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“On Tuesday Operating the Mars Rover, on Friday Working at Starbucks”

This Friday a machete will be taken to the federal budget, unless another last-minute budget deal is reached. Years of failed congressional wrangling will yield across the board cuts of 8.2% for domestic discretionary spending. The cuts are much deeper than initially designed because they have been delayed for several months and now an entire year’s worth of cuts totaling $85 billion have to be squeezed into the remaining seven months of the fiscal year ending on September 30th 2013.

This 8.2% cut would result in $3.78 billion in lost federal R&D dollars across multiple agencies critical to not just the biotechnology industry, but also academia and all research institutions. These cuts would stand to permanently dent American research initiatives. To put things in perspective, here is breakdown of what each agency stands to lose:

National Institutes of Health (NIH) – $2,516,580,000

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – $467,400,000

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ARHQ) – $30,504,000

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – $200,900,000

National Science Foundation (NSF) – $565,800,000

These numbers are for 2013 alone.

Looking closer at the numbers and what they mean, one finds that the amount of money that NIH stands to lose is equal to roughly half of the budget of the National Cancer Institute, the largest of the 27 institutes and centers comprising the agency.

Worse still, all grant funding success rates from the NIH and NSF will be at all time lows stunting the careers and projects of thousands of researchers, further putting a strain on the academic pipeline and trapping many young investigators. Less than 14% and 16% of NIH and NSF grants will be awarded, respectively. That constitutes over 6500 less projects being funded across the two agencies compared to 2010.

For the CDC, the cuts are greater than the total dollar amount that goes into the immunization grant program that is used for the purchase of vaccines and the infrastructure needed to deliver them.

For FY11, the popular Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs cost $1.43 billion. Sponsoring agencies taking massive cuts fund all of these grants.

No matter the outcome of this most recent fiscal crisis, if nothing is done, years of damage could be done to America’s research portfolio resulting in innumerable missed opportunities and rising healthcare costs. 

Posted by: Tomasz Bakowski

Photo credit: UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Notes

Numbers were culled from Congressional Budget Office estimates and respective agency budget outlines from FY11 and requests for FY13. Figures are put together by Research!America Leadership group.

http://www.researchamerica.org/uploads/RASequestrationReport.pdf

Additional Articles

  1. President Obama attempting to recruit the nation’s governors in the fight to eliminate sequestration. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/02/25/obama-biden-national-governors-association-sequester/1946023/
  2. A general overview of all of the sectors and industries that will be affected by sequestration, ranging from defense to air travel to education to business. Between 750,000 and 1,000,000 jobs are expected to be cut. http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/2013/feb/25/sequester-cuts-your-life-about-get-worse/
  3. Laurie Leshin, dean of the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and former deputy associate administrator at NASA, explains how sequestration would affect her field and other ongoing research at Rensselaer. Dr. Larry Corey, president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, discusses how the spending cuts would impact cancer research and his own work, developing an HIV vaccine. http://www.thetakeaway.org/2013/feb/25/sequestration-could-have-devastating-impact-scientific-research/?utm_source=local&utm_media=treatment&utm_campaign=daMost&utm_content=damostlistened

Numbers by Agency 

NIH 

  1. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Research Information Systems (ORIS), NIH Research Grants Table: http://report.nih.gov/FileLink.aspx?rid=544 
  2. National Institutes of Health (NIH), RePORT, NIH Awards by Location & Organization: http://report.nih.gov/award/index.cfm?ot=&fy=2011&state=&ic=&fm=&orgid= 
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH), RePORT, Funding Facts: http://report.nih.gov/fundingfacts/index.cfm 
  4. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Almanac, Appropriations (Section 1): www.nih.gov/about/almanac/appropriations/index.htm 
  5. National Institutes of Health (NIH), RePORT, Research, Estimates of Funding for Various Research,Condition, and DiseaseCategories (RCDC): http://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx 


CDC 

  1. Centers for DiseaseControl (CDC), Financial Management Office, Fiscal Year 2011 Operating Plan: www.cdc.gov/fmo/topic/Budget%20Information/appropriations_budget_form_pdf/CDC_FY_2011_Operating_Plan_Table.pdf 
  2. Centers for DiseaseControl (CDC), Financial Management Office, Fiscal Year 2013 Budget RequestSummary: www.cdc.gov/fmo/topic/Budget%20Information/appropriations_budget_form_pdf/FY2013_Budget_Request_Summary.pdf 

AHRQ 

  1. Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ), Financial Management Office, Fiscal Year 2012 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees: www.ahrq.gov/about/cj2012/cj2012.pdf 
  2. Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ), Financial Management Office, Fiscal Year 2012 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees: www.ahrq.gov/about/cj2012/cj2012.pdf 

FDA 

  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), About FDA, Reports, Budget Reports, Fiscal Year 2012: www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/BudgetReports/UCM244195.pdf 
  2. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fiscal Year 2012 Congressional Budget Request: www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/BudgetReports/UCM248624.pdf 
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fiscal Year 2012 Congressional Budget Request: www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/BudgetReports/UCM247868.pdf 
  4. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fiscal Year 2012 Congressional Budget Request: www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/BudgetReports/UCM275325.pdf 

NSF 

  1. National Science Foundation (NSF), Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request, BiologicalSciences: www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2012/pdf/16_fy2012.pdf 
  2. National Science Foundation, Budget Internet Information System, Award/Summary by Top Institutions: http://dellweb.bfa.nsf.gov/Top50Inst2/default.asp

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