On May 9, the National Science Foundation joined with the Air Force to announce their new partnership on science and engineering research to increase national security. In a letter of intent, the agencies offer general information on a strategic partnership focusing on areas of common interest including: space operations and geosciences, advanced material sciences, information and data sciences, and workforce and processes. Additional information on any specific new opportunities will be shared as they become available.
Bill Nelson joined 17 other senators to push for increased funding for the Institute of Education Sciences within the Department of Education. The group wrote to Senate appropriators to recommend $670 million (+9.3%) for IES in FY 2019. Further, the letter urges the panels to maintain support for the Regional Education Laboratories within IES. FSU coordinates the work of the REL Southeast. According the site, "The Regional Educational Laboratories work in partnership with educators and policymakers to develop and use research that improves academic outcomes for students." The IES/REL letter comes after a recommendation in President Trump's budget for FY 2019 to reduce IES by 15% and eliminate the RELs. FSU has requested that its congressional delegation push for IES and REL funding in the current appropriations cycle.
Over the next few months, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will consider funding priorities such as these that are expressed by individual members. The appropriations process for FY 2019 is not expected to conclude until after the midterm elections.
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls on Congress, NIH and its grantees to make changes to strengthen the future U.S. biomedical and behavioral sciences enterprise. The report highlights challenges, such as the limited number of available tenure-track positions and increasing average age to attain a first major NIH independent research grant, to the future research workforce. The report makes several recommendations such as increasing appropriations for NIH, creating new awards for postdoctoral researchers to advance their own work and enhanced professional development. A summary and the full report can be found on the National Academies website
On April 5 and 6, staff to Senators Nelson and Rubio and Representatives Dunn and Lawson visited federally-supported FSU research sites. The group had the opportunity to see FSU research on display and engage faculty, staff and students. Stops on the two-day tour included the Center for Advanced Power Systems, Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulson, High Performance Materials Institute, Coastal and Marine Laboratory, Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population, MagLab, Experimental Social Science Research Group, Center for Actinide Science and Technology, and the College of Medicine. The visiting staffers also had an opportunity to engage the FSU community during an evening reception.
Earlier today, President Trump signed a final spending package into law for Fiscal Year 2018. The bill provides increases for research and student aid programs that the administration proposed cutting just a few months ago. Over the last several months, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have come together to oppose the proposed cuts. Of particular note, Congress has provided increases (over FY 2017) for the National Institutes of Health (+8.8%), National Science Foundation (+3.9%), Department of Energy Office of Science (+16.1%), NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (+6.2%), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (+7.9%). Congress also increased the maximum Pell Grant award (+3%) to $6,095. The FY 2019 appropriations process on Capitol Hill now begins in earnest.
Below, please find additional agency/program information and links to relevant resources.
Dollars in thousands, except Pell Grant maximum award
|FY17 Final||FY18 President’s Budget Request (PBR)||FY18 Final||FY18 Change (from FY17)||FY19 President’s Budget Request||FY19 PBR Change (from FY18)|
|Department of Defense, RDT&E||72,301,587||82,691,636||88,308,133||22.1%||90,616,098||2.6%|
|DOD, 6.1 Basic Research||2,276,332||2,228,529||2,343,154||2.9%||2,269,206||-3.2%|
|DOD, 6.2 Applied Research||5,296,175||4,974,095||5,681,752||7.3%||5,100,359||-10.2%|
|DOD, 6.3 Advanced Technology Development||6,438,722||5,997,183||6,838,098||6.2%||6,292,102||-8%|
|DOD, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency||2,889||3,170||3,072||6.3%||3,438||12%|
|Department of Education, Pell Grant||22,475,352||22,432,600||22,475,352||0||22,475,352||0|
|DOEd., Pell Grant Maximum||5,920||5,920||6,095||3%||5,920||-2.8%|
|DOEd., Work Study||989,728||500,000||1,130,000||14.2%||500,000||-55%|
|DOEd., Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants||733,130||0||840,000||14.6%||0||-100%|
|DOEd., Institute of Education Science (IES)||605,267||616,839||613,462||1.4%||521,563||-15%|
|DOEd., IES Regional Educational Laboratories||54,423||54,320||55,423||1.8%||0||-100%|
|Department of Energy, Office of Science||5,392,000||4,472,516||6,259,903||16.1%||5,391,000||-13.9%|
|DOE, Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy||306,000||20,000||353,314||15.5%||0||-100%|
|Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Science||713,823||450,812||713,823||0||449,000||-37%|
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Science||5,764,900||5,711,800||6,221,500||7.9%||5,895,000||-5.2%|
National Endowment for the Humanities
|National Endowment for the Arts||149,849||29,000||152,849||2%||29,000||-81%|
National Institutes of Health
|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research||477,725||350,004||507,519||6.2%||321,651||-36.6%|
|National Science Foundation||7,472,215||6,652,888||7,767,356||3.9%||7,472,000||-3.8%|
|National Institute of Standards and Technology||952,000||725,000||1,198,500||25.9%||629,000||-47.5%|
|NIST Industrial Technology Services, Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Manufacturing USA||153,000||21,000||155,000||1.3%||5,000||
The Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations process on Capitol Hill is underway. Members of Congress are now conveying their funding priorities to leaders of the relevant spending committees. As requested by FSU, Representatives Neal Dunn and Al Lawson have put forward spending recommendations in support of federal research and student aid programs.
Today, Reps. Dunn and Lawson joined 159 other representatives to push for increased funding for the National Science Foundation in Fiscal Year 2019. In a letter to appropriators, the group calls for a budget of $8.45 billion for NSF, which would represent an increase of greater than 8%.
The appropriations process will play out over the next several months and likely not conclude until after the November midterm elections.
Last week, President Trump sent Congress his budget request for Fiscal Year 2019. The President's Budget Request (PBR) is only the first step in determining appropriations for the coming fiscal year. Over the next few months, Congress will also consider input from agency officials, constituents and other stakeholders as it assembles spending bills for FY 2019. However, Congress must first complete an FY 2018 spending package. Their work has been made easier by the recent passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which raises the overall spending caps for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019, allowing appropriators room to finalize agency and program funding levels without deep cuts.
Details on relevant items of the FY 2019 PBR are captured below and links to useful documents follow.
$ in thousands
|FY17 Final||FY18 President’s Request||FY18 House||FY18 Senate||FY18 Final||FY19 President’s Budget Request|
|Department of Defense, 6.1 Basic Research||2,276,332||2,228,529||2,279,529||2,259,019||2,269,206|
|DOD, 6.2 Applied Research||5,296,175||4,973,465||5,242,866||5,336,221||5,100,359|
|DOD, 6.3 Advanced Technology Development||6,438,722||5,997,183||6,277,251||6,346,808||6,330,750|
|DOD, Total Science & Technology (6.1-6.3)||14,011,229||13,199,177||13,799,646||13,942,048||13,700,315|
|Department of Education, Pell Grant||22,475,352||22,432,600||22,475,352||22,475,352||22,475,352|
|DOEd., Pell Grant Maximum Award||5,920||5,920||5,920||6,020||5,920|
|DOEd., Work Study||989,728||500,000||989,728||989,728||500,000|
|DOEd., Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants||733,130||0||733,130||733,130||0*|
|Institute of Education Sciences||605,267||616,839||605,267||600,267||521,563|
|Department of Energy, Office of Science||5,392,000||4,472,516||5,392,000||5,550,000||5,391,000|
|DOE, Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy||306,000||20||0||330,000||0*|
|Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Science||706,473||450,812||602,238||634,029||449,000|
|National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Science||5,764,900||5,711,800||5,858,500||5,571,000||5,895,000|
|National Endowment for the Humanities||149,848||42,307||145,000||149,848||42,000*|
|National Endowment for the Arts||149,849||29,000||145,000||149,849||29,000*|
|National Institutes of Health, including funds to implement the 21st Century Cures Act||34,084,000||26,920,000||35,184,000||36,084,000||34,767|
|National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research||510,826||350,004||474,773||518,725||321,651|
|National Science Foundation||7,472,215||6,652,888||7,339,525||7,311,083||7,472,000|
|National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Program||130,000||6,000||100,000||130,000||5,000*|
*Agency/Program Termination Proposed
Agency Items of Note:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: The President’s Budget Request would cut NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research by 37%. The PBR calls for a significant reduction to climate research. The NOAA Sea Grant program is proposed for elimination in the PBR.
Department of Defense: The PBR proposes a 19% increase to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Department of Education: The PBR contains sufficient funds to maintain the current Pell Grant maximum award level of $5,920. Further, the document suggests expanding eligibility to “high-quality” short-term programs. The PBR suggests a nearly 50% reduction to the Federal Work Study program and would end graduate student eligibility. The document also proposes eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and subsidized Stafford Loans for undergraduate students.
The PBR proposes a reduction of 14% to the Institute of Education Sciences. Within IES, the PBR eliminates funding for the Regional Education Laboratories and the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems programs.
Department of Energy: The PBR instructs the Office of Science to focus efforts on the early-stage research, operation of the national laboratories, and continuation of high-priority construction projects. The PBR calls for elimination of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy, as did the FY 2017 version.
Environmental Protection Agency: The PBR would cut the EPA Office of Science by 36.4%.
Health and Human Services: The PBR would reduce the HHS grantee salary cap from $187,000 to $152,000. Further, the proposal would cap the percentage of a scientist’s salary that could be paid from grants.
Earlier today, the Trump administration released its budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2019. The release of a budget request is a largely symbolic step in the annual appropriations process. Actual agency and program spending levels are determined by Congress over the course of several months. Additionally, this year, the budget request put forward by the administration is somewhat undermined by the recently approved Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which provides $300 billion of relief from sequestration for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019. The allocations in the president's budget request for FY 2019 were assembled over the course of the last year, largely before the recent budget agreement was reached. The administration did attempt to increase its requests for certain accounts, with new resources provided by the budget agreement, through the release of an addendum.
The initial materials circulated by the administration show largely flat funding requested for the major research agencies.The administration requests $7.472 billion for the National Science Foundation, which is the same as the FY 2017 level. The administration requests level-funding or approximately $33 billion for the National Institutes of Health, when funds detailed in its addendum are included. President Trump also requests level funding at $5.391 billion for the Department of Energy, Office of Science. However, the administration once again proposes eliminating the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Additional details will be provided on the budget request in the days ahead.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 has emerged from negotiations on Capitol Hill. The agreement provides two years (FY 2018 and 2019) of relief from sequestration with nearly $300 billion in funding above established spending caps. The bill also establishes a select congressional committee to develop legislation to reform the budget process, which has proven to be dysfunctional through a series of stopgap spending measures and government shutdowns over the last few years. The agreement locks in a $2 billion FY 2018 increase for the National Institutes of Health. The additional budget cap space should also allow for more favorable allocations for research agencies than seen earlier this year in the President's Budget Request and House Appropriations Committee-approved spending bills.
The legislation advanced on the Hill today provides only a framework for the FY 2018 budget and an additional time period (through March 23) for Congress to finalize appropriations for specific agency and program line-items. Packaged with the overarching budget provisions in the bill is emergency supplemental funding for disaster relief, suspension of the debt ceiling through March 2019, and health care items such as 10-year funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
The National Science Foundation has issued a notice to university presidents and heads of other grantee organizations detailing new steps to address harassment and encourage a safe research environment for all. The NSF notice outlines incident reporting requirements, establishment of clear standards of conduct, and new web resources.