Federal Relations

February 11, 2020

The Details Still Aren’t Pretty (Part 2)

We continue to look through the budget documents released yesterday.

National Science Foundation

As noted yesterday, AI research seems to fare well across the different agencies.  While the Computer Science Directorate seems to be primary beneficiary of that initiative at NSF, other directorates within the Research and Related Activities (R&RA) account at the NSF are slated for cuts in the budget.  In fact, NSF as an agency would receive a cut of 7 percent in FY2021. The total budget for R&RA would be funded at approximately $6.2 billion, a cut of more than $500 below the current appropriated amount.


With respect to DOD-sponsored research, the Science and Technology accounts, “6.1” through “6.3” accounts, would see an overall decrease of 13.5 percent below the current level.  The Basic Research programs (“6.1” research) would be cut by nearly 11 percent.


The Office of Science at the Department of Energy would be cut by more than 17 percent while ARPA-E is slated for elimination.

Environmental Science Programs

Not surprisingly, programs in the environmental and climate science arenas would also see cuts.

For example, at the EPA, the Office of Science and Technology would be reduced by 32 percent.  Within the USGS , the Administration has proposed eliminate the Cooperative Research Units and has proposed to fund the Climate Adaptation Science Centers at $9.78 million, which is currently funded at $38.3 million.


We will continue to provide further updates.  It is important to keep in mind that the president’s budget being released is the start of a very long process, with Congress having the final say in how the funds are actually appropriated.