Scientific research and education programs would see an increase if President Obama’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2014 were enacted. The President’s budget would provide an 8.4 percent increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF), relative to FY 2012. The overall budget for the agency would be $7.6 billion, an increase of $593 million.
Increases are proposed for all mission areas within NSF. The Research and Related Activities account, which includes funding for the various disciplinary directorates, would receive an increase of 9.2 percent. This would fund an additional 4,600 competitive awards during the fiscal year, although the agency’s funding rate is expected to remain at 24 percent. Education and Human Resources, which funds education research and various fellowships, would grow by 6.2 percent. Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction would increase by 6.6 percent. The budget for administrative efforts would receive a modest increase of 1.6 percent.
The budget for the Biological Sciences Directorate would increase by 6.8 percent to $760.6 million. The number of research grants awarded and average award size would increase, as compared to the FY 2012 level. The funding rate across the directorate would jump from 15 percent in FY 2011 to 26 percent next year, largely due to the implementation of a new proposal submission process.
Digitization of scientific information associated with biological specimens held in U.S. research collections would continue to be supported. According to NSF, FY 2014 investments would be guided by the strategic and implementation plans developed by the community.
A new program would be created with the Division of Environmental Biology to link long-term planetary biodiversity data with specimen and collections data. The Strategic Integration for Biological Sciences would be supported with $2.0 million.