Tuesday, February 19, 2008
FY2009 Proposed Budget Released
The President’s FY2009 budget proposes to freeze National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding at $28.9 billion, the same level provided in FY2008. If this budget is enacted, it will be the sixth straight year of flat funding and the agency will have lost 13.4 percent of purchasing power since the end of the doubling in 2003. Main points include:
- The Common Fund, which supports collaborative, trans-NIH biomedical research efforts, receives $534 million, a 38 million (7.7 percent) increase, including:
- $46 million for new cross-cutting initiatives, such as the epigenomics project, a study of stable genetic modifications and their relationship to disease.
- $56 million for New Innovator Awards.
- The NIH proposed budget also includes $71 million for the Pathway to Independence program, which will support approximately 170 new awards for a total of 500 awardees. This program seeks to ensure the pipeline of new investigators is maintained. The proposed budget also:
- Includes modest stipend increases of 1 percent for pre- and post-doctoral fellows.
- Would support 15,523 research project grants, or 14 fewer new and competing grants than FY2008.
National Science Foundation
The agencies and programs included in the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) fared well, as expected. As the last budget cycle left the National Science Foundation (NSF) with a meager increase and the Biological Sciences Directorate essentially flat-funded, the President’s proposed budget should be considered two years worth of increases, according to NSF Assistant Director for Biological Sciences Jim Collins. Main points include:
- FY2009 budget includes $6.85 billion for NSF, an increase of 13.0 percent.
- Biological Sciences Directorate, home to almost all neuroscience research at NSF, would receive a 10.3 percent increase over FY2008 for total funding of $675 million.
- Education and Human Resources (EHR) directorate is proposed for an 8.9 percent increase to $790.4 million. EHR, formerly a target for cuts by the President, funds most federally-supported K-12 science education programs.
- Budget establishes the Adaptive Systems Technology (AST) program, a new four-year initiative, and proposes $3.49 million in FY2009, with nearly all the funding allocated to basic research in neuroscience.
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