Despite the ongoing delay in Congressional action on Fiscal Year 2003 budgets for government agencies involved in biodefense and bioterrorism research, federal officials are optimistic that proposed record-high funding levels will be approved and made available to scientists and institutions soon.

Several hundred researchers along with representatives from the major US funding agencies that support them gathered at the "Federal Biodefense Research FY2003" meeting in Washington, DC this week to assess when and where the cash will begin to flow.

"Investigators should not hesitate to put in applications for grants or respond to RFPs and contracts," said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). "You'd be making a big mistake because you may miss a grant or contract cycle if you do that. The president and the Congress both want a budget and it will happen," he told potential applicants at...

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