2015 Science Funding Flat

The US legislature passed a spending agreement for next year, and the deal has only modest increases for federal science agencies.

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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WIKIMEDIAThe $1 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last week (December 9) may temporarily avert another government shutdown, but the federal research enterprise didn’t fare too well in the deal. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) overall budget was increased by $150 million—a paltry 0.5 percent increase over last year’s $29.9 billion budget. “We appreciate any increase, but it’s not getting the job done,” Jennifer Zeitzer, deputy director of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s Office of Public Affairs, told ScienceInsider. “We’re going backwards.”

Another federal science agency did get a slight budgetary boost over last year. The National Science Foundation, for example, would get 2.4 percent more than its 2014 budget, bringing its total funding to $7.3 billion. And the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would get $25 million of the $5 billion earmarked for emergency Ebola funding in the bill. The agency...

Some other glimmers of hope for science in the bill include a $25 million increase for the Obama administration’s BRAIN initiative, $12.6 million for a new pediatric research initiative, and a $28.6 million increase for the National Institute on Aging.

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