this is a 1% decrease from the FY10 appropriations, but is a 7.6% decrease from the FY11 request. On the other hand, it is much better than the $6.6 billion proposed by the House (H.R.1) back in February. As I mentioned in my April article, the request for FY12 is $7.8 billion.

Given the current situation in Congress, I doubt the FY12 appropriations for NSF will come anywhere close to this number. In fact, the Obama administration has backed off from its planned doubling of the NSF budget. In an April 9 blog post, the administration states, “Even though we will no longer double the funding of key research and development agencies, you will still see strong investments in National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, and the Office of Science.”

For the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the results are similar. The FY11 appropriations for NIH are $30.7 billion, compared to a FY10 appropriation of $31.0 billion. This is a 1% decrease from the FY10 appropriations and a 4% decrease from the FY11 request. But, it is much better than the $29.4 billion proposed in H.R.1. Since the FY12 request for NIH has only a modest increase (and is below the FY11 request), it’s possible that the appropriations will be close to the request. However, the Department of Defense appears to be the only part of the federal government that is immune to cuts.

To contact me, send an email to keith@amstat.org. Questions or comments about this article, as well as suggestions for future articles, are always welcome.

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One Comment »

  • Jorge L. Romeu said:

    It is very nice to know that a budget passed and how big it is. But the real interesting thing to know is WHAT are the topics NSF and NIH are sponsoring and where (urls) can we find them. Thanks/JLR.